Another year, another personal list. These are my favorites, ranked and sorted.
Expect the Impossible.
When Ethan Hunt, the leader of a crack espionage team whose perilous operation has gone awry with no explanation, discovers that a mole has penetrated the CIA, he's surprised to learn that he's the No. 1 suspect. To clear his name, Hunt now must ferret out the real double agent and, in the process, even the score.
"Would you like to watch a movie?"
Usually a respected auteur like Brian De Palma doesn't get credit for delivering a great piece of pop blockbuster entertainment unless he or she subverts it in some way, deconstructs the genre or introduces some kind of wildly transgressive element like Verhoeven's satire or Scott's formal mayhem, but that's not what De Palma does here. This is more like his Manhunter, where a great director takes pulpy source material and turns it into a meditation on the act of watching, and the romance and excitement of movies themselves. In the opening sequence, IMF are basically established as a film crew, creating a fake scenario in order to get the name of a spy…
After PULP FICTION maybe the pop masterpiece of the 90s? Probably hyperbole, but minutes after my umpteenth viewing it's the truth.
Mission: Impossible is delightfully cheesy, aged to perfection and surrounded by the meatiest strip of bacon ever crafted. It's a tasty and junky blast, from the first frame to the last. Brian De Palma has always been known for his sensual and gleefully silly ventures, all of which possess immaculate form and content. but this is easily his most delicious in regards to spookiness. The set-pieces here are just magnificent, relishing in flawless camerawork and ingenious pacing, and it's all enhanced by Danny Elfman's peerless score. In spite of its commitment to tone, De Palma's film also has a rat complicating things and dangerous chewing gum. Fun, fun, and fun.
One of the most popular films of the 1990s that catapulted Tom Cruise into the league of Hollywood's biggest stars, Mission: Impossible is an intriguing, entertaining & seemingly engaging spy-thriller that packs in enough action spectacle to satisfy its viewers but also suffers due to its convoluted premise, illogical twists & unfleshed characters.
The story of Mission: Impossible follows Ethan Hunt; the point man of a secret government agency who's suspected to be the mole within the organisation after he turns out to be the sole survivor of a mission gone wrong. Fleeing from the scene to avoid arrest, Hunt enlists the help of two former agents to find out the real culprit and prove his innocence.
Helmed by Brian De Palma…
It took three decades to bring Mission: Impossible, perhaps the most beloved piece of 1960's escapism US TV produced behind Star Trek, onto the big screen and to many, what Brian De Palma served up wasn't what they quite expected - including former stars Greg Morris, Martin Landau & Peter Graves, who turned down the chance to reprise his legendary role as Jim Phelps, head of the IMF (Impossible Mission Force), when he learned the tone of the adaptation. Where the original series favoured an ensemble team approach of light hearted psychology, De Palma brought to life something darker, more reflective of the murky post-Cold War era of shadowy back alleys in Eastern European cities & the corruption & paranoia of modern espionage,…
Smart, well-cast, and thoroughly entertaining, Brian De Palma's "Mission: Impossible" takes its small-screen origins and expands them into blockbuster spectacle. Combining geo-political intrigue with rollicking set-pieces, the action film is swift, electric, and fully engaging.
Tom Cruise stars at Ethan Hunt, spy, in a narrative that finds the espionage operative under suspicion of taking down his own team. The compelling plot finds Hunt putting together a new team to clear his name and save the day.
De Palma and company put together spry and memorable action beats underscored by genuine tension and savory conflict. The film uses its global locations skillfully, evoking grand spy sagas but setting down its own path. A mix of cobblestone streets and techno-sleek interiors are…
First rewatch in a while: Needless to say, this is a really, really silly picture, but there's something exhilarating about watching De Palma in full flight with a huge budget, crafting thrilling set pieces -- even out of conversations.
kate and i marathoned all the mission impossible movies in one day, so i'm going to compare all of them.
this one had the best amount of women representation, though it still doesn't pass the bechdel test; i won't hold that against them because ethan hunt (tom cruise) is a raging feminist and also my mother.
Those damn Gideons.
It's definitely a De Palma film. I don't share his same fascinations, but it is intriguing to see an American Blockbuster be so thoroughly Directed. Found Cruise to be even more blank than usual here, approaching Hitchcock protagonist levels. Which, again, is interesting, but I don't think I liked it here. Relatedly perhaps, I did not buy any of the emotional underpinnings of the film. But maybe De Palma doesn't care. The middle portion of the film works tremendously, but squanders that goodwill with a laughable ending set piece.
I dunno, guys. This is pretty great.
Why have I waited so long to watch this film?! The stunts and set pieces are absolutely incredible and it does a great job of creating some fantastic characters.
35mm @ Metrograph
“I didn’t know exactly what to expect with Mission: Impossible, but I was pleasantly surprised. I honestly think it’s super cool that a franchise that Tom Cruise pays for & stars in himself has such a classy, but (intentionally) campy beginning. As far as super star vanity projects go, you could do much worse than a cheesy Brian De Palma action flick starring Ving Rhames & an exploding helicopter.”
My canon. In (approximate) order of favorite films, not necessarily of best action sequences.
Trying to keep a relatively open…
Everyone else is doing it. No order because that's tricky.