The only thing impossible about Mission: Impossible is understanding it, but the movie will still go down as a classic. Tom Cruise brings the television character, Ethan Hunt, to life with an updated style, and he has a slick, fast-paced, and complicated movie to show for it.
But here's what I said in 1996:
Mission: Impossible is almost impossible to like. Though Tom Cruise delivers a good performance, the story is way too complex. Usually, that's good, but this movie twists the truth one too many times for my liking. Despite the name, Mission: Impossible is extremely boring.
It might have taken me ten times to really understand the storyline, but now that I can explain it to other people I really love this movie. The plot is very confusing and stretches the limits of believability and times, but Cruise's solid performance and the close-up filming style of De Palma make Mission: Impossible a movie that I can watch over and over again.
The movie has several classic scenes that will be replayed, retried, and spoofed for years to come. The whole sequence where everything goes wrong in the beginning is classic. The CIA penetration sequence is classic. The confusing plot isn't classic, but it is memorable (if you ask anyone how they liked Mission: Impossible they will almost all say, "It was pretty good but really confusing.").
The movie isn't as action-packed as what the title might suggest but it still moves along at a quick pace. There is a lot of suspense, but not necessarily in life or death situations.
Having the plot toned down a little bit might have helped but Mission: Impossible is a movie that is almost impossible to hate. Even if you are confused by the story, it is still one to be respected for its acting, directing, and cunning originality.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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