I've always been interested in what other people are seeing and watching, and naturally, I love looking at Weekend Box…
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.
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…
Although there are times where the plot can get slightly convoluted, "Mission: Impossible" is still a throughly engaging, consistently entertaining and very unpredictable action thriller with a great lead performance from Tom Cruise, and some very well directed and suspenseful action sequences.
I was looking for another excuse to not watch American Gangster.
After quite enjoying and absolutely loving the most recent two instalments of this series, I thought I'd have another go at an original I hadn't seen for over 15 years. No, I won't be doing the same with John Woo's sequel.
Now, having commented on just how young Tom Cruise is still looking, it really is remarkable to go back 18 years and see how young he looked here. He's the epitome of the fresh faced and cocky little shit you need for a film like this. He looks about 17. I just wanted to get that out of the way first.
Seeing Brian De Palma (fanboy in the…
A thoroughly entertaining, briskly paced, and engaging thrill ride from beginning to end with a great lead performance from Tom Cruise, solid supporting cast, and some wonderfully crafted thrilling action sequences (the train sequence at the end still blows my mind). It is a bit weighed down in the third act with a predictable and kind of silly twist, but this was still a very solid and pretty exciting start up for the franchise.
The Mission Impossible franchise has always been subject to change. Has ever there been a more whiplash-inducing change of pace in a series? We go from Brian de Palma's classy mess, to Woo's overlong and excruciatingly-in-love-with-itself bullet ballet, to Abrams' modern and sleak action flick? But in this, the first of the series, we have a film that already seems to be confused about what it is in itself. It is one-part classy Euro-thriller, one-part exuberant action flick, and all parts confusing.
Too confusing, really - and it's a shame, because in every aspect BUT the plot the film is well made (the "hanging by a wire in a top secret computer room" is iconic for a reason). Cruise is too smarmy at the beginning, for sure, but the talented cast around him more than make up for it. The franchise will get better. But, if I remember correctly, not before it gets worse...
MY THREE WORDS
Confused, confusing, slick.
I still love this movie, even if it's so focused on intrigue it forgets about character. The first op gone wrong, the CIA break-in, the amazing bullet-train/helicopter chase: all still feel iconic and exciting all these years later. I'm sure nostalgia is a factor, but I just really dig this one.
The film is buoyed by a charismatic & intense performance by Cruise. The set-pieces are fun, and director De Palma delivers his trademark interesting camera shots.
Hear a full review at www.nowplayingpodcast.com/episode.htm?id=1338
Based on the 60s episodic television series, this Tom Cruise action vehicle shows its true colors early and often. Mission Impossible is uninspired, plot hole-ridden, and nonsensical at times (the script was being written during filming). The action is decent but the CGI has aged poorly (although what CGI hasn’t since 1996?). When it tries to become an ensemble cast again, Ving Rhames and Jean Reno manage to inject some charisma into this dour spy thriller but ultimately it’s not enough to set it apart from the myriad of James Bond clones out there. While it does much clumsily and never really finds it footing, 'M:I' would go on to be the third highest grossing film of 1996 behind Independence…
A lean, mean pop-culture espionage machine
It didn't occur to me that opening up this ridiculous movie with the line, "Would you like to watch a movie?" is one of the most brilliant starts to any film until the credits rolled. That should be the tagline of this series.
The opening credits alone are near-perfect, and that score! Brian De Palma knows that whenever this movie needs a shot of excitement, he can just play that theme for a minute or so and the audience will be hooked right back in.
As far as spy films go, this movie pulls it off well. Keeping you on the edge of your seat, you think you guess where it is going until it veers off in the complete opposite direction. Where it ends up is one of the finest climaxes of any action movie, and it somehow works despite being the dumbest thing to ever put in a screenplay.
Despite a few terrific action scenes and a solid lead performance from Cruise, Mission: Impossible is a mostly boring spy film with uninteresting characters and story. 3/5.
If you're reading this, you should be reading David Bordwell on the utility of sound in "purely visual" storytelling. (He uses M:I as a case study.)
There are certain scenes that transcend the films they appeared in and become recognisable to even those that have not…
Every film that has ever been nominated for a Razzie Award in any category.