I hadn’t seen the first Mission: Impossible movie since my old VHS-rental days (hard to believe this franchise has been going for sixteen years now!), but it was on TV t’other day, so I thought I’d tune in… and I was delighted to see so many familiar European faces enlivening events: First up, you had Emmanuelle Béart and Kristin Scott Thomas as members of the IMF team, helping ‘Ethan Hunt’ (Tom Cruise) prevent an American diplomat from stealing a super-secret list of covert agents… then Vanessa Redgrave popped up as the mastermind who’s trying to buy the pilfered intel… and later, Jean Reno joined Hunt’s team as he attempted to break into CIA headquarters to get his own copy of the list, birthing a million parodies by attempting to hack into a computer while hanging suspended from the ceiling. Oh, and let’s not forget David Schneider (of KMKY fame) in the pivotal role of a fainting ‘Train Engineer’.
Ultimately though, I was a little irritated by how the non-Americans were treated in this story. I mean, Scott Thomas is fun but her character is killed off in the first twenty minutes… Redgrave is a baddie from the outset… and both Frenchies turn out to be secretly evil in the final act! Sacré bleu!
Meanwhile, from a screenwriting perspective, it’s interesting to watch the famous wire-hanging scene, get totally sucked in by the suspense of it, and say to myself “I could never write anything like this… I don’t know the first thing about security technology!”… then go online and read the movie’s “goofs” page, and realise that the scene didn’t make the slightest sense in terms of real-world physics! As an aspiring writer, I find that rather comforting in a way… even though I’m sure such fudging is deeply annoying to more technically-minded audience-members.