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Old August 24 2011, 02:42 AM   #1
Trekker4747
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Mission: Impossible (1996), Brian de Palma

I got this movie at a used DVD store the other day as it has been a while since I've seen it.

I've got to say I think it's the "best" of the movies, certainly better than 2, 3 is a close second the up-coming one looks interesting.

But, not ever having seen the series, I think the first movie most captured the elements I'd expect in an Mission Impossible movie. Hell the score alone is pretty awesome. The opening credits sequence with the use of the film and titles, including the cut scenes from the whole movie, is just great. IMHO.

I admit the plot is a bit too layered and confusing and I can understand how fans would be upset with them making Phelps a "bad guy" but overall I think it's actually a good movie.

And, of course, it has one of the most memorable "movie moments" in it with Ethan in the server room. You can't say that about the other M:I movies and the music and score in it is well done.
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Old August 24 2011, 02:58 AM   #2
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Re: Mission: Impossible (1996), Brian de Palma

The most important aspect of the show was the team, the movie is too much of a one man show in my opinion.
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Old August 24 2011, 09:50 AM   #3
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Re: Mission: Impossible (1996), Brian de Palma

This is more of a TV & Media topic, so I will send it over there. Stand back! Whee-oooo!!
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Old August 24 2011, 10:28 AM   #4
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Re: Mission: Impossible (1996), Brian de Palma

Whilst it has issues (the lack of the team element) it's definitely the best of the films because it at least tries to be a Mission Impossible film, and I like how the espionage elements are hanlded. It's just a shame the series has been tied to Cruise and that he's the star of the show. It'd have made far more sense to go down the road of, say, Ocean's 11, with a cast of stars, the benefit is that if Star A doesn't want to do anymore, then Star B is elevated to lead and you bring someone new in.

Aside from the Vatican scenes in 3, there's been little that actually felt like Mission Impossible beyond the first film. but then it was never about making a Mission Impossible film series, it was only about giving Cruise the opportunity to be Bond. Shame really.
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Old August 24 2011, 10:43 AM   #5
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Re: Mission: Impossible (1996), Brian de Palma

Have to agree, that the 1st was the best film (thus far)
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Old August 24 2011, 02:22 PM   #6
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Re: Mission: Impossible (1996), Brian de Palma

Did I not post this in TV Media originally?

Huh, sleep deprivation does wonders to a man.

Anyway, yeah the lack of a team element hurts the movie as others said, I agree something more like an Ocean's 11 set-up would have been cooler. (It started out that way with the opening mission.)

But, as I said, the movie's espionage feel and look really was great plus the bit more complicated plot and just the use of music and atmosphere was good. The other movies basically became action movies and don't get me started on the John Woo mess that is the second one.

But, what sells me the most on the first one is the use of the them and the opening title sequence.
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Old August 24 2011, 02:41 PM   #7
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Re: Mission: Impossible (1996), Brian de Palma

Yeah the second one is terrible, and just plays like a vanity piece for Cruise considering for half the film Dougray Scott's villain is wearing an Ethan Hunt mask! The third one was at least better than the second, I'll give it that.

I'd agree that the look and feel of the first one work very well.
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Old August 24 2011, 03:06 PM   #8
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Re: Mission: Impossible (1996), Brian de Palma

de Palma's film is still terrible compared to the original show (and even to the 80s continuation), but it's lightyears ahead of the sequels by Woo and Abrams.

Ocean's Eleven really was more of a Mission Impossible movie than any of the actual M:I movies ever were.
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Old August 24 2011, 03:30 PM   #9
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Re: Mission: Impossible (1996), Brian de Palma

I couldn't agree more that the lack of team element was the biggest bugbear with the first movie and that the second movie was just terrible - I can't understand why reviewers give it such a good rating.

The set piece in the middle of the first movie was pretty cool but the rest was meh. Overuse of the face masks makes it a bit lamer too - I know they were a staple of the original series but I'd prefer something fresher and less cheesy.

My biggest beef was that, despite a promising start the IMF agents started acting like idiots as soon as the mission had to be aborted. Emilio got a great death but the others less so. From what I recall, the agents were ordered to go their separate ways and rendezvous later. One of them got into the getaway car rather than go her separate way and the driver was not even in the car at the time. Another went into a darkened alley after the target who must surely have just been attacked since one minute he was walking and the next he was on the ground. What was she thinking? Plus, I have no spy training but I still spotted the couple standing nearby and wondered if they might be a danger. Kristen also left herself with a limited escape route if they did prove to be a danger. Spies don't live long if they don't learn to go to ground.

Still, I would have forgiven the movie its faults if the air hostess at the end had been Kristen Scott-Thomas who had only been wounded and not killed in the opening scenes. Ah well.
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Old August 24 2011, 03:41 PM   #10
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Re: Mission: Impossible (1996), Brian de Palma

Starkers wrote: View Post
Yeah the second one is terrible, and just plays like a vanity piece for Cruise considering for half the film Dougray Scott's villain is wearing an Ethan Hunt mask! The third one was at least better than the second, I'll give it that.

I'd agree that the look and feel of the first one work very well.
I've never been a fan of Woo's look or style which is what hurt the second movie the most for me and it seemed to be trying too hard to "dumb down" the plot from the complexity of the first movie. Nor did I like Cruise with his drapey rat hair (which looks like he has again in the Fourth movie.)

And while I've never seen the series I'm sure the first movie -good as it is- pales compared to the series but, again, at least it tried to make an interesting and complicated espionage story. And, again, the server room scene is a modern day classic how often has that been imitated or alluded to over the last 15 years? Can't say that about any of the other M:I movies.

I'm cautious about the new one coming out. I've got some faith in Abram's ability as a filmmaker and his movie was at least decent. I just hope the story and espionage in it is more interesting than the movie just being a basic action film.

The set piece in the middle of the first movie was pretty cool but the rest was meh. Overuse of the face masks makes it a bit lamer too - I know they were a staple of the original series but I'd prefer something fresher and less cheesy.
I think there were only a couple of face-mask scenes in the first movie. The second movie, however, really over used them.
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Old August 24 2011, 03:56 PM   #11
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Re: Mission: Impossible (1996), Brian de Palma

I enjoyed all the M:I movies. Funnily enough, I never really liked the 60s series all that much (watchable, but nothing more), so I guess the difference in emphasis between series/movies never bothered me.

And the OP is right; the server room scene is a modern classic.
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Old August 24 2011, 04:38 PM   #12
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Re: Mission: Impossible (1996), Brian de Palma

i like all 3, but the 2 is definitely the worst of the three.

and, FYI, Trekker, the 4th one is being directed by Brad "The Incredibles" Bird, NOT Abrams.
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Old August 24 2011, 05:10 PM   #13
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Re: Mission: Impossible (1996), Brian de Palma

captcalhoun wrote: View Post
i like all 3, but the 2 is definitely the worst of the three.

and, FYI, Trekker, the 4th one is being directed by Brad "The Incredibles" Bird, NOT Abrams.
Oh, thought it was being done by Abrams. Be interesting, then, to see which way Brad Bird goes.
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Old August 25 2011, 02:57 AM   #14
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Re: Mission: Impossible (1996), Brian de Palma

^ Yeah, Brad Bird is directing but Abrams is still producing. The trailer's got his Bad Robot logo in front of it.

While I think it's cool that Simon Pegg is getting a bigger part in this one, I wish the rest of the assembled team from the last movie would come back-- Maggie Q, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, and especially Ving Rhames. Rhames is the only one besides Cruise to appear in all of the films so far, so it'll be weird without him. I'm also curious as to how they'll handle Ethan Hunt's wife in this one.

I really like the 1st movie, although I had a hard time understanding it the 1st time around. Whenever a 1990s thriller used the internet as a plot point, I always found it baffling (SEE ALSO The Net). There's also that kinda confusing sequence where Ethan tells Phelps how Kitritch was the traitor while simultaneously envisioning how Phelps killed the rest of the team.

It's a shame that the rest of the team got killed off so early on but I like how it's done in such a shocking way, making Ethan seem really isolated for the rest of the movie. While it's different from what Mission Impossible traditionally is, I think it was an effective introduction into a new breed of Mission Impossible. I also like Tom Cruise more than most people here seem to, so that helps.

Favorite line:
"I understand you're very upset."
"Kitritch, you've never seen me very upset."

I like that they started to build the team aspect again a bit more in M:I:III, even though that movie often feels more like a gender swapped version of Alias. I also like that they seem to be continuing that more team oriented trend in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.

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Yeah the second one is terrible, and just plays like a vanity piece for Cruise considering for half the film Dougray Scott's villain is wearing an Ethan Hunt mask!
And yet Scott STILL couldn't find time to do X-Men!

Overall, I'd say I like M:I-2 more than most of you. It's definately the weakest of the 3 but I have enough goodwill towards this franchise overall to see me through. Trekkie trivia: This was also the last project that Brannon Braga & Ronald D. Moore worked on together.

Actually, nearly all of the Mission Impossible incarnations have some kind of Star Trek connection. Leonard Nimoy was a regular on the original TV series for 1 year. J.J. Abrams directed M:I:III, cast Simon Pegg in a bit role, and the movie was the 1st film to be shot on the Enterprise soundstages after Enterprise was cancelled. Simon Pegg comes back for Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. The only ones I can't connect back to Star Trek yet are the 1980s revival and the 1st Tom Cruise Movie.
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Old August 25 2011, 03:01 AM   #15
Trekker4747
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Re: Mission: Impossible (1996), Brian de Palma

The Borgified Corpse wrote: View Post
^ Yeah, Brad Bird is directing but Abrams is still producing. The trailer's got his Bad Robot logo in front of it.
Okay. I saw the "Bad Robot" logo and I guess I just assumed Abrams was directing it as well as producing it since I didn't really even pay enough attention to the trailer to see who the director is.

I really like the 1st movie, although I had a hard time understanding it the 1st time around. Whenever a 1990s thriller used the internet as a plot point, I always found it baffling (SEE ALSO The Net). There's also that kinda confusing sequence where Ethan tells Phelps how Kitritch was the traitor while simultaneously envisioning how Phelps killed the rest of the team.
The scene with Ethan picturing Phelps committing the murders while speaking as-if Kitritch did them is pretty confusing. You've got to sort of think outside of your own mind to understand that as it sort-of violates the whole thing where a movie explains things to you in a clear manner.

Watching it, yeah, also reminded me what a "pivotal" role the internet played in it and how it's treated in this movie and I still don't even think I full understood what Ethan did and why but it seems like he was searching through a bunch of old-school bulletin boards/usernet groups with the search string "Job 3:16" and then emailing/p-ming all of the people on the various boards he came across with that address?

Are there usernet groups out there for each verse of the bible? Is Job 3:16 that popular? How man "Max@Job 3:16" people were out there in 1996? How is that address working and not making the entire infrastructure of the internet wanting to strangle him?

And what sort of lame-ass search engine was he using where "Job 316" turns up nothing but "Job 3:16" does?

Man, the internet sucked in 1996!

The Net is another old-school good one. I'm gonna have to find that one in a bargain bin.

Yes this:


Is what a lonely, single, woman who works completely in her own home on the internet looked like in 1996.

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