Smartly released at the same time as the release of Mission Impossible III and with a star-studded cast including Emilio Estevez, Jon Voight, Emmanuelle Beart, Jean Reno, Kristin Scott-Thomas, Ving Rhames, Vanessa Redgrave, Henry Czerny, and Mr. Tom Cruise you would expect an exceptional movie. Mission Impossible is a decent film, but does not live up to the billing of its cast nor its director, Brian De Palma (The Untouchables, Scarface). The special effects (for the time – 1996) were incredible, but the story and pace of the film does not match their impressiveness. The story/plot/script has so many leaps of logic or holes in it that it resembles a leaky ship by the end of the confusing film. De Palma moves the film so quickly over the twists to get to his action sequences that the audience is never really given a chance to digest them. Some scenes are worth the skipping forward to them. For example, the scene where Hunt is breaking into the vault at Langley is great and full of tension. The old adage in Hollywood is that usually the original in a series of films is the best, but with Mission Impossible this does not hold true as Mission Impossible III is better by far.
In Kiev, Prague an IMF team is assembled by Jim Phelps (Jon Voight – Midnight Cowboy, Pearl Harbor) to catch Alexander Golitsyn (Marcel Iures – Interview With the Vampire, The Peacemaker) trying to steal the NOC list, tail him and whoever he is selling it to. The IMF team includes agents Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise), Claire Phelps (Emmanuelle Beart – 8 Femmes, Don Juan), Sarah Davies (Kristin Scott Thomas – The English Patient, Gosford Park), Jack Harmon (Emilio Estevez – The Mighty Ducks, Young Guns), and Hannah Williams (Ingeborga Dapkunaite – Seven Years in Tibet, Shadow of the Vampire). What begins as a straightforward operation quickly turns into a disaster where all the agents, including Jim, are killed except for Ethan. Ethan calls IMF and meets a handler named Eugene Kittridge (Henry Czerny – The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Pink Panther). Kittridge gives Ethan a passport in order to leave Czechoslovakia, but Ethan soon realizes that he too is being set up. After escaping Ethan returns to Jim's safe house and soon discovers that Claire is still alive. Ethan and Claire decide to steal the NOC list in order to draw out the buyer Max (Vanessa Redgrave – Girl, Interrupted, Howards End) in order for Ethan to figure out who is setting him up. They recruit two other disavowed agents, Franz Kreiger (Jean Reno – The Professional, Ronin) and Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames – Pulp Fiction, Jacob's Ladder), to help them with the job of stealing the NOC list from Langley.
-Mission: Remarkable – 40 years of creating the impossible
-Mission: Explosive exploits
-Mission: International spy museum
-Mission: Spies among us
-Mission: Catching the train
-Excellence in Film Cruise
-Acceptance speech for BAFTA/LA's Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film
-Acceptance speech for MTV's Generation Award