Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Three Mission: Impossibles

Tom Cruise stars as Ethan Hunt, a secret agent framed for the deaths of his espionage team. Fleeing from government assassins, breaking into the CIA's most impenetrable vault, clinging to the roof of a speeding bullet train, Hunt races like a burning fuse to stay one step ahead of his pursuers...and draw one step closer to discovering the shocking truth.

Title: Mission Impossible
Release: May 22, 1996
Genre: Action- Spy
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Based On: Mission Impossible (TV series) by Bruce Gellar
Writer: David Koepp, Steven Zaillian, & Robert Towne
Director: Brian De Palma
Music By: Danny Elfman
Produced By: Paula Wagner & Tom Cruise
Distributed By: Paramount Pictures
Run Time: 110 minutes

A popular British TV series called Mission: Impossible starring Peter Graves from 1966 to 1973 was adapted for the big screen in 1996 and unlike the TV show, it was to focus mainly on one character: Ethan Hunt. He was to be played by the blockbuster actor Tom Cruise who was also one of the producers for the film. Mission: Impossible was to be one of the most popular action movie franchises in the 1990's and director Brian De Palma's biggest career break to date.

Before Tom Cruise went all weird, he was actually one of my favorite actors thanks to the marvelous job he did portraying many, many, amazing characters- my favorite of which is Anne Rice's Lestat in Interview with the Vampire. While he is the main character, Mr. Cruise wasn’t the only great actor in the film; Jon Voight plays an interesting character as well. I can't say that I've followed Jon Voight's career closely but I have enjoyed many of the films he has been a supporting character in lately (like National Treasure). The character he plays was the main character in the original series and because of how Jim Phelps was handled; none of the other characters from the show took up the offer of cameos in the film.

I did enjoy Tom Crusie’s action film a lot but there was one part of the film that I not only found unbelievable but it also seem unnecessary too: the face yanking off thing was a bit much. I prefer my spy and/or assassin movies a little more realistic. I actually didn't see the ending coming but to be honest, I got a little lost during a few parts of the film. I still think Jason Bourne and his movies beats Ethan Hunt easily any day.

Last year I watched all four Die Hards for the first time and really liked most of them. I finally decided it was time to give Mission: Impossible franchise a chance too. After all, the trilogy has been ingrained into our pop culture so there must be something good about it! While this was not my favorite film, (I think I prefer Die Hard and the Jason Bourne movies more), I was very pleasantly surprised with the first Mission: Impossible. Hmm, maybe I should finally check out those James Bond movies next and see what all the fuss is about there too...

Links: Wikipedia,, Fanpop




The world's greatest spy returns in the movie event of the year, M:I-2. Top action director John Woo brings his own brand of excitement to the mission that finds Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) partnering up with the beautiful Nyah Hall (Thandie Newton) to stop renegade agent Sean Ambrose (Dougray Scott) from releasing a new kind of terror on an unsuspecting world. But before the mission is complete, they'll traverse the globe and have to choose between everything they love and everything they believe in.

Title: Mission Impossible II
Release: May 24, 2000
Genre: Action- Spy
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Based On: Mission Impossible (TV Series) by Bruce Geller
Writer: Ronald D. Moore, Brannon Braga & Robert Towne
Director: John Woo
Music By: Hans Zimmer
Produced By: Paula Wagner & Tom Cruise
Distributed By: Paramount Pictures
Run Time: 123 minutes

Mission: Impossible II is of course the sequel to the action blockbuster four years previously directed by Brian de Palma. This Mission: Impossible however is directed by the Hong Kong filmmaker John Woo but it still stars Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt. Also, it was the highest grossing picture worldwide made in 2000, beating out Gladiator (which went on to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards).

As in the first film, there were a few times I found myself a little confused because of some of the plot holes but I found out later its because Mr. Woo had originally intended the film to be a little over 3 hours long and the studio objected. There is just way too much action and “impossible” stunts to think to hard about errors though. However, at least for me, some of the more "manly" stunts are actually more funny than cool. The whole motorbike thing near the end was skillfully performed but it did remind me of a jousting match and I thought some of the martial arts stuff lasted WAY too long too.

The plot for M:I: II isn’t much more sophisticated than the first but it sure is full of action sequences! Lots of stuff is blown up, chase scenes, characters in peril, and neat stunts (many of which Cruise insisted on doing himself). I still thought there was way too much of that face-pulling-off shtick but it looks much more advanced in this film thanks to the use of green screen. I was very surprised to see Anthony Hopkins play a small cameo as Mission Commander Swanbeck but he (and Ving Rhames) has some of the best lines in the entire film and he is the first person to ever use the phrase "mission impossible" in any of the films or the TV show for that matter.

Links: Wikipedia,, Script


Making of Soundtrack:



Super-spy Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has retired from active duty to trains new IMF agents. But he is called back into action to confront the toughest villain he's ever faced - Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman), an international weapons and information provider with no remorse and no conscience. Hunt assembles his team - his old friend Luther Strickell (Ving Rhames), transportation expert Declan (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), background operative Zhen (Maggie Q), and fresh recruit Lindsey (Keri Russell) - to travel the globe pursuing Davian and rescue Hunt's love, Julia (Michelle Monaghan).

Title: Mission Impossible III
Release: May 5, 2006
Genre: Action- Spy
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Writer: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, & J. J. Abrams
Director: J. J. Abrams
Music By: Michael Giacchino
Produced By: Tom Cruise & Paula Wagner
Distributed By: Paramount Pictures
Run Time: 126 minutes
Official Site

2006 was the year of the sequels with film continuations of the Superman, Pirates of the Caribbean, Ice Age, James Bond, and X-men franchises but it was also the year that Mission: Impossible III came out. Directed by J. J. Abrams, the creator/ writer/ director of the TV show Lost and Felicity; the third Mission shows Ethan Hunt (played by Tom Cruise) a little older, a little more domesticated, and still in as much trouble as usual.

Due to many reasons but mostly because of actor Tom Cruise’s antics at the time, this was the first Mission: Impossible to not make it in the top five grossing films of the year. However, in my opinion, this is the best of the three films even if there are a few slow spots. No offense to the other two major bad guys in the other two films but Philip Seymour Hoffman is also the best villain of the franchise. He’s just a guy that you love to hate!

While I thought it was the best of the three films story-wise and there are tons of action sequences, I did notice that those sequences weren’t quite as natural looking as in the first two. It seemed to be about bigger and better and that’s not always a good thing. Still, I found that very easy to overlook since the plot flows seamlessly and the actors were really good- especially Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Declan Gormley. He nearly manages to outshine Ethan Hunt and that is a real accomplishment.

Links: Wikipedia,, AOL Moviefone


JRM Interview:


  1. great review! I like the MI movies, I think Tom Cruise plays the part so well.

  2. I took my son and a friend of his to see the first MI movie - they must have been 9 or 10 at the time. I never could figure out what was going on in the movie, but they claimed they understood it.

  3. I don't think I have ever seen all three of these, but I can't remember what ones I have seen and what ones I haven't anymore...

  4. Great review, Jen!
    I'd only watched the first two movies so far... I might want to watch the third in DVD.

  5. I've awarded you with a Premio Dardas Award. Check out my blog for details :)

  6. Naida: Thank you! I think he makes a good spy-guy whether or not he's now a little crazy.

    Bermudaonion: I refused to see any of them for the longest time but since I recently started watching films that I had skipped I knew I needed to see it.

    Kailana: I know how that is. They start blending together after a little bit.

    Melody: Thanks. I really liked the third the best. Hope you do get to see it!

    Wendy: Thank you! I'll come by and check that out.

  7. These are fun films, and, I agree, the third one really was the best. I am more a Mission Impossible TV show fan (both the old and the short lived updated version) though.



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