Film Scouts Reviews

"Mission Impossible"

by Leslie Rigoulot

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How could I have doubted Tom Cruise? As co-producer and star, Cruise gives "Mission Impossible" vitality and panache. Oh, and that I'm-so-sure-of-myself smile of his certainly adds to the appeal of what is sure to be a blockbuster. Well, I guess director Brian DePalma deserves some of the credit too. Balancing the high expectations of the fans of the original "Mission Impossible" TV show with the equally high expectations for an action/adventure movie fell not only to DePalma but to the screenwriters as well. David Koepp, who penned "Jurassic Park", must have thrown in the special effects; Robert Towne, who won the Academy Award for writing "Chinatown", must have added the intrigue; while Steven Zaillian, who took home the Oscar for his adaptation of "Schindler's List", brought a certain sophistication to the mix, I imagine. But the outcome is a non-stop fun run through Europe and the CIA headquarters.

The story line twists and turns as Cruise tries to clear his name after a mission goes awry. The action sometimes outpaces the characters and plot, not that anyone will have time to notice. Only Jon Voigt as Jim Phelps portrays a returning character from the original, and a few purists may object to the changes. An international cast gives "MI" a more elegant feel, with France's sweetheart, Emmanuelle Beart, in the lead as Clair, Jim's wife. As the sleazy Kreiger, French actor Jean Reno is a perfect match, and he certainly makes the most of his screen time. So does the magnificent Vanessa Redgrave. She is a villainous arms dealer and you have to admire her sly grace.

Your mission, should you accept it, is to find out why Emillio Estevez (who by the way worked with Tom Cruise long, long ago in "The Outsiders") was not listed anywhere in the press kit. But don't let that distract you from the pure enjoyment of "Mission Impossible". Rated PG-13

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