Now Playing on Hark: Mission: Impossible (1996)

Posted by Barry | Friday, July 29th 2011

Mission: Impossible (1996)

After seeing the trailer for the upcoming 4th entry in the ‘Mission: Impossible‘ film franchise (Ghost Protocol) I am inspired to write about Tom Cruise‘s first entry in the series and reflect on what started it all.  Brian De Palma, legendary director extraordinaire, helmed the first big screen adaptation of the TV espionage series in 1996 to much critical acclaim.  Characters from the classic television show were brought into the modern age of technology and it had never looked cooler.  The plot is extremely complicated, as a good spy movie should be.  Double-crossings, explosions, cool gadgets & of course, lots of running by Tom Cruise.  That seems to be the trend in every movie he has made in the past 15 years, running around in a hurry while people are chasing & shooting at him.

In this film, Cruise plays IMF agent “Ethan Hunt“, a multi-talented individual who is the right-hand man under Jon Voight‘s command as “Jim Phelps“.  Together with other members of the IMF (Impossible Missions Force) he is tasked with locating and recovering a list of spies and their true identities.  When this mission goes horribly wrong, Cruise is the only surviving member to report back to his superiors.  The Director of the program, Henry Czerny‘s “Kittridge” accuses “Ethan Hunt” of being the mole of the IMF, the lone saboteur who is a double agent working for outside/foreign sources.  This leads to a lot of running, chasing, and ultimately hiding while “Ethan” gathers the facts available.  He assembles a top secret team of professionals to assist him in recovering the data to prove his innocence within the IMF.  Jean Reno (Franz Krieger) and Ving Rhames (Luther) make up the brawn of this secret clan and assist “Ethan” in some impossible missions to recover the list, reclaim their innocence, and save the world from evil rogue spies.

The action is awesome, while the dialogue keeps you glued to the screen to figure out just what it is they are talking about.  You really have to pay attention to the details (something Brian de Palma is famous for creating) because the plot is so thick with possibilities that you can easily become lost in the confusion.  The characters themselves don’t seem to really know what is going on until the end, of which I will not spoil for those of you who have not seen the film.

Some memorable sound quotes from 1996′s ‘Mission: Impossible‘ include:





Tom Cruise has found an excellent, memorable character to play in “Ethan Hunt” and the co-stars of the film are a perfect fit for the story.  This film was followed by 2 sequels, and the fourth film ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’ will be theaters this winter, 2011.  The second film, directed by action maestro John Woo, was a serious dud.  The third film was directed by J.J. Abrams and completely redeemed the series from the second film’s failures.  I have extremely high expectations for the fourth film as it is directed by Brad Bird, director of the awesome animated features ‘The Incredibles‘ & ‘The Iron Giant’ and is his first non-animated film to direct.

Check out our Mission: Impossible Sound Clips Collection page to see and hear more of your favorite quotes from the film, you can share as much as you like on Facebook or Twitter.  What is your favorite sound quote from ‘Mission: Impossible?’

Pop Quiz, Hotshot:  Did you know that the iconic scene in which Tom Cruise hangs suspended over the floor in the CIA secure room was filmed with coins placed in Tom Cruise’s shoes to help keep him perfectly balanced?  It’s true, he kept hitting his head so he solved it by asking crew members for coins to make him level.

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