the Mission: Impossible series is getting even bigger, as next year will see the release of Mission: Impossible – Death Reckoning Part One. But while the film’s title is long, the franchise’s titles have always had a much bigger problem.
Whether intentional or not, the title is pretty ironic given that every mission is very much possible. However, the long-running spy series isn’t the first time a movie has had an ironic title. between a Star Wars movie and a gritty crime drama, ironic titles are usually done for comedic value or to subvert expectations.
Good Time (2017)
Stream On Kanopy & Showtime
Redditor Andrew_P-23 refers to the 2017 breakout movie from the Safdie brothers, Good Time, as having an ironic title. The Redditor posits, “I mean, the movie is a good time, but certainly not for the characters.” Good Time is anything but, and it’d just be like calling depressing movies like The Mist or Requiem for a Dream “Good Time.”
The 2017 movie follows Connie, who tries to protect himself and his brother from the police after a botched bank robbery. Connie makes one mistake after the next, it’s slowly revealed that he’s a sociopath, and he only wants to keep his brother around for his own benefit. The movie is so anxiety-inducing and it’s an even harder watch than the Safdies’ follow-up, Uncut Gems.
Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter (1990)
Stream On HBO Max
User JeffRyan1 thinks that The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter has an ironic title, as there was never a third chapter. The movie is a kids’ fantasy adventure that looks fascinating and tells an interesting story, but given that the credits roll around 85 minutes in, there’s definitely an ending.
Not only does the sequel have an ironic title, but the original does too, as that movie still wrapped up the story it set out to tell. However, not even the subtitles The Next Chapter can skirt around the fact the sequel’s title doesn’t make any sense. Not only that, but the movie is an extremely brief 90 minutes too, so it seems like not only is there an ending to the story, but there’s not even much of a story to tell.
No Time To Die (2021)
Stream On Amazon Prime & Epix
While risking spoiling the movie for others, MeadowmuffinReborn argues that the most recent Bond movie has an ironic title. No Time to Die is the last film in Daniel Craig’s Bond series, and as he’s the first actor whose Bond had an overarching narrative over his five movies, there is obviously going to be some kind of a bold conclusion.
The British spy could have settled down and lived happily ever after, but it isn’t one of the most emotional 007 movies for no reason. Despite the movie’s title, James Bond dies in the final act, setting a precedent for the series. Not only that, but Nomi has a fairly on-the-nose line of dialogue where she says, “No, time to die,” before she kicks a scientist off a ledge and to his death.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
Stream On Disney+
Reddit user Radewagon thinks Star Wars: The Last Jedic has an ironic title, but it both is and isn’t. The title led fans to believe that Luke Skywalker was the last Jedi, which wasn’t the case at all. In fact, the movie makes a point that absolutely anybody in the galaxy could have the Force and become a Jedi, including the long-talked-about Broom Boy.
The young character appeared very briefly at the end of the 2017 movie, hinting at an expansion of the universe. And as it was announced that The Last Jedic writer and director Rian Johnson was attached to direct a Star Wars trilogy of his own, many thought it would be about Broom Boy.
Funny Games (1997)
Stream On HBO Max & The Criterion Channel
User Lord-Sinestro rightfully thinks the 1997 psychological thriller, funny Games, has an ironic title. just like Good Time, funny Games is anything but what its title suggests. funny Games is an anti-revenge movie, as it’s about a home invasion where a family gets tortured in their vacation home by two bored bourgeois young men. The Redditor comments, “That movie was like 1% comedy, 99% drama.”
Even then, the Redditor is being extremely generous, as there’s no way that the film is even 1% comedy. There isn’t a single joke in the film, but there are a few moments of fourth-wall-breaking. At one point when teasing the family, one of the killers turns to the camera and winks, but it feels sinister, irksome, and sends shivers down viewers’ spines.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Stream On Paramount+
The title of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off explains the movie’s premise well, as it follows a teenager who skips school for a day to have fun in Chicago with his friends. The coming-of-age movie is hilarious and part of what makes the film so great is that audiences live vicariously through Ferris because of how much fun he’s having.
Though not many people would have thought of the movie as having an ironic title, ItzNachoname makes a great argument. The Redditor explains, “Ironically, Ferris learned a lot that day.” Technically, Ferris Bueller does have a day off, as he skips school and goes gallivanting around the city, but at the same time, that day off was full of life lessons that he could have never learned at school.
Life Is Beautiful (1997)
Stream On Kanopy & Paramount+
User Need2know2 believes that Life Is Beautiful has an ironic name given that it takes place during one of the darkest moments in history. Life Is Beautiful is one of the most heartbreaking movies ever made, as it follows a Jewish father and his son who are trying to avoid the Nazis in World War II.
There are two ways of looking at the movie. Some could see the title as being ironic because of the exhaustingly emotional ending, which isn’t remotely beautiful. However, the film is all about how Guido is trying to make his son realize how beautiful life is despite the war, and by the end of the film, he has very much accomplished that.
Law Abiding Citizen (2009)
Stream On AMC+
User VonDread refers to Law Abiding Citizen, one of the all but forgotten 2000s crime thrillers. The movie is about Clyde Shelton, who plans to exact revenge on those involved in the killing of his family. The Redditor astutely points out that the title is “obviously meant to be ironic.”
However, just as all vigilantes think, Clyde Shelton believes what he is doing is right, and he’s not only seeking revenge on his family’s killer but the corrupt police and others in the criminal justice system too. So the movie’s title is even more ironic given that Clyde is out to get those who are supposed to enforce the law.
John Dies At The End (2012)
Stream On Hulu, Hoopla, Tubi, & The Roku Channel
John Dies at the End is the best example of an ironic title, and it even leaves audiences stunned by what happens at the end of the movie. The film is a cult comedy horror that sees two college dropouts who fight off aliens from other dimensions. DivinoAG is the first to refer to the 2012 film, noting, “The whole point of the movie is that Johnny (spoiler, sorry) definitely does not die at the end.”
The movie’s title is essentially the opposite of No Time to Die. While James Bond dies at the end of the 2021 movie, John survives. The film could easily have had a kitschy title like the B-movies it’s clearly influenced by, but the studio took a bold risk by keeping the name of the novel it’s based on, and it paid off.
Mission: Impossible (1996)
Stream On Netflix & Paramount+
Redditor Tenocticatl accurately points out the problem with the Mission: Impossible movie titles. The Redditor sarcastically notes, “Should be called Mission: Pretty Difficult.” And with each consecutive release, the mission becomes more difficult than the last.
The missions require Ethan Hunt to climb the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, then he has to hang off a plane whilst it takes off, and then he has to commit to a HALO jump. But as Ethan Hunt always stops the bomb from going off just within the nick of time, it’s never impossible.
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