Year of release: 1996
Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Tom Cruise, Emmanuelle Beart, Jon Voight, Jean Reno, Ving Rhames, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emilio Estevez, Henry Czerny, Vanessa Redgrave, Dale Dye
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8
Synopsis:Brian De Palma is one of the directors that emerged from the late 60s early 70s, alongside Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Paul Schrader, Peter Bogdanovich, William Friedkin, Michael Cimino, to name but a few, who had a string of hits, with films like "Carrie", "Obsession" and "Dressed to Kill". His films in the 90s didn't fare so well, so when Tom Cruise invited him to direct "Mission: Impossible", based on the TV series of the 60s, De Palma didn't hesitate (he had also directed another TV to Feature film adaptation with "The Untouchables" in 1987).
The film introduces us to Ethan Hunt's team of undercover agents who work for the IMF, a top secret agency. Following a mission that goes awry, Ethan realizes there's a mole within the agency who has set him up as a dissident/traitor. It's up to Ethan and Claire, a fellow renegade, plus a crew of select agents to discover who the mole is and clear their names.
The film, written by David Koepp and Robert Towne (writer of "Chinatown"), is a cat and mouse game, placing the characters in difficult situations, where the sheer resourcefulness of them all, is what allows the game to continue. De Palma knows better than anyone how to build a suspense film, since he has made films who are staples of the genre (and some even claim, copycat of the master, Alfred Hitchcock). The film is nonetheless, a solid and entertaining action film, where each sequence fits within the larger puzzle towards the final climax. The actors are solid, with Tom Cruise leading the group, with special highlight to Jon Voight and Vanessa Redgrave who really steals the show. A very good action film.