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Mission Impossible (1996)

After finishing a mission in Kiev, Jim Phelps and his latest IMF team are sent to Prague to stop rogue agent Alexander Golitsyn from stealing the CIA NOC list. However, the mission unexpectedly fails after the list is stolen and the team is killed one by one, along with Golitsyn, leaving Phelps's pointman Ethan Hunt the only survivor.

Mission Impossible (1996)

Hunt is debriefed by IMF director Eugene Kittridge in a restaurant. Hunt realizes that another IMF team was present during the mission and learns that the operation was a setup to lure out a mole within the IMF with the help of Golitsyn, who was posing as the rogue agent. The mole is believed to be working with an arms dealer named "Max" as part of "Job 314". Realizing that Kittridge suspects he is the mole, Hunt escapes by using exploding chewing gum given to him before the mission.

After returning to the Prague safe house, Hunt realizes "Job 314" actually refers to Bible verse Job 3:14 with "Job" being the mole's code name. Phelps's wife Claire, thought to have been killed during the mission, arrives at the safe house, explaining that before his death, Phelps warned her that they were compromised which enabled her escape. Hunt arranges a meeting with Max to warn her that the NOC list she has is fake and equipped with a tracking device. Max realizes that Hunt was telling the truth and they escape a raid by Kittridge's team. Hunt convinces Max that he can obtain the real NOC list in exchange for $10 million and Job's true identity.

On the train, Hunt directs Max to the list and she sends him to the baggage car where the money and Job are located. Meanwhile, Stickell uses a jamming device to prevent Max from uploading the list to her servers. Claire goes to the car to collect her share of the money from Phelps, only to realize that he is really Hunt in disguise. When the real Phelps arrives and takes the money at gunpoint, Hunt sends a live video of the confrontation to Kittridge, exposing Phelps as the mole. Claire tries to reason with her husband but Phelps kills her and climbs to the train's roof, where Krieger is waiting with a helicopter. As Phelps attempts to climb onto the helicopter using a tether, Hunt hooks it onto the train, preventing Krieger from flying away and forcing the helicopter into the Channel Tunnel. He uses another piece of exploding chewing gum to blow the chopper up, killing Phelps and Krieger. Kittridge takes Max into custody and recovers the NOC list from Stickell. As he and Stickell are reinstated back in the IMF, Hunt is unsure about returning to the team. On the flight home, an attendant approaches him and asks if he is ready to take on a new mission as team leader.

Cruise approved the script for a showdown to take place on top of a moving train. The actor wanted to use France's high-speed train for filming, the TGV, but the rail authorities objected.[6][7] Thus, De Palma visited railroads on two continents, trying to find a suitable location elsewhere.[7] Cruise decided to dine with the TGV owners, and the following day, the crew were given permission.[6] For the actual sequence, Cruise wanted the wind powerful enough that could blow him off the train. Cruise had difficulty finding the right machine to create the wind velocity that would look visually accurate before remembering a simulator he used while training as a skydiver. The only machine of its kind in Europe was located and acquired. Cruise had it produce winds up to 140 miles per hour so it would distort his face.[6] Exterior shots of the train were filmed on the Glasgow South Western Line, between New Cumnock, Dumfries and Annan. Most of the sequence, however, was filmed at Pinewood Studios against a blue screen and was later digitized by Industrial Light & Magic.[14]

The film's promotion in Germany was complicated by Bavarian Minister-President Edmund Stoiber's ban of Scientologists from joining the state civil service.[24] In response to Tom Cruise's affiliation with the religion, members of the ruling CDU/CSU spoke out against the film and its youth organization the Junge Union boycotted it. The Church of Scientology International responded that it had not invested in the film and that it was part of a pattern of religious discrimination by German authorities.[25] The boycott was also criticized by the U.S. State Department and the United Nations Human Rights Commission after fellow Scientologist John Travolta arranged a meeting with U.S. President Bill Clinton and National Security Advisor Sandy Berger.[24][26] The Church later published an open letter to Chancellor Helmut Kohl in the International Herald Tribune written by Bert Fields comparing German boycotts of Scientologist celebrities such as Cruise to Nazi book burnings.[26]

Because "Mission: Impossible" was directed by Brian De Palma, a master of genre thrillers and sly Hitchcockian wit ("Blow Out," "Body Double"), it's a nearly impossible mission to take the plot seriously.

There are so many double-reverses in the first half hour that we learn to accept nothing at face value (not even faces, since they may be elaborate latex masks). And the momentum of the visuals prevents us from asking logical questions, such as, is physically copying a computer file onto another disc the only way to steal it? (My colleague Rich Elias has written that the obvious solution for the CIA would have been to hire Robert Redford's team from "Sneakers" to commit an online theft.) "Mission: Impossible" is all slick surface and technical skill. The characters are not very interesting (except for Vanessa Redgrave, as an information broker, and Jon Voight, who expresses a touching world-weariness in a film too impatient for weariness of any kind). The plot is impossible to follow. The various strategies of Cruise and his allies and foes don't stand up under scrutiny. And none of that matters.

No matter. The train goes fast, and the helicopter follows it right under the Channel, and De Palma's special effects (by Industrial Light and Magic) are clever for obscuring the scale involved, since a helicopter's blades would obviously not fit into the tunnel -- but then why am I quibbling, since the whole stunt is obviously impossible?

The big-screen MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE may not have the campy sensibility of its TV predecessor (which ran from 1966-1973), but it generates plenty of nail-biting suspense while capturing the overall spirit of the spy genre, complete with really cool high-tech gadgets. The setting is Prague, behind the old Iron Curtain, when the lives of Eastern European operatives are at risk. When a mission goes horribly wrong, secret agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is marked as a mole and hunted by the CIA. Now a fugitive, Hunt must track down the true double agent and a computer disk in order to clear his name.

this and mission: impossible II are the only ones in the series where it feels like tom cruise's character has had sex; afterwards, ethan hunt has solely devoted all of his libido into accomplishing increasingly-impressive stunts

So it is with the Mission: Impossible movies, whose most recent entries have established familiar norms for the series. There are regular cast members (Tom Cruise of course, but also Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, and Ving Rhames) while Christopher McQuarrie, with the two upcoming sequels, will now have directed a whopping four entries in this saga or 50% of the entire franchise. These installments usually see leading man Cruise engage in spectacle that would kill mortal men while the rest of the runtime is dedicated to globe-trotting missions full of adventure.

Jim Phelps (Jon Voight) is called upon for a new assignment dealing with very sensitive information regarding IMF agents and their cover IDs. He brings in his standard crew, including point man Ethan Hunt, and they plan out how to recover the info. Unfortunately, their mission was compromised horribly and Ethan finds himself the lone survivor and the top suspect as a traitor. The discovery of two other survivors doesn't alleviate his paranoia, so he goes into the list of blacklisted former IMF agents to put together another team to get to the bottom of their original mission and the conspiracy behind it.

Mission: Impossible is the 1996 feature film adaptation of the popular 1960's spy series of the same name. Directed by Brian De Palma, the film stars Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, an agent of the IMF (Impossible Mission Force), who discovers that a mole within the agency caused his team to be eliminated on a mission and put the CIA's NOC list out in the open. After being framed for the crime, Ethan must uncover the mole's identity while attempting to keep the list from being sold to the highest bidder. The film co-starred Ving Rhames, Jon Voight and Emilio Estevez and would spawn a feature film franchise which includes Mission: Impossible II (2000), Mission: Impossible III (2006), Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011), Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015) as well as Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018).

We also get a little reminder of the past when Jim smokes on a plane to cover up the self-destructing of the mission briefing tape, which he receives after a coded conversation with a flight attendant.

This "extreme" mentality is even evident in the gadgets, with Hunt getting his mission from a pair of Oakley Romeo sunglasses (with a HUD on lenses) that were fired to him by rocket from a helicopter as he's standing on top of a cliff in Moab, Utah.

IMF must have upped its agents' conditioner allowance for the turn of the century, because Hunt's hair is pretty spectacular in this movie. The real impossible mission here is not getting hypnotized by it during the more balletic scenes.

JJ Abrams took over as director and co-writer for the more grounded third movie. This is exemplified in how Hunt receives his mission -- from a disposable Kodak Power Flash camera with a retinal scanner -- and the focus on his personal life, with the introduction of his fiancee, Julia. 041b061a72

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