WHAT I LIKED: Brian De Palma's 'Mission: Impossible,' is a film that sees a Hollywood franchise formula born, and its approach is one that has largely been followed closely throughout the subsequent series simply because it all generally works very well. Yes, getting Ethan and his team to crack a ridiculously over-complicated mission before the ticking clock stops may seem like a pretty basic idea each time around, but it generally succeeds because it always becomes a kind of escapist thriller where engagement is found in Tom Cruise's committed performance along with a whole host of spectacular set-pieces that feel real and don't have the weightlessness of many alternative action movies.
In this film's case though, more focus is put on the mission itself than in some subsequent ventures, and that's down to De Palma who unsurprisingly cares more about the intricate plot details and enjoys delivering on the serious suspense in the quieter moments until the explosive final act. In effect then, you may have the birth of a successful franchise formula here, but it's crucially also a formula that allows different filmmakers to put their own individual stamps on it, and that's an admirable thing that largely benefits in this first installment.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Where the mission takes centre-stage here, it does become a little problematic that the plot is so confusing.
VERDICT: 'Mission: Impossible,' establishes a great adoptable franchise formula, and in this case Brian De Palma's take definitely has its pros and cons.