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Mission Impossible [HD DVD]

Tom Cruise , Jon Voight , Brian De Palma    PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)   HD DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 34.99
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A flashy, splashy summer-movie blockbuster that's fun and exciting without being mindless? That's the impossible mission accomplished by director Brian De Palma, star-coproducer Tom Cruise, and the crack team of Mission: Impossible. Based on the '60s TV show and an almost impenetrably complex (but nonetheless thrilling) original story by David Koepp (Jurassic Park) and Steven Zaillian (Schindler's List), with a screenplay by Koepp and Robert Towne (Chinatown, Shampoo), Mission: Impossible begins with veteran agent Jim Phelps (Jon Voight) and his expert crew embarking on a mission that goes horribly, horribly wrong. But nothing is what it seems. The nail-biting set piece--always a signature of director De Palma (Carrie, The Untouchables)--in which Cruise is lowered from the ceiling to retrieve information from a computer in a high-security vault--is an instant classic. But perhaps even more impressive, at least in retrospect, is a flashback sequence in which two characters attempt to reconstruct a series of events from multiple points of view. It's pretty daring and sophisticated stuff for a big-budget spy movie, but brains were always what put the Mission: Impossible team ahead of the competition, anyway, no? --Jim Emerson

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Deserving of a Special Edition DVD treatment... Aug. 4 2003
By Cubist
Having just watched this film again, I was struck by how engaging it is. Sure, the plot machinations get hopelessly convoluted but I think that's kinda the point. Who cares about specific plot points when you've got Brian DePalma directing with his usual stylistic flourishes. True, he's a bit more tied down than with his usual fair (see Blow Out) but even DePalma on autopilot is pretty impressive.
This film works much better than its sequel because it doesn't try to pad out the film with a useless romantic subplot. Ethan Hunt isn't a character that needs to be fleshed out and that's what makes the no-nonsense tone of MI1 so superior to MI2. Stylistically, Woo beats DePalma hands down but that's about it.
The presence of actors like Jon Voight and Henry Czerny give the first MI an almost Tom Clancy-like feel -- especially in the vein of Hunt For Red October with all the espionage and technospeak.
Also, the setting of Eastern Europe contributes a lot to the overall atmosphere of the film -- especially the opening sequence where Hunt's team is betrayed and killed off, one by one.
There are some really solid set-pieces in the movie: the aforementioned mission gone wrong at the beginning, the now-famous nearly silent break-in at CIA Headquarters, and the infamous train/helicopter chase at the film's climax. Yeah, that last one was mucho implausible but it's still a lot of fun to watch.
Most importantly, Mission: Impossible is an entertaining time waster with a lean script full of all sorts of twists and turns, a solid performance by Cruise and a great supporting cast that also includes the always reliable Ving Rhames and Jean Reno.
Alas, this DVD is very bare bones with no extras to speak of. Thankfully, Paramount learned their lesson with the MI2 DVD but it would be nice if they revisited this first one and got DePalma to do an audio commentary, throw in some deleted scenes and a retrospective featurette or two. It's about time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars And People Say This Movie Doesn't Make Sense July 11 2003
First, there are many things in this movie that make little sense. BUT it all comes together at the end. People who say this movie has no plot, and when I say this I'm serious, cannot have a very high IQ level. This movie, unlike its sequel, requires a sophisticated audience to watch it. What I'm saying is that you can't be stupid and understand the brilliance of this film.
Ever since the beginning of the show, it has always required smart people to watch it. It's a mystery, mysteries don't make much sense until everything is figured out. The movie itself is actually quite simple:
Ethan Hunt is working for the IMF. After one of his missions goes bad and everyone is killed but him, the IMF suspects he is the mole they've been hunting for two years. Ethan, being innocent, runs and hides from the IMF. He goes through difficult tasks such as breaking into CIA headquarters at Langley, making negotiations with arms dealers, and avoiding the law. In the end, Ethan finds that the mole is none other than his old boss, who had faked his death to frame Ethan.
Overall, I give this film four stars. It didn't quite reach five, a few lines didn't clearer make sense or agree with each other.
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The idea of bringing the television series Mission Impossible to the big screen seemed at once to be one a long time in finally coming and one to be viewed with some trepidation by those fans loyal to the millieu of the series.
Mission Impossible does not disappoint with its action, but its plotline stands rather simply as a betrayal and vengeance formula, and worse, one rather implausible to the legions of fans of the television series. Without giving away too much of the plot, a most trusted member of the Impossible Mission Force betrays his team and country for ... money. Though the nature of the betrayer makes for a much greater indignity at his crime, it leaves fans of the series feeling as if the film simply lops off its head to begin anew, discarding the roots that made the movie itself possible.
Tom Cruise still delivers an excellent performance as a slick and capable member of the IMF, and fans of action films will certainly enjoy this picture. However, if you feel more than an inkling of loyalty to the series, perhaps you should skip to the second film, which in the end has much more the feel of Mission Impossible than does this movie.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Depends on your preference Nov. 17 2002
This is a great movie if you are a fan of action films. Cruise is good as Ethan Hunt. Jon Voigt fair as Jim Phelps. The supporting characters add to the action and the suspense is solid throughout.
But if you like the TV show, this is a lousy movie. It has little spirit from the TV show and what they do to Phelps is a crime. If Hunt's character is created new for the franchise couldn't they have used another character - instead of Phelps - to play the role they designed?
When you remake a television show there are certain elements that should be true to the remake - otherwise totally remake them. Putting in new characters? OK - just don't play with the believability and the make up of the old ones. Of course when a show is as old as Mission you aren't going to want the same leads playing their old characters, at least not if they are in a lead role. Voigt is not Jim Phelps - appearance: wrong; style of speech: wrong; leadership ability: wrong.
This isn't to say that Mission is so sacred that it can't be changed. But if the plan is to use the popularity of an old TV show to stir interest, why insult that popularity in the manner in which they did? Dan Ackroyd used the Dragnet franchise to make a comedy years ago - but he honored the spirit of the show in doing so.
The long technical moments showing Barney and Willy or some other character from TV are missing here and probably rightfully so. They could be boring on the big screen, especially if not done right - and it appears that the director and star weren't planning on doing it right.
This is a star vehicle for Cruise and he handles it well. But they had no business messing with the franchise. At the least, they should have made up for it in the sequel.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
AWESOME, i am very very very happy with this
Published 4 days ago by Randy Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars Do it for yourself. You deserve it.
Ahhh the memories on this one. What a flick. Try out Prime, grab some buds, buy this and get it the next day and enjoy!
Published 2 months ago by Evan Polson
4.0 out of 5 stars American spy film
1996 American spy film directed by Brian De Palma and starring Tom Cruise. Based on the television series of the same name
Published 18 months ago by T
3.0 out of 5 stars Mission Impossible
Movie was good, as expected. Blu ray quality (image) was inferior which took it down a notch. Tom Cruise was his old self.
Published 19 months ago by Dave Pringle
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
Great movie! Full of action and suspense. Loved every minute of it! By far the best Mission: Impossible movie (exept the 4th one)! It's a must buy!
Published on April 11 2012 by R. Baldwin
1.0 out of 5 stars Jamais reçu le dvd
Jamais reçu le dvd, vendeur sans excuse. Rembourssement fait rapidement. Site sécuritaire et sans faille. Vais essayé de nouveau avec un autre vendeur.
Published on July 28 2009 by Patrice Lemire
3.0 out of 5 stars you'll need a map to follow this one
you know,i think this could have been a good movie.trouble is,you need
a scorecard and a code to keep track of who's good and who's bad,what
side each person is on etc. Read more
Published on Aug. 22 2007 by falcon
4.0 out of 5 stars Mission Declassified
Adapting a popular television series for the big screen is never an easy undertaking. Not only do you have to compete with audience expectations, but, the filmmakers also have to... Read more
Published on July 2 2004 by T. Lobascio
4.0 out of 5 stars de palma: cruise
Brian De Palma's (Carrie; Scarface; The Untouchables) 1996 action film starring Tom Cruise and Jon Voight is a pretty good action film. Well, once you suspend all belief. Read more
Published on June 3 2004 by adead_poet@hotmail.com
3.0 out of 5 stars Mission: Impossible (1996)
Director: Brian De Palma
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Emmanuelle Beart, Emilio Estevez, Vanessa Redgrave, Harry Czerny, Ving Rhames, Jean Reno. Read more
Published on May 26 2004 by The Tweeder
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