MISSION IMPOSSIBLE – revisited


Jaysen and I haven’t gone through all the Arnold Schwarzenegger films as I had originally wanted.  Jaysen hadn’t been impressed thus far, so he  isn’t in any rush to see more.  I think for now we’ll see some other films and come back to it later.  We recently saw Mission:Impossible Rogue Nation the 5th in the franchise. Jaysen is a fan of Mission:Impossible, but it turns out, he’s only a recent fan, as he’s only seen the previous one, Ghost Protocol. One of my favorite films is Mission: Impossible 2, so I added the Mission: Impossible films to our list. Tonight we saw the first one.

Mission Impossible [1996]
It’s pretty crazy the way this film looks. When you watch it, it doesn’t really look old, but, it does! Everyone in the film looks so much younger than they do now, and even the dialogue and clothing, seems slightly period.  Was it the intention of the original design?  To give it a more worldly, classic James Bond feel?  I don’t think so; as I recall, when the film first came out, it made a point to stand out and distance itself from just being a Bond rip-off.  It was considered high tech, modern, and all about the spectacle of the impossible missions in which Tom Cruise did his own stunts.  It had become a trademark for the franchise.  Did dialogue in films during the 90s really have a distinction?  I guess it did.

Mission Impossible [1996] via IMDB

Back to how young people looked. Tom Cruise, looked so young, it almost looked as if Top Gun hadn’t been that far off from this film, but it was, wasn’t it? When I think about the franchise and seeing Tom age from film to film.  I almost forgot he made any other films between them, as if he hadn’t at all.  Ofcourse he did, but it just made it that much more odd, that he looked so young.  How he looks in the second film on, is kinda how I envision him looking usually, so to see him SO young in the first film. It’s so weird to me, cause it’s surprising much older than you realize.   I never would’ve thought that the first film was now almost 20 years old!  WHAT!?  Wow, no wonder.  It can be really strange to see these iconic stars grow old.

Arnold Then
Arnold Then, via governors library
Arnold Today

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Madonna,.., etc, though I suppose we eventually get over it, but it’s just fascinating.  And some stars age so well too; Jane Fonda, WOW! — to name one off hand.  Ving Rhames, looked essentially the same,.. just a little bit older, and bigger.  He has gained some weight since, but still looks great.  Great, like so many other black actors who’ve aged and still look the same.  Morgan Freeman, Eddie Murphy, Will Smith, to name a few, though it is starting to show in Will.  John Voight, unlike Tom Cruise, also looked almost exactly the same.

Mission Impossible [1996] via IMDB

Speaking of John. I hadn’t seen the film since it came out, and right away, when I saw John Voight, I was reminded that he was the bad guy. It’s almost cliche to cast him in that role. You just don’t trust him when he plays those type of characters.

Mission Impossible [1996] via IMDB

Also, in the opening credits I saw Vanessa Redgrave! I love her. I couldn’t recall her role at all, but after seeing the film, she was one of the best casted. She’s so great.

Mission Impossible [1996] via IMDB

Oh, and in the beginning, Emilio Estavez! Wow, I forgot he was in this, and even when I saw him, I didn’t remember much about his role in the film, and wondered why he hadn’t returned to the franchise. Well, after 10 minutes, I found out why.

via Flixster

I wonder if when it first came out, the audience was convinced by those masks they used to disguise themselves as other people? I know for me, watching it now,.. it’s not too convincing.  At one point, it’s obvious that a character that Tom Cruise pretends to be, is in fact Tom Cruise, but in heavy make-up and prosthetics.  I suppose that’s smart, since it’s actually the same person all along.  I could totally tell it was him, but was I fooled the first time around?

click for source

One thing I did remember about the film was that it had an over-the-top special effect, involving a train and Tom Cruise flying through the air. I don’t think that was one of the scenes where they touted that Cruise did his own stunts, as it just looks super fake.  And I do recall even in it’s day, people thought that it was a bit over-the-top, and fake.

The premise of the film seemed familiar.  Jaysen thought it was very similar to the two most recent sequels that he saw.  This one was about Ethan Hunt, going against his own organization, as a fugitive, trying to clear his name,.. again. Though, perhaps because I’d seen it before, everything seemed more predictable, but I’m not sure if it’s just that, or not.  Maybe I’ll ask Jaysen if he thought it was predictable.  He said he wasn’t sure if it was predictable or whether it’s because he had indeed seen it before.  Oh, well. Anyhow,.. I just don’t get how he could’ve trusted the lead female at all.  Considering the whole first mission was to expose the mole, and only he and she survived,.. um!  That and Kindritch (sp), (the guy who basically played Ethan’s boss at IMF (not Voight’s character, who was the leader of his team), basically concluded that whomever survived must be the mole.  Didn’t it cross Ethan’s mind that it could’ve been her?  And she being the wife of John Voight’s character, that maybe they were both in on it?

Well, the logic in the film isn’t perfect, and I think I recall that it was criticized for that when it was released theatrically.

Mission: Impossible 2 [click for source]

Anyhow, I now look forward to seeing John Woo’s M:I 2 with Jaysen. It was my favorite of the franchise, and one of my favorite action films in general!  Ethan/Tom is essentially ‘Cole Cash, aka Grifter,’ one of my favorite comicbook characters from the team/comic, ‘WildC.A.T.s’ created by Jim Lee and Brandon Choi.  Infact, I sometimes use an image of ‘Grifter’ as my profile icon.

Grifter and the WildC.A.T.s, by Travis Charest [click for source]

Mission: Impossible 2 [revisited] 

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