1996’s Mission Impossible created a franchise starring Tom Cruise as agent Ethan Hunt. The film was directed by Brian De Palma. Many of the elements would be used again and again. The one drawback was the plot was a little overcomplicated due to the fact that production started before one even existed, but it was still a great thrill ride.
If you read the background to the film you’ll find out that writing the movie was a mess. Several different writers were brought in and out and there were constant re-writes. De Palma ended up creating the action sequences and building the story around them. That explains a lot.
The story revolves around the CIA’s agent list being stolen and Hawk running around the world trying to get it back. To show how chaotic the story was the list turns out to be a fake and Hunt goes and steals the real one from CIA headquarters to sell to an arms dealer known as Max. Then someone on his team tries to steal the list. All the while there are people betraying Hunt as well.
What really drove the movie however was the action and the special effects. Many of these would become mainstays of the series. In the first scene for instance, Hunt wears a plastic mask to impersonate someone which would be used in almost every movie afterward. Probably the most famous scene is when Hunt breaks into the CIA to steal the list and is suspended by a line from the ceiling into a sealed room. He almost gets dropped on the floor setting off the alarms.
Overall this was an exciting movie.
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