Welcome to The Mission: Impossible Series! Rogue Nation is only days away from it’s release date, and there is no better time to get re-aquatinted with the Impossible Missions Force (IMF). Mission: Impossible is a re-birth, perhaps not the re-birth fans were hoping for, but it most certainly gave birth to a new era of missions that are frankly, impossible.
So, did you know that Mission: Impossible was a TV series that ran from 1966-1973? Paramount Pictures owned the rights to said TV series, and it was only until Tom Cruise’s production company, Tom/Wagner Productions teamed up with it, that a re-brith would become a reality. Now the Mission: Impossible franchise has grossed over $2 Billion.
Today, as we look back to this iconic spy thriller, it’s fair to say that there is a steady fan base. But, when this film was released, the existing fan-base for the original TV series, for the most part, were not pleased at all. Interestingly a few original cast members were asked to cameo and even reprise their roles, but they all declined because they did not agree with the path the filmmakers had chosen. Mission: Impossible employs trademark moments from the original TV seres, like the self-destructing messages, the man in a face mask, and the catchy Lalo Schifrin tune, but it is truly a re-creation of what came before, and it worked.
Setting aside the impossible nature of this film, and the convoluted plot line, this is an entertaining movie. Who doesn’t want to see a seemingly cool team of people go on an adventure that involves espionage, serious risk, and that at the outset is labeled as impossible? The mission is impossible, but there is more, there are twists, intense performances, and intense action. Plus some convincing stunt work from non-other than Tom Cruise (Ethan Hunt) himself. As a side note, he is at it again, in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Tom Cruise chose to perform a crazy stunt, one were he hangs off the side of a plane, he actually did this for real!
To be praised is the cinematography and editing. Brian De Palma’s artistic flare and creative filmmaking techniques shine in this film. Watching the film, 19 years on, it has aged well, apart from the shockingly out-dated technology and wardrobe. One scene that stood out to me takes place at night in Prague. Apparently it took two weeks of preparation to get the lighting right for this scene. Eleven generators powering hundreds of lights, to generate a result so grand that many local photographers arrived in droves to get a shot of their beloved city as they’d never seen it before.
What makes Mission: Impossible so entertaining is that is choses to do things the hard way, and it manages to maintain a believability about it. With great use of practical effects it stands tall as a genre-shaping film. I did not like the climatic helicopter chase sequence, and I couldn’t help but laugh when said helicopter enters a tunnel, it looks fake and comes across as comedic. Remember when James Cameron actually got a stunt pilot to fly a helicopter under a highway bridge? That was cool. I almost wish this helicopter scene wasn’t in this film…
Mission: Impossible is a treat that manages to entertain and generate intrigue. Will Rogue Nation be as good? What do you think?
TRIVIA COOKIES: Emilio Estevez is in this film. He is uncredited. Eight years earlier, Tom Cruise also appeared in an Emilio Estevez film, uncredited. “Now we are even”, must’ve exclaimed Cruise.
Tom Cruise also performed the now famous stunt were he hangs from the ceiling and manages to hover inches off the ground. To get this right, Tom Cruise added weight to his shoes by putting coins inside. Apparently he kept on hitting the floor with his head. I wander if there are any on-video takes of this!? Anybody know?