6. Mission: Impossible II (2000)
After the success of Mission: Impossible in 1996, the sky was the limit for the sequel. Tom Cruise’s return to the role of Ethan Hunt saw him wrapped up in a global plot involving biological weapons and ruthless terrorists, and it truly upped the ante from the first film’s espionage-based narrative. It’s a more traditional action movie, but it still has the Mission: Impossible twists and turns one might expect.
Cruise brings more of his undeniable charm and confidence to the role of Hunt for the sequel, and Dougray Scott’s villain is excellent. There’s a number of thrillingly-executed action sequences that make Mission: Impossible II one of the most exciting action flicks of the ’00s. It also ends with a breathtakingly choreographed and truly heart-thumping knife fight.
In fairness, there are elements of the second film that feel distinctly dated. Tom Cruise’s hideous sunglasses and the inclusion of now-obsolete “cutting-edge” tech are especially outmoded. Even so, Mission: Impossible II offers some of the franchise’s best fight scenes, and remains an action classic.