Author Topic: Mission: Impossible (1996)  (Read 2094 times)

Paul Phoenix

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Mission: Impossible (1996)
« on: June 04, 2015, 11:06:48 PM »
Granted. I've never watched the original TV series. Just like how I've never watched the original Bond films or read the books before watching Goldeneye. But sometimes, a movie just grow onto you without pandering to the 'true fans' of the original work. While this 'modern' take on the campy series definitely shed its old skin and took on a different tone (until Ghost Protocol anyway), I absolutely loved it as a kid. I loved the intrigue, the confusing plot, the twists, turns, and double-dealings and double-agent-ing. It was so much more fun. And that helicopter destruction made Ethan more badass for me than Bond during my childhood because Daniel Craig didn't come along yet. I still roleplayed that scene in my bedroom, including the part where the helicopter blade nearly sliced his throat.

Of course, this movie fell into obscurity over the years as far as I know. And I never understood that. Tom Cruise was charming and charismatic enough to pass off as Bond. Unlike the later films (particularly the third one), I could really feel that this was a young spy with nothing to lose in a spy movie that comes with all the excitement, danger and suspense such a movie would have, especially the 'danger' part. Think of the noir detective fictions back in the day with the betrayals, femme fatale, close encounters and suave heroes. Bond and Hunt brought that kind of enjoyment in me those fictions did back then. "Thriller" is a good word to describe these stories.

But after that, the producers decided to take the franchise in a different direction, and I never liked it as much as the first one. Having said that, M:I:II had its badass moments (the scene with the 'mumbling' Stamp, for example, was my favorite M:I scene), and M:I:III was terrific with the way it played with Hunt not being able to have a proper relationship, and Philip Seymour Hoffman made for a formidable and imposing villain that I was able to take seriously (unlike a certain baldy stroking a white cat). But as quality as those sequels can be, I just never felt like I took to them the way I did to the first one. I know this is because the filmmakers were changed over the course of four movies (and also in the fifth one), but there's just a kind of melancholy felt by me when I can't see more of this kind of Impossible again because the creators felt it was 'the wrong direction'. Such a shame.

Regardless of the newer Impossible movies, this Mission will remain my favorite in the franchise, and I wouldn't mind paying it a visit or more in the future.
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Junior

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Re: Mission: Impossible (1996)
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2015, 12:30:25 AM »
You and I just aren't going to agree on anything, are we? Outside a few fun moments I have nothing but blah feelings about M:I and M:I:II. The third and fourth entries, though, are really fun and have a pretty cool vibe of their own that I like to see. It's the teamwork, I think, that gets me the most excited about these later movies, which is a thing that doesn't happen with Bond or Bourne or anybody else.
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Bondo

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Re: Mission: Impossible (1996)
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2015, 01:05:26 AM »
I consider the first head and shoulders above the rest.

Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Mission: Impossible (1996)
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2015, 05:06:01 AM »
When the first one had Phelp's as the bad guy, taking a huge dump on the TV series, the first one lost me. I have still seen the subsequent films and enjoyed them to varying degrees, but I hold the first one in a special kind of contempt.

Paul Phoenix

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Re: Mission: Impossible (1996)
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2015, 08:47:45 AM »
You and I just aren't going to agree on anything, are we? Outside a few fun moments I have nothing but blah feelings about M:I and M:I:II. The third and fourth entries, though, are really fun and have a pretty cool vibe of their own that I like to see. It's the teamwork, I think, that gets me the most excited about these later movies, which is a thing that doesn't happen with Bond or Bourne or anybody else.
Yeah, I'm just not a fun guy. I don't like 'fun' movies. They just aren't my thing. Not anymore. The fun movies I did like usually have something more than just 'fun' to offer. Whether these newer movies are quality of not, movies like "Guardians of the Galaxy" just make me snooze. Sorry.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2015, 08:51:09 AM by Paul Phoenix »
"I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone." - Lance Clayton (played by Robin Williams), World's Greatest Dad

Eternally seeking variety. 'Tis the spice of life for me.

smirnoff

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Re: Mission: Impossible (1996)
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2015, 10:34:20 AM »
What sets the MI series apart for me is that regardless of the quality of the films as a whole, each of them contain at least one sequence which is truly world-class.

Another aspect of the series I really enjoy is that it's never just Hunt vs the world. He has a team.

Paul Phoenix

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Re: Mission: Impossible (1996)
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2015, 05:44:14 AM »
Another aspect of the series I really enjoy is that it's never just Hunt vs the world. He has a team.
True, but most of the IMF characters aside from Hunt in the other movies just didn't leave as much an impression on me. Ving Rhames was fun, but I always felt like he's a token comic relief thrown in just to have someone reappear in every film.

In the first film, you have Jon Voight as Jim Phelps and Jean Reno as Franz Krieger, and even though they were villains, they were still such fun characters to watch... for myself. :-\ Jon Voight made an especially imposing villain whose character I still consider to be much better than Owen Davian in Mission III. Oh, and Vanessa Redgrave as Max! How cool was that? What ever happened to that character anyway? And before I forget, there's also the best character in the first film aside from Hunt - Henry Czerny as Kittridge. God, I loved him. Such an a**hole, but a fun a**hole. Too bad we never got to see him again either, disappear down the black hole like Max.

So yes, the team was indeed a memorable aspect of the franchise, but only the first film for me. Mission III had Philip Seymour Hoffman pulling the acting weight around the movie, but the rest just was kinda 'meh'. Tom Cruise was at his a-game in that one though.

Anyway, I'm gonna watch this movie soon, the '96 first Mission. I rewatched the trailer just now, and god, I love it. Adrenaline-pumping greatness. So different from the tone of the actual film but I still love it!


"You've never seen me very upset."
- Hunt in the first film to Kittridge

Perhaps Kittridge should return to see Ethan very upset. ;D
« Last Edit: June 14, 2015, 05:57:30 AM by Paul Phoenix »
"I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone." - Lance Clayton (played by Robin Williams), World's Greatest Dad

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jdc

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Re: Mission: Impossible (1996)
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2015, 08:25:00 AM »
It has been a long time I have seen the first one but my main issue with it was that they had to explain a series of eventa to the audience by some flashback where it is explained to Ethan.  Maybe a pet peeve, but I get distracted when a film has to explain what is happening to me by it having to be explained to the main character.  Vanilla Sky does it x10.  But overall, I liked the first one over 2 and 4.  Part 3 is helped by a great performance by PSH which just makes it enjoyable to watch. 
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Paul Phoenix

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Re: Mission: Impossible (1996)
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2015, 08:42:58 AM »
It has been a long time I have seen the first one but my main issue with it was that they had to explain a series of eventa to the audience by some flashback where it is explained to Ethan.
Hm? Which flashback? The one where Ethan recollects the past events and realizes Jim Phelps is the traitor?

I think the one advantage the first film had that the others didn't was that... I never really bought Tom Cruise as a greater action star than the first one. In all the other M:I films, he just felt... weightier, a little more sluggish. In the first one, on the other hand, he's still the hotshot Maverick who can kick all kinds of ass, jumping from one corner to another like Daniel Craig in "Casino Royale". It's probably just me, but I never saw Tom Cruise the same ever again past year 2000. Not sure what is it about his physique that bothers me.
"I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone." - Lance Clayton (played by Robin Williams), World's Greatest Dad

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jdc

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Re: Mission: Impossible (1996)
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2015, 08:52:36 AM »
It has been a long time I have seen the first one but my main issue with it was that they had to explain a series of eventa to the audience by some flashback where it is explained to Ethan.
Hm? Which flashback? The one where Ethan recollects the past events and realizes Jim Phelps is the traitor?




Yes, I believe it is that.  There are a series of events where his team gets killed I believe and he figures it out later in a series of flashbacks.  But he really really see what happened in the first place so it was explained to him and then he looked back in his mind and envisioned the missing pieces.  But honestly, it has been too long for me to now remember how it exactly happened.  I would have to go find the scene again but don't have the ability to do it from here.

It's probably just me, but I never saw Tom Cruise the same ever again past year 2000. Not sure what is it about his physique that bothers me.

Magnolia is his only standout for me.  MI 3 is all about PSH, which he got a few more chances to play some bad ass characters but not really in these type of films.
"Beer. Now there's a temporary solution."  Homer S.
“The direct use of physical force is so poor a solution to the problem of limited resources that it is commonly employed only by small children and great nations” - David Friedman

 

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