Mission: Impossible – 25th Anniversary Blu-ray Review

Mission: Impossible

Screenwriters David Koepp and Robert Towne infuse Mission: Impossible with several thrilling action sequences. However, they’re few and far between. It isn’t the Mission: Impossible that we’re used to today. Koepp and Towne dominantly saturate the film with needless exposition, a conscious decision that gives the film its unmistakable erratic pacing. Yet the biggest flaw of Mission: Impossible is sitting through all of this dull exposition when you figured out the twist. It’s so easy to guess the mole’s identity despite their attempts to camouflage who it is. Visually, the signs are all there for you to figure it out. To put it differently, it’s equivalent to Koepp and Towne leaving arrows in a maze telling you to “head this way to the exit.” Ultimately, the film has a hard time defining its stakes.

As we’ve seen from his previous work, director Brian De Palma is good at creating suspense in scenes where nothing seems to be happening at all. He also tries to construct a film that’s different from other films in this genre. It wants to be a Bond flick with more thoughtfulness and auteur aesthetics. Mission: Impossible isn’t always good, but they always try to give us something different. Unfortunately, its characters range from distinct but underused to lifeless script gadgets used to move the plot. Even Cruise’s Ethan Hunt, who becomes charming and intelligent in the later sequels, is completely stiff here.

Overall, Mission: Impossible is a dull adaptation of the 60s television series. There are some standout action sequences, and that’s what makes it worth a look back beyond the convoluted and predictable plot. For the most part, there isn’t much to recommend about Mission: Impossible today other than having full awareness of Ethan’s history with Luthor. It’s one of the worst in the series.

Movie Rating: 3/5 atoms

Mission: Impossible - Tom Cruise

Video

Mission: Impossible hits Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG-AVC with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The brightness of the picture looks normal, yet it’s not perfect. There are a few instances where it looks washed, and there’s a slight flicker. You can see it at the 43:00 mark when Ethan meets Max for the first time. This shot is the most egregious, but thankfully, it doesn’t happen often. The black levels are an inky black that, typically in Blu-rays, have crushed blacks. However, with this remaster and in the darkest scenes, the shadow details are still intact and clear throughout. 

The color saturation for this remaster is relatively high, which skews some of the skin tones to appear redder than usual. For a film that’s twenty-five years old, Mission: Impossible is incredibly clear. For instance, de Palma’s love of close-up zooms showcases the details in the skin texture of the cast. You can see every wrinkle, pore, facial hair, and more. The film has a noticeable film grain texture throughout. However, there are some scenes where the film grain isn’t a fine texture but a thicker pattern—something you can see definitively at the 18:20 mark. Overall, the picture looks gorgeous, but it’s also very flawed.

Video Rating: 4/5 atoms

Mission: Impossible - Tom Cruise and Emmanuelle Béart

Audio

Mission: Impossible hits Blu-ray with a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track. The sound effects are accurate around the soundstage. At the same time, the sound effects are audible, including the small things like Jack unwrapping the red light/green light gum at the 10:21 mark. Atmospheric effects are few and far between, but it adds to the immersion when it occurs. Danny Elfman’s score comes alive in this audio mix with a layered sound throughout—especially the end credits version of the Mission: Impossible theme. The fidelity of the dialogue is very flawed for some scenes. They have a slight echo to them and sound completely hollow. Otherwise, the dialogue sounds distinct. Overall, this is a suitable audio mix.

Audio Rating: 4/5 atoms

Mission: Impossible - Tom Cruise

Special Features

Mission: Impossible‘s Blu-ray disc has the following special features on Blu-ray disc:

  • Mission: Impossible – Trailers
  • Remarkable – 40 Years of Creating the Impossible
  • Explosive Exploits
  • Spies Among Us
  • Catching the Train
  • International Spy Museum
  • Agent Dossiers
  • Excellence in Film: Cruise
  • Generation: Cruise
  • Photo Gallery
  • Mission: Marketing

It’s sad to see that for its 25th-anniversary, we don’t get any new features for this release. A majority of the bonus features come from the 2007 Blu-ray release of Impossible. The most recent bonus feature is “Trailers,” which showcases the theatrical trailers for all six Mission: Impossible films. “Creating the Impossible” takes you behind the scenes of the first three films of the franchise. “Explosive Exploits” covers two of the most difficult stunts in the Impossible. It’s clear to see early in the franchise how dedicated Cruise was in his stunt work. “Spies Among Us” hypothetically looks at the IMF in the real world and the work it takes to become a spy in real life. “Catching the Train” takes a brief look at how they created Mission: Impossible‘s climactic action sequence.

“International Spy Museum” has the executive director of the International Spy Museum, Peter Earnest, guiding viewers through some of the museum’s exhibits. “Agent Dossiers” allows viewers to analyze agent profiles for most of the characters in the film. Both “Excellence in Film” and “Cruise are tribute videos dedicated to Tom Cruise for his specialty awards. Finally, the photo gallery and “Marketing” are two features that showcase the marketing for the film. As you can see, the bonus features are good, but they’re still dated.

Special Features Rating: 2/5 atoms

Blu-ray Set

Extras

The 25th anniversary Blu-ray release of Mission: Impossible comes with an exclusive car decal of the IMF logo. The decal measures 4½ inches wide by 4½ inches tall. At the same time, the decal is opaque so be sure to stick it on a part of your window that isn’t blocking your field of vision. Otherwise, you can just stick it to any part of the car you want.

IMF Decal

Overall, Mission: Impossible offers up several exciting sequences that eventually became a staple of the franchise. Unfortunately, it’s the dullest and least exciting film in the series. The video remaster of Mission: Impossible has its flaws, but it’s still a step up from previous releases. Similarly, the audio mix has some minor issues, but it’s still a satisfying mix. Sadly though, the bonus features have not changed in 14 years. Not even for the 25th anniversary of the film.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

Mission: Impossible hits stores on Blu-ray on May 18th.

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Paramount Home Entertainment.

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1652 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.

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