BySean Erickson, writer at
Exploring the area between movie geek and film nerd.
Sean Erickson

It's a big year for the international spy with Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation sending Ethan Hunt around the world and back while trying to evade the IMF killers known as the Syndicate and James Bond finding a very personal connection to the new biggest threat known to exist in the Bond universe, SPECTRE. Both movies are coming off of two of the best entries in their series after Brad Bird's Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol became the highest grossing M:I movie and Skyfall returned James Bond to glory after the mixed bag of Quantum of Solace. So how do these two franchises hope to top that?

Mission Impossible 5 Takes a Dive

The crown jewel of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol was the Dubai scene in which Tom Cruise got to play Spider-Man on the side of one of the world's tallest buildings. Since the IMF team was on their own this time around we got to see Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt and Simon Pegg's Benji have to do some improvising around some not so reliable gadgets - including the gloves that were keeping Hunt from falling to his death. Followed by an amazing dust-storm scene - this action sequence wasn't just a highlight for the movie but the series itself.

Find out how long Tom Cruise can hold his breath.
Find out how long Tom Cruise can hold his breath.

Tom Cruise is never one to rest on his stunt work laurels though and he's already tipping the cards a bit on what Mission Impossible 5 can do to top that sequence. The guy is notorious for doing his own stunts and it sounds like he's always had one mission that hasn't found its way into a movie yet. And no, it's not strapping himself to the side of a monster plane during take-off - it's a uncut underwater sequence.

In an interview with Yahoo, Tom Cruise gave some info on one of the highlights of Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. If you've seen the trailer, you've no doubt noticed that there's an epic shot of Ethan Hunt staring down a man made waterfall of some sort and going right ahead and jumping on down it. You may have also noticed Benji pointing to a blueprint style diagram of this thing in the trailer as well. It would seem this water machine plays a big part in IMF's master plan.

“We have something I’ve always wanted to do: an underwater sequence without cuts. The kind of training I had to do for that was pretty intense. I’ve done a lot of underwater scenes but I’ve never done one [like this] that will get the audience to lean forward and have a visceral reaction.”

The interview also touches on the extremely dangerous motorcycle stunt sequence that is also glimpsed in the movie trailer as well as the already famous Airbus sequence. While Mission Impossible 4 may be a tough act to follow, it looks like all the pieces are there to make this another memorable movie experience.

SPECTRE, The Pale King & Furious Cars

James Bond movies have a history of production woes going back decades. It's a symptom of a franchise that is now 24 movies deep with the release of Spectre. These films have always been trying to top themselves - so much so that by the time Roger Moore's tenure (see also, Pierce Brosnan) as James Bond was ending, the movies were getting into high camp territory and practically loosing any connection to the laws of physics and the real world. With Daniel Craig and Casino Royal, James Bond was brought back down to Earth and with Skyfall, 007 had never looked better.

What Skyfall also had was a helluva memorable villain in Javier Bardem. If there's one thing that will be hard to top, it's Bardem's extraordinarily creepy Silva. But if there's one guy, and one character, that's up to that challenge it's Christoph Waltz and Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Before we get to him, though, there's the recent reveal of who James Bond is chasing down - someone referred to as The Pale King. It became tradition long ago to open a James Bond movie as 007 is finishing up a mission and this time we'll see him chasing down "The Pale King" while a Day of Dead festival is going on in Mexico City.

It's rumored that this personal mission doesn't end well and it puts James in some hot water with the top brass at MI-6. But James Bond should be feeling pretty comfortable in hot water by now and this doesn't stop him from following up on The Pale King and tracking down his newly widowed wife, played by Monica Bellucci. It's her character that provides him with the information he needs to infiltrate SPECTRE and find out that it's his foster brother that is now leading the sinister organization.

Dave Bautista as Mr. Jinx

But what is even more intriguing than Christoph Waltz leading SPECTRE is the early looks at Dave Bautista as SPECTRE henchman Mr. Jinx. If there's a long line of memorable villains to live up to in the James Bond franchise, there's a just as prestigious list of henchman - from Oddjob to that metal-mouthed Jaws - that has perhaps provided even more color to the movies than the main bud guys themselves. Recently, a behind the scene featurette provided an early look at Mr. Jinx and what appears to be an epic nighttime car chase between him and Bond through the streets of Italy.

One of the main contenders to the throne of the Bond movies, and the Mission Impossible movies, is the recent ascension of the Fast and Furious movies and the path they've taken from being a movie about illegal street racing to being about a gang who takes down international crime-lords. This is truly the stuff of spy movies and both Spectre and Mission Impossible 5 are making sure fans know that they aren't going to skimp on their car chases.

What do you think? Which movie are you more excited to see? Will [Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation](tag:373501) and Spectre be able to top their predecessors? Take to the comments section, dear readers, and keep the discussion going!


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