Twenty years later, we talk Ethan Hunt as the American anti-Bond, the oddness of Brian De Palma helming a blockbuster franchise, and how M:I changed Tom Cruise’s career.
Josh Smicker: I have a few questions/comments I’d like to toss to the group.
- So, the IMF is a specialized subsection of the CIA? Is that actually directly stated (rather than strongly implied, as in the NOC list, etc.)? Because I do think implication v. definition matters quite a bit here. If it is, does it stay that way in the future films? My memories of it are more of a Rainbow Six/SHIELD non-governmental group, but my memories of MI movies are pretty non-specific.
- After the “botched” first mission, how long does Tom Cruise stay in their HQ? Are we to think that the second IMF group, specifically sent their for a mole hunt mission, is unaware where this HQ is, and/or is totally inept at tracking communications from it? More generally, the film is at such an interesting inflection point in media technologies/infrastructures/cultures (and about a bunch of incipient digital technologies literally framed by the analog; apparently it was the last major studio release on Beta, too). I found the representations of hacking/the Internet to be super-hilarious even given the context (e.g. typing “max.com” into the usenet to look for Max; the “jam all signals now” command on the train).
- Given the themes of the film, especially around identity, I think De Palma makes a lot of sense as the director.
That’s it for now. I’m curious both about response to any of those, and also people’s general reactions upon returning to the film…