Movie Reviews: Mission: Impossible franchise

Our mission, and we chose to accept it, was to watch the Mission Impossible movie.

The wife and I had watched our Blockbuster movies the night before and nothing was on TV, so Steph was tasked with picking a movie. She perused the Holley DVD Vaults, felt like an action movie, and came up with Mission: Impossible starring Tom Cruise. Now, as of late, Tom Cruise has been acting like a first rate asshat. He used to be the cool, aloof Mr. Cruise. Now he’s the outspoken, cradle-robbing asshat. And I emphasize the words ASSHAT. I’ve been able to separate the off screen Cruise psychopath and still enjoy him onscreen, that is, until he made War of the Worlds. But I loved Mission Impossible and was eager to see it again to rekindle my fondness for a good Cruise action movie.

Mission Impossible is how a good action movie should be done. It’s fast, action packed and has very cool gadgets and characters. This was a big, action movie, but the director kept the atmosphere close and tight. You could tell this movie’s tone and atmosphere was used later for Bourne Identity and Bourne Supremecy. When I first saw it I remember being completely shocked when Cruise’s entire IMF team is killed in the beginning. Emilio Estevez as the hacker, Jack, was a surprise to me when he was introduced in the beginning. Needless to say, I was sad to see him go so soon. Cruise played Ethan Hunt perfectly and the effects were awesome. Jon Voight played a convincing character, but the chick who played his wife was AWFUL. I don’t know who she is, but I’m glad I don’t see her in any other movies. AWFUL. This movie was definately a must see. Needless to say, I was excited to see the sequel but dismayed when it took 4 years to come out.

After watching Mission Impossible (MI), Steph and I felt like watching the second one. We both saw it theatrically, apparently together (I had forgotten) and memories of it had faded. I remember not really liking it, but I was willing to give it another chance. So off to Blockbuster we went the next night and rented it. I’d have to say, on this second viewing, I was much more entertained, but the movie was WAY overproduced. Seriously. I don’t know what John Woo was thinking, but it bordered on the ridiculous. I applaud the addition of Sir Anthony Hopkins as Ethan Hunt’s boss, but I jeer the leading lady, Thandie Newton, and the main villain, Dougray Scott. Thandie Newton couldn’t hold her own against the toddlers in Daddy Day Care much less Tom Cruise or Anthony Hopkins. I was glad they brought back Ving Rhames for a small appearance. The action set pieces were cool, if bordering on complete foolishness. I enjoyed the pretty lights and colors, but would not really want to see it again. The script may have been complete ass, but John Woo can really photograph some violence. I mean, it’s like he’s in love with graphic violence. The slow motion, the close ups, the doves. It’s almost violence pornography. You don’t believe me? See this movie or the movie Face/Off. Unbelievable. More faceless characters are killed in John Woo movies than in WWII and Vietnam combined.

I really love the concept of these movies, and the character of Ethan Hunt, particularly.

The next day we went to see Failure to Launch and the Mission Impossible 3 trailer came up. This was the second time I’ve seen it and I was much more excited to see it now that we had watched the first two. JJ Abrams, the writer/creator of Alias and Lost, is writing/directing this installment. He is bringing back Ving Rhames (hopefully in a bigger part) and they have Phillip Seymore Hoffman as the main villain. If you ask me, this is shaping up to be a really good action movie. I will definately choose to accept this Mission……. 🙂

Update 1/31/2007 – Click here to see the full review of Mission: Impossible 3

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