25 Years Later, Mission: Impossible Still Makes Us Angry

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Mission Impossible 25th Anniversary Bluray

In 1996, the cold war spy thriller series, Mission: Impossible, made the leap from fan-favorite television series to big budget theatrical production. The potential for a franchise out of this was great -- and realized, with several M:I films having been released since.

It was clear from the beginning that a torch was going to have to be passed from IMF leader Jim Phelps (with Jon Voight playing the role made iconic by Peter Graves) to the new guy, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise). Old time fans were prepared to accept that. But what they weren't prepared for was the absolutely disrespectful way Phelps was removed from duty. It's been 25 years, so I really shouldn't have to worry about a spoiler warning at this point, but if that sort of thing bothers you, this is the last paragraph you want to read of this review.

On their mission to prevent the sale of a disc that would reveal the names of covert operatives, the team runs into massive pushback, resulting in the death of most of the members, including team leader Jim Phelps. The only survivors are Ethan Hunt and Phelps's wife, Claire (Emmanuelle Beart). Ethan then learns that the entire operation was a trap from the beginning, as suspicions had been planted that there was a mole in the IMF team -- and since Ethan is the only one who survived, the mole must, by default, be him.

On the run from his own agency, Ethan recruits his own team from other disavowed agents, with the goal of getting the real disc and setting up the sale in order to flush out the true mole.

After many special effect action sequences (that still hold up today) and some arduous computer hacking (that doesn't; "SEND JAMMING SIGNAL" is not a command you type into any interface), Ethan finds the man who has put all this chaos into motion: Jim Phelps. The hero of nearly a decade of spy adventure was made to do a heel turn as a plot device, simply because he got cynical, and ungrateful with his paycheck.

Fortunately, the following films were all quite enjoyable. But it's hard for us to forget that they were all made possible through the ruination of a character that kids in the sixties idolized.

This 25th anniversary Blu-ray release includes a special decal for the IMF forces, about 4 to 5 inches in diameter, as well as the code to unlock the digital version of the film. 

3.5 / 5.0