Over twenty years after it starts, the action franchise that is Mission: Impossible begins in a film that is anything but what the current movies look like. The 90s film that starts it all introduces us to Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise). A spy with a covert and elite agency, Ethan comes off one mission with near death consequences only to be pulled into another by team leader, Jim Phelps (Jon Voight). When their latest mission goes sideways and his entire team, save for Ethan, dies, he becomes the punching bag. Agent Kittridge (Henry Czerny) is all too eager to chase him and pin the blame on him.
This sends Ethan scrambling and into hiding, only their former safe house isn’t so safe when Claire (Emmanuelle Béart), one of his team members, shows up alive and well.
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The first in a franchise that is, believe it or not, still running today. Mission: Impossible is VERY different than the recognizable movies they produce today. The seventh has a release date for 2023, with a ‘part two’ to follow the next year. All this to say, this launched a franchise, audiences seem to love perhaps helped by the fact that its star Tom Cruise enjoyed a career hype post Top Gun. Whatever the reason, this adaptation of the concept, first made famous by a 1960s TV show, did become a whole thing.
The film just isn’t nearly as high concept or polished as later action films. That said, there is still quite a few moments of cool imagery or stunts (including one with a helicopter!). What the film does poorly is its silence or scenes that perhaps linger too much. Some of the acting highlights these flaws too. The opening in particular is blasé without understanding of how to introduce a character; perhaps hindered by not realizing what Hunt would become. Overall, Mission: Impossible is good even if only to watch it knowing what it inspires.
Additionally you’ll see longtime cast member for Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, who is, I’m pretty sure, one of the fan favorite characters! There’s excitement and questions, and of course, plenty of espionage moments as we watch the team take on the baddies. There’s the typical walk-away decision by the end as well, though of course, we all know Ethan Hunt has lots of missions yet.
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You can find Mission: Impossible to buy or rent digitally on Amazon Video or find with your Paramount+ add on; or at publication, it’s with Netflix.
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Content: there is some profanity and death. Someone is shot (twice), a car blows up with someone inside and a woman is stabbed. Nothing is overly graphic but if you don’t like violence, there is that. Mostly, nothing gets too bloody.