Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read through the first of the “Mission: Impossible” reviews from Scene Before. More are on the way, such as “Mission: Impossible 2,” a movie whose review shall be published a month after this one. As always, should you or any of your Force be caught or killed, the Movie Reviewing Moron will disavow any of your actions. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.
“Mission: Impossible” is directed by Brian De Palma (The Untouchables, Dressed to Kill) and stars Tom Cruise (Top Gun, Risky Business) as an American agent who goes by the name Ethan Hunt. In this movie which is inspired by the television series of the same name, Hunt must find out who framed him for murder of the entire Impossible Missions Force.
This is the first movie of the ongoing Tom Cruise “Mission: Impossible” series, and I imagine there’s a good number of people out there like myself who has seen this movie or another movie in the series and couldn’t compare it to the original TV series. As far as which incarnation is better, I can’t say, but I can say that this movie is super thrilling! Let’s dive into it a bit deeper.
The movie starts off with the crew on a mission. One character, Jack, played by Emilio Estevez (Young Guns, Repo Man), is watching the surveillance, doing his job, and we see one guy in a white tank top being interrogated. The guy asking all the questions is Tom Cruise who eventually reveals his true self, Ethan Hunt by taking his snobby, Spanish-looking Agent Smith mask off. We see Tom Cruise going over to Claire, played by Emmanuelle Béart (Nelly & Monsieur Arnaud, 8 Women), injecting a needle, then we hear Claire, all bloodied up, asking Ethan, “Did we get it?” Ethan responds, “We got it.” Great exchange, great timing, and a great transition to the title sequence featuring the endlessly famous “Mission: Impossible” theme song. Just… perfect. That’s all I gotta say. The intro doesn’t really show all too much except for major characters, but the transition from the intro to the main events of the movie probably couldn’t have been done better.
The “Mission: Impossible” theme used for this movie by the way, was composed by none other than Danny Elfman, and if you have known me, I love Danny Elfman. I will say that sometimes his scores are somewhat underwhelming and don’t deliver the goods that they should (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Justice League), but when his scores are well done from my personal view, they stand out like Marilyn Monroe in a beauty pageant. Elfman from my personal view did a fine job on the movie’s score and this is definitely one of his better ones. Although one interesting thing about it is that it wasn’t supposed to be his.
Alan Silvestri, another terrific composer who has new work coming out in films such as “Ready Player One,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” and “The Women of Marwen,” was originally supposed to do the score, but his was ultimately rejected. That’s not to say that Danny Elfman made a bad score, I think it is very well done. But I listened to Alan Silvestri’s “Mission: Impossible” theme, and I think it is an interesting rival to Elfman’s. For how this movie turned out, I gotta say that Elfman’s is a bit more appropriate for something like this, but Silvestri’s is just killer. The reason why Elfman’s theme works for this movie is because the movie had an intro that made it feel like we were watching TV, and his song was short and effective. Silvestri’s felt really grand and epic at times, especially with the drums. I’ve been looking around online and I don’t think there’s been a single announcement as to who will officially score “Mission: Impossible: Fallout.” Silvestri’s got some stuff up his sleeve as we speak, but I would love to see him come back and score this upcoming movie with the use of his own theme that would have been inserted back in 1996 if no conflict got in the way. By the way, be sure to let me know which of the two “Mission: Impossible” themes you prefer: Elfman’s or Silvestri’s.
Funny thing about these themes is, I gave a compliment to the Elfman one for feeling like a TV show and that is something I usually DON’T want in my movies. The rest of the movie feels like a film, but with this TV-like theme, I can’t help but praise it.
Now I talked a little bit about Tom Cruise here, but I can’t really say I’ve dived into too much depth about him. Tom Cruise’s character of Ethan Hunt has defined the movie and Cruise probably had no idea how much this character would make a newfound path in his acting career. Cruise delivers a fine performance as Hunt in this movie. It’s believable, you feel his pain, you buy him as this agent and his performance maintains a fine line between fun and serious which totally worked for the movie. A couple of other standout characters include Luther, played by Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction, ER) and Jim Phelps, played by Jon Voight.
Fun fact about Jon Voight by the way, he would have never been in this movie if it weren’t for one thing. Believe it or not, Voight wasn’t the goto as for who would be cast as this character. If you watch the original show and its revival (where he appears as only original cast member to return), you’d know that the character of Phelps is played by none other than Peter Graves and there was a point where he found out about some actions that his character did in the movie. Once he found out about them, he didn’t want to be a part of the project.
Now let’s get to the best part of the movie, and it is probably the part that you all know about if you’ve seen the film, or maybe even if you haven’t seen it, and it’s the wire sequence. Like, holy crap! This is my second time watching this movie, and my jaw literally dropped! Tom’s performance in here is pristine! He’s silent, he’s mentally terrified, but also somewhat determined. The suspense levels during this scene just happens to be unbelievable! It has the environment, if you can call it that, of a library, but it also has the feel of a boxing match! I talked about the music in this movie and how well done it was, but there’s barely any music during this sequence and the movie as a whole is all the better for it! Just… wow! My favorite Tom Cruise movie is “Risky Business,” but if you ask me which scene from a Tom Cruise movie might be the best, this one, I cannot guarantee is my favorite, but it’s certainly a contender, I need to probably make a conclusive list before I decide whether or not it is my favorite.
Also, it’s not just Tom Cruise who has the spotlight here in this scene, some of it is given to a minor character by the name of William Donloe, played by Rolf Saxon (Saving Private Ryan, Woman in Gold). In this scene, he headed to the secure area where Cruise is downloading files, but the fact that he pretty much had a bad meal allows Cruise, conveniently, to carry on the mission with slightly less worries.
In the end, “Mission: Impossible” the second time around actually turned out to be better than the first time. I didn’t hate it the first time, but I’m just saying. “Mission: Impossible” is certainly a fun movie, but at the same time, somewhat dramatic. The tone works overall. On one hand you have a story where the main character has to deal with his crew dying, and on the other hand, you have a story where that same character fights someone on a train with a wind machine going at 140 miles per hour so his face gets distorted, a speed so fast that Tom Cruise himself approved of it because wind at that speed could possibly knock him off the train. The more I find out about this movie and the more I think about it, the more interesting it gets. I’m gonna give “Mission: Impossible” an 8/10. This in my mind, is currently a low 8 on a scale of 1-10, but this could increase overtime. It would probably be a 7 though if less passion were injected and less standout moments and characters were inserted into the final product. I’m honestly willing to bet that next time I’ll watch it, I’ll like it even more. And speaking of products…
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WTIVF? YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCILXSidkzWgwrQ5Oa1py78w/featured?disable_polymer=1
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Thanks for reading this review! April is on the way! “Ready Player One” is out! I’m probably gonna catch it in 70mm! Quite a time to be alive! Not only that, but April will also be the month where I continue this series of reviews and focus on “Mission: Impossible II!” Stay tuned for that, and also I want to let everyone know that I made a part 2 to a post I made back in November which got a decent amount of hits, “What the Heck Is Up with Justice League?” In this new post, I talk about the movie’s box office total, how it is shockingly low for the kind of movie it is, and I even give a sense of wonder as to where the Detective Comics Extended Universe could be going from here. The link to that is down below, be sure to check it out, and be sure to follow me here on WordPress so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see the 1996 “Mission: Impossible?” Let me know your thoughts if you did! Do you think the movies or the TV shows are superior? I actually kinda really want to know since I never watched the show on TV. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!
WHAT THE HECK IS UP WITH JUSTICE LEAGUE (2017)? *PART 2*: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2018/03/24/what-the-heck-is-up-with-justice-league-2017-part-2/