Mission: Impossible (1996)

Released: May 22, 1996. Directed by: Brian de Palma. Starring: Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Emmanuelle Béart. Runtime: 1h 50 min.

Based on the hit TV show from the 1960s, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) tries to clear his name when he’s suspected for disloyalty to the IMF (Impossible Missions Force) after a mission goes wrong and he’s left as the only survivor.

The script’s mediocre as Ethan must deliver the second half of a non-official cover (NOC) list, a list of covert agents in Eastern Europe, to an arms dealer named “Max” to discover the identity of the actual spy. I watched this three days ago and I barely remembered the NOC list. Out of the first three films, Brian de Palma’s direction and style are easily the least forgettable, as well.

The script does have some surprises and the cast helps keep it interesting, especially Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt. He’s charming and great here and “Mission: Impossible” serves as a solid introduction to Ethan.

For the rest of the cast, I’m sure it was surprising when the film came out in 1996 that Emilio Estevez gets killed off in the first 25 minutes. For me, watching this for the first time in 2018, I was just surprised seeing him in this. Jon Voight’s also good as Jim Phelps – the only character from the original TV series.

It’s interesting seeing who Ethan aligns with to try to clear his name, since he can’t exactly get help from the agency. Claire (Emmanuelle Béart) has a decent chemistry with Ethan, but she’s the most forgettable out of the female leads of the first three films. Luther (Ving Rhames) is great and so is Jean Reno as Krieger.

The film itself though only has a few great action scenes, especially the dangling wire scene – which is so tense and the whole sequence is so entertaining – and the train finale is also great.

Throughout the film, Ethan is trying to evade director of the IMF Eugene Kittredge (Henry Czerny). Kittredge wants Ethan to come to them, saying “You find something that’s personally important to him and you squeeze.” The thing is, he doesn’t execute on this line because it doesn’t feel like Ethan has anything to lose. The stakes for this film simply don’t feel high enough, making the non-action scenes dull.

Score: 65/100

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The Breakfast Club – A film review by Daniel Prinn – For those of you who have nothing better to do on a Saturday.

The Breakfast Club

Release Date: February 15, 1985

Director: John Hughes

Stars: Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall

Runtime: 97 min

Tagline: Five strangers with nothing in common, except each other.

This is John Hughes at his absolute best.

Five high school students come together in a Saturday detention. They are all of different social statuses: there’s an athlete, a criminal, a princess, a brain, and a basket case. They all find out that they really do have more in common than they thought, especially for their hatred for their principal, Richard Vernon.

The characters are the most memorable aspect of the film. John Bender (Judd Nelson), the criminal, is just a wise-cracking bad boy who seems just to despise the world; Andrew Clark (Emilio Estevez) is a nice guy with an overbearing father who just has a bit too much pressure on him; Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald), the princess, is the virginal (or maybe not?) female who’s in for skipping class; Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall), the brain, is the talkative smart guy who just needs to try in school so he can get into a good college; and Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy) is the basket case who’s also a compulsive liar.

John Hughes just makes the best on-screen chemistry. It’s a film that has lots of laughs, lots of heart, and lots of cinema greatness.

The characters are really relatable, and the actors are well-casted to portray each stereotype. The film is both very emotional at some scenes and also quite feel-good in others, and Hughes knows very well how balance the two out, he really penned a defining teen film, here.

The only tainting factor that took away five points from my enjoyment is that one of the characters gave up their individuality by the end of it all, which sort of just really peeved me off.

You’ll just want to watch it again and again. It’s the best teen coming-of-age comedic drama of its time, and one of the greatest of all time.

95/100