Working with a serpentine screenplay credited to writers David Koepp and Steven Zallian, Cruise and company do their best to guide the audience through the maze of double and triple crosses. Under close (and repeated) viewings it is fairly easy to follow the sharp twists and turns in the devilishly fun script. I’m almost positive I could correctly explain the story to a friend but don’t ask me to. The thing that is undeniable about Mission: Impossible is the enormous charisma of Tom Cruise. He streaks through this thing like a missile, emotionally invested in the role and throwing himself fearlessly into all manner of potentially dangerous situations.
The highlights include a break in to a high security vault in Langley, VA and a duel with a helicopter aboard a bullet-train. These sequences and their near death experiences have become hallmarks of the long running franchise. An inauspicious opening installment to a series with great peaks and valleys.
Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jon Voight and Emmanuelle Béart