Mission Impossible: Ultimate Missions Collection (Mission Impossible / Mission Impossible II / Mission Impossible III) [Blu-ray]
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A flashy, splashy summer-movie blockbuster that's fun and exciting without being mindless? That's the impossible mission accomplished by director Brian De Palma, star-coproducer Tom Cruise, and the crack team of Mission: Impossible. Based on the '60s TV show and an almost impenetrably complex (but nonetheless thrilling) original story by David Koepp (Jurassic Park) and Steven Zaillian (Schindler's List), with a screenplay by Koepp and Robert Towne (Chinatown, Shampoo), Mission: Impossible begins with veteran agent Jim Phelps (Jon Voight) and his expert crew embarking on a mission that goes horribly, horribly wrong. But nothing is what it seems. The nail-biting set piece--always a signature of director De Palma (Carrie, The Untouchables)--in which Cruise is lowered from the ceiling to retrieve information from a computer in a high-security vault--is an instant classic. But perhaps even more impressive, at least in retrospect, is a flashback sequence in which two characters attempt to reconstruct a series of events from multiple points of view. It's pretty daring and sophisticated stuff for a big-budget spy movie, but brains were always what put the Mission: Impossible team ahead of the competition, anyway, no? --Jim Emerson
Mission Impossible II
Visually stunning, and a likely must for John Woo aficionados, the second Mission: Impossible outing from megastar Tom Cruise suffers from an inconsistent tone and tired plot devices--not only recycled from other films, but repeated throughout the film. Despite remarkable cinematography and awe-inspiring, trademark Woo photography, the movie offers a tepid story from legendary screenwriter-director Robert Towne (Chinatown, Without Limits) and a host of other writers, most uncredited.
It is, regrettably, as forgettable as the first big-budget, big box-office MI in 1996, and it's clear (as Towne confirms) that the plot was developed around Woo- and Cruise-written action sequences. The film combines equal elements of romance and action, and is best when it features the stunning allure of Thandie Newton as Nyah, a master thief recruited by the sinewy charms of Ethan Hunt (a fit Cruise). Deeply in love after a passionate night, the couple must then combat MI nemesis (and Nyah's former lover) Sean Ambrose (Ever After's Dougray Scott). Ambrose holds hostage a virus and its cure, and offers them to the highest bidder.
Woo's famed mythic filmmaking is far from subtle, with heroic Hunt frequently slow-motion walking through fire, smoke, or other similar devices, replete with a white dove among pigeons to signal his presence. The emphasis on romance is an attempt to develop character and a more human side to superspy Hunt, but still the dreary story proves a distraction from the exciting action sequences. John Polson (as an MI team member) is an Aussie talent to keep an eye on. --N.F. Mendoza
Mission Impossible III
At the time of its release, Mission: Impossible III's box office was plagued by the publicity backlash against couch-jumping star Tom Cruise. It's too bad, because this third installment of the spy thriller franchise deserved a better reception than it got. First-time feature director J.J. Abrams (bigwig TV director/producer of Lost, Alias, & Felicity) proves more than able-bodied in creating a Mission: Impossible that's leaner and less over-stylized than John Woo's sequel and less confusing than Brian De Palma's original. Plot is still a throwaway here (Cruise's Ethan Hunt rescues his kidnapped former trainee and works to steal a device that... well, we don't really know what it does, but it's something about mass destruction that costs $850 million), but the action sequences, particularly one where Ethan faces down a helicopter on a bridge and gets flung hard against the side of a car, are particularly impressive since Cruise, at 44, is still doing most of his own stunts and shows no hint of the weathered look that's struck his action-star peers. (Though no Mission: Impossible stunt will ever be quite as simultaneously nail-biting and funny as the first film's wire-dangling break-in of CIA headquarters.)
Mission: Impossible III boasts a pedigreed cast, particularly Oscar® winner Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote) as baddie arms dealer Owen Davian. Hoffman plays Owen all teeth-clenched and cool, especially when threatening to kill Ethan in front of his lovely new wife (Michelle Monaghan) who has no idea of his spy life. But in his first action-film lead role, Hoffman's almost too calm and collected to really make a memorable villain, especially when the rest of the cast--Ving Rhames (the only other cast member to return for all three films), Asian film star Maggie Q, and an underused Jonathan Rhys-Meyers--are a highlight as Ethan's IMF team. Mission: Impossible is still fun popcorn spy fare, and if Cruise chooses to end the franchise here, at least he goes out on a high note. --Ellen A. Kim
Top Customer Reviews
But first, the quality of the films:
Mission Impossible is a very well crafted film. It has action, appropriately placed jokes to break the tension once in a while, and believe me, this film does a great job at keeping the tension palpable, and the acting is great all around. It actually even adhered to the original series method of storytelling to a certain degree. Top notch film for anyone who's a fan of suspense and action.
Mission Impossible II... meh. I enjoyed it for what it was, a mindless popcorn action flick. Directed by John Woo (Broken Arrow/Face-Off), the M:I formula is thrown out of the window, the character of Ethan Hunt is transformed into a cocky arrogant, and the only thing remaining is lots and lots of action, which has a tendency to be a little hard to swallow at times. That being said, it's still fun to watch. This is pure action eye-candy, and if you're OK with that, you're going to have a lot of fun. If not, well...
...The Mission Impossible III at least comes in to save the franchise. Directed by JJ Abrams (Alias, LOST, Star Trek), this film is a true return to form. A great story that's paced out evenly and some mindblowing action. Personally, it's still a shade under the original, but this film holds its own very well.
The best thing about all three films is that they're all seperate entities for the most part, meaning, you don't have to see any film before you see the other.
Now, back to that 'caveat' I was talking about - The audio. It's all LOSSY audio, which is fairly inexcusable for a Blu-ray in this day and age.Read more ›
The one down point to this set is the original MI HD-DVD, the ball was dropped on this one with a sub par video transfer which at times was so out of focus that it was not funny. The audio, while not jaw dropping, was acceptable.
If you never had them, go ahead, make the purchase, even better, Best Buy have them for $19.99 this week, and they include a $10 coupon for Ghost Protocol, so in essence you will end up spending only $10 for a 3-BD Box set. Not a bad deal.
Mission Impossible (my rating: 4 star) is actually a very decent effort and the movie is loyal to the original TV series with look and feel of it, including the storytelling style. Ethan Hunt and his team go on a mission to retrieve a list that contains the names of secret agents but the operation goes wrong and Ethan finds himself trying to uncover the list and the identity of the mysterious mole named "job".
Mission Impossible II (my rating: 3 stars) Unfortunately this movie is probably the weakest installment in the entire franchise. It is not even remotely close to the original. Actually, the basic plot line is not that terrible and there are some redeeming qualities. However, the first act is ruined by the romance between Ethan and Nyah which is built on empty dialogues, cheesy lines, not to mention the ridiculous car race scene where both cars get tangled and spin out of control. However none of this is match to what happens in the last 20 minutes of the movie which is pretty much filled with one nonsense action scene after another, cars flying in air, crashing into one another exploding, motorcycle race, Ethan and Sean riding their motorcycles toward each other and jumping in air, colliding with each other in mid-air with 80 miles per hour speed and never-ending fight sequence with lots of karate gimmicks.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you want the MI:III version with the 2 discs, get this bundled set, avoid the later ones.Published 2 months ago by Mark S. Owens
I ordered this and gave it away as a gift. The person enjoyed it immensely! We are still watching these...Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
No digital copy. Any movie purchased after 2010 should have a digital copy attached to it.Published 5 months ago by Brad