Pro – Every action sequence is unforgettable. The Prague opening ‘mole-hunt’ – actually, scratch that. The moment marching drums on the Paramount logo fade to Kiev, and Emilio Estevez stares at a monitor is already a highlight. DePalma manages to forge an incredible team, whereby they laugh and joke about coffee and gum. Their banter sets a high bar none of the films have met and it is shook to the core when the majority of them are wiped out. The NOC-list theft at Langley CIA raises the bar higher, with unforgettable performances from Jean Reno and Ving Rhames. Even the dated effects within the Euro-tunnel fail to dampen the quality of Ethan Hunt’s first outing. The varied, international cast and Hitchcockian-plot, as Hunt has to prove his innocence, makes this the bench mark of the series.
Con – A key character in the television series, Jim Phelps, is the villain in this episode so he won’t return. Ever. Special effects are dated, but other than the euro-tunnel, this is choreographed, close and personal hand-to-hand combat. But the technology is very much ‘of its time’. Enormous PC’s (in Langley, for one) and awful internet searching (“internet link” and an email that literally shows a digital letter fly away into the internet ether) are only the highlights of an awkward world that doesn’t exist anymore.