Mission Impossible

Relax Luther, it's much worse than you think.

A review by Mike Shea   Movie Rating: ( * * * · · )    DVD Rating: ( * * * · · )

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Mission Impossible spawned a whole race of people with big question marks over their heads. It seems that between the huge car explosion in the beginning and the huge phantom helicopter explosion at the end, that the movie lost a lot of people. Perhaps it was that crazy dual sided gum, or maybe the strange old guy in the trench coat who was a good guy for 20 years of the tv show only to turn bad, or maybe it was Tom Cruise thinking one thing and saying another. Whatever, we are given a hell of a ride as we watch an entire IM team including an unfortunate role of elevator stopper played by Emilio Estevez. Henry Czerny seems to be stuck playing an evil CIA bad-guy for the rest of his career after having played a very hissy Ritter in Clear and Present Danger. Ving Rhames plays a computer geek with great sunglasses who seems obsessed with "Artificial Intelligent RISC chips" (one of the dumbest computer quotes in any movie). Jean Reno, one of my favorite black ops government bad guys (see The Professional, Ronin and God help me, Godzilla) also has a spot as an amazing helicopter pilot who can defy the laws of space by flying a 30' blade span chopper down a 20' train tunnel with two trains in it. Tom Cruise does a decent job playing the permanently lock-jawed Ethan Hunt, who seems to get most places by blowing something up and using the force to move. The plot moves extremely fast, but the action keeps us from scratching our heads too much. I have to say that I am really looking forward to the summer 2000 release of Mission Impossible 2 directed by my man, John Woo! That should be a trip. Th MI DVD was ok, with a 2.35 to 1 non 16x9 enhanced transfer and a pretty full 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack. Overall, I could have used a Mission Impossible that was more of a baseline instead of an exception, but the movie still kept me watching.