Concerned narratively and stylistically with De Palma's belief that film lies 24 times a second. An idea it reaffirms throughout as all the technological gadgets in the film are deceiving (Phelps' staged death with the microcameras) and untrustworthy (a fake list with a tracker), and it's ultimately Hunt's own thoughts (aided by a non-technological device, a Bible) that reveal an approximation of the truth.
For such an iconoclast filmmaker, DePalma is often at his best when working within the mainstream (see also: "Scarface" and "The Untouchables"). Here he collaborates with Tom Cruise to craft one of the best blockbusters of the 90's. As opposed to the sequels, which focused on crafting bigger and bigger action set-pieces, the focus here is on shadowy intrigue and deception, an area DePalma knows well.
I'm not a big De Palma fan but in many ways he was an inspired choice to bring MI to the big screen. He brings to it his customary cinematic self-consciousness, constantly playing with audience expectations and spy/heist tropes so that you can never be quite sure how seriously he is playing it. In this context Cruise's performance - straight, serious and intense - is perfect: a really enjoyable combination.
A film to watch for its set pieces, all undeniably De Palma...the first half hour is perhaps the most classical of his work in this, and it's no surprise the action finale works least of all. He plays with his usual techniques of deception, which work well in a spy world, but he is not a director I need doing big-budget films. The basic principles of what this franchise becomes are all here.
A weird combination of high budget Hollywood action blockbuster and....Brian De Palma. Bizarrely, it works extremely well because you get lots of the best of those two things as well as a great cast doing a largely very decent job.
That's his wife! But he's old. And I haven't seen a 3.5" disc for years. And Cruise looks like Cruise, not the flabby weirdo he looks like now. And I wish... Oh, hell, this is hilarious. Still... '96 that's like well old! I'm chuckling as i watch.Ohh, and his "disguises" lol