Thursday, January 5, 2012

"Mission: Impossible" a contemporary classic spy thriller

BASIC INFO:
TITLE: "Mission: Impossible"
YEAR OF RELEASE: 1996
DIRECTOR: Brian De Palma
STARS: Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Jean Reno, Ving Rhames
EDITOR: Paul Hirsch
AWARDS: N/A
BOX OFFICE: $456,494,803 (USA)
RUN TIME: 110 min.
RATING: PG-13
VIEWING FORMAT: DVD

SUMMARY:
When American secret agent Ethan Hunt (Cruise), is falsely accused of being a mole and assassin, he must go rogue to prove his innocence. To do so, he must steal secret documents from his agency and sell them on the black market, all without endangering the lives of his comrades.

WHY THIS IS THE FILM OF THE WEEK:
Often times, movie rehashes of television shows fail on many levels. The mixture of playing to tradition and audience expectations tends to leave a film dead in the water. For "Mission: Impossible" De Palma decided to make the film almost a completely separate entity, and ended up with what is often times considered one of the best American spy films ever made.

The project went into production without a finished script. De Palma worked on the plot while shooting the action set pieces. Another interesting tid-bit, is that Tom Cruise performed many of his own stunts, in order to save time and money. Ultimately, the film finished under-budget.

Many of the original cast was upset that the film had little to do with the television series from the 1960's, though the decision to essentially reboot the series (before reboots were popular) led the film to break numerous box office records, and spawn a hugely successful film franchise.

CRITIQUE:
"Mission: Impossible" changed the way audiences expected their spy movies. Since its release, the James Bond franchise, and many new spy franchises, have learned from its success, and used its tactics. The taught, intense sequences peppered throughout the action sequences helped this film to give audiences more than they expected.

The whole series has been well acted, well shot, well choreographed, and all entries have presented fun stories to the modern American audience. This writer still thinks the first is the best though. It has so much more than action. It is a thriller. It is romantic. It is sentimental. This film, is unforgettable.

MY IMDb RATING:  8 out of 10


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