I am watching the Mission Impossible movies for the first time, and it appears to me that if you skipped Mission: Impossible 2 there would be no problems. The love interest doesn't seem to be mentioned in later movies, and I can't think of any other story elements that are affected. Am I missing anything?

  • Are there continuity issues with not ignoring it? It may be entirely self-contained, but it's still part of the greater tapestry of Ethan Hunt's life.
    – Steve-O
    Commented May 29, 2018 at 13:25

2 Answers 2


In Mission Impossible 2, the ONLY thing that is continued or relevant to MI series is, assigning a mission to Agent Hunt and his helper Luther Stickell.

All other things including Characters, Villian, Scenes or girlfriend. (wife is not mentioned at all) are different. So theoretically, it's an independent script of the series.

Some of us will say, MI:3 is taking a bit of idea from MI:2 and that is Rabit's foot, which resembles with the biochemical weapon (Chimera) in MI2. But then in MI:3 also, It's not revealed clearly what exactly the Rabit's foot is. So we can't come to conclusion on the similarity between that and a biochemical weapon. Such Biochemical attack abandoned by IMF at the beginning of Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation as well.

Certainly, these all are after MI-2. So, only an idea of a chemical weapon doesn't demand knowledge of the whole series.


The Mission impossible movies are meant to function essentially like the Bond movies, with the main plot of each story being self contained. The only thing that really continues from movie to movie are the ensemble characters and their roles, such as Simon Pegg or Jeremy Renner who joining in MI:III. However you could ignore the movies and still generally get what these characters roles are in the team as they fill an archetype (Pegg is the tech guy). Though it does look like the next movie MI:Fallout will continue on from Rogue Nation.

  • 1
    A nation of makeup?
    – JAB
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 19:30
  • 1
    I don't agree. From what I can tell (having only seen the movies once) Mission Impossible 2 is the only one that is self contained. The first one maybe, but it sets up the idea and Ethan's character. Ghost Protocol carries on characters and story from 3 (especially with Ethan's wife), and it sets up Rouge Nation. Like you said Fallout will carry on from Rouge Nation. If you skipped 3 you'd be confused watching Ghost Protocol, and if you skipped Ghost Protocol you'd be confused watching Rouge Nation. The same can't (as far as I can tell) be said about 2. Commented May 31, 2018 at 0:36
  • I somehow disagree on the analogy with Bond films. There is always a level of continuity in the films, usually in form of some large crime syndicate whose minions we face as standalone villains through other movies. As for the Daniel Craig ones, it turns out that every villain he had to face during the previous movies are agents of Spectre. However there is no such thing in case of MI movies (Fallout seems to be changing on that though).
    – Paghillect
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 17:17

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