Movie Marathon: Mission Impossible

It took me a while to figure out which movie series we should binge this holiday season. We’d done Lord of the Rings (and the Hobbit) twice, and Star Wars once, and those had all gone swimmingly. Harry Potter was a fiasco, mainly because the movies just get worse and worse after about the fourth. My family has never really gotten into Star Trek, so that seemed a bit of a stretch. What else was there?

It had been a while since I’d seen any of the Mission Impossible movies, so I thought that might be a good option. We dove in, and it’s gone well for the most part. The movies do a great job with action pieces, and they’re certainly thrilling. However, one thing that we’ve noticed as we’ve been working our way through them is that they’re pretty much awful when it comes to story. It’s not that the plots themselves are bad. They make sense for the most part (or for as much as they need to). But we’ve now watched five of the six movies in the past two weeks, and I can’t for the life of me remember what happens in which movie.

Tom Cruise gets in trouble. He needs a team to get out of it. There are gadgets and double crosses. Face swaps aplenty. He’s got a girlfriend, then a wife, then no wife, then just kidding actually a wife, then no wife that we mention. So that turns into the James Bond revolving door of women, more or less. Which naturally leads to the realization that the MI movies are just James Bond with a team.

Is that a problem?

Not really, though it’s not the best for a movie marathon. One of the great things about the Lord of the Rings movies is that they build on each other, so that by the time you’re done with all of them, you really feel like you’ve been on a journey. In that way, they’re almost more like longform television than they are like movies. You would think Harry Potter would do the same thing, but those movies are just too episodic to really work (even if they’d been done better). If they’re a TV show, they’re a flavor of the week show, more like the Mission Impossible movies. (Which makes sense, since those started as flavor of the week TV shows.)

Let’s just say that I’m not adding “Fast and the Furious” to my list of potential future marathons.

All told, it’s been better than HP, but nowhere near LOTR. Next year I’m going to have to come up with something different. I’ve been thinking about ditching movies for a bit and picking a television show.

Any suggestions out there for future marathons?

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