Mission: Impossible (1996)

Film and Plot Synopsis

In Mission: Impossible, Ethan Hunt and his IMF team go undercover to bring down the (NOC) list; a list of every agent and spy in the IMF. However, after someone ambushes Hunt’s team, only he and Claire Phelps survives. The CIA believes that Hunt was in on the attack, but of course, he wasn’t. Now Hunt must team up with two disavowed IMF agents, to track down and take back the NOC list before it’s revelation compromises the identity of every agent.

‘Mission: Impossible’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
Mission: Impossible (1996)Mission: Impossible begins when the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) dispatches a team to Prague to stop the theft of the CIA non-official cover (NOC) list from the American embassy. The team is under the command of Jim Phelps (Jon Voight) and the team’s lead operative is Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise). Ethan leads his team into the embassy, but something goes horribly wrong and everyone is killed except Ethan.

Ethan follows his procedures and tries to come in to debrief. He meets with the IMF director Eugene Kittridge (Henry Czerny) at a Prague restaurant. However, when Ethan becomes aware that the entire Prague mission was a ploy to lure out a suspected mole in the agency and Kittridge believes that Ethan is the mole, he blows up the restaurant and goes on the run.

Ethan returns to the team’s safe house and is shocked to find that Jim’s wife Claire (Emmanuelle Béart) also survived the mission. The two concoct a plan to find the mole and clear their names. Ethan contacts the proposed buyer of the NOC list, an arms dealer named Max (Vanessa Redgrave). Ethan makes a deal with Max that he will get her the genuine NOC list in exchange for $10 million and the real mole’s identity. Max agrees to the proposal.

Ethan and Claire begin to recruit disavowed IMF agents for their mission. They bring in computer expert Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) and pilot Franz Krieger (Jean Reno). Although both are working as mercenaries, only Krieger acts the part. The foursome infiltrate CIA headquarters in Langley to steal the real NOC list. Overcoming an amazing set of security procedures, they are successful in acquiring the list and fly to London to contact Max.

Once in London, Ethan discovers that Kittridge has arrested his mother and uncle for drug trafficking charges in the hope that it will smoke Ethan out. Ethan contacts Kittridge from a phone at a train station and allows IMF to track the call to London. After he hangs up the call, he sees Jim Phelps, who is suddenly alive and well.

Jim tells Ethan that he survived the shooting in Prague and accuses Kittridge of being the mole. Not so easily fooled, Ethan realizes that Jim is the mole. In addition, Ethan suspects Krieger is the one that killed some of the members of his team at the embassy. However, Ethan is unsure as whether Claire is involved, so he plays along with Jim’s ruse until the exchange.

Ethan arranges with Max to exchange the NOC list aboard the TGV train to Paris the next day and secretly sends tickets to Kittridge. Once on the train, Ethan remotely directs Max to the list. Once Max verifies its authenticity, she directs Ethan to the baggage car where she has placed his money and the mole. Ethan calls Claire and tells her to meet him the baggage car.

Max attempts to send the list to her servers over a lab top, but Luther uses a jamming device to prevent her from doing so. Meanwhile, Claire reaches the baggage car and sees Jim there. She tells Jim that Ethan will be there in a moment. She questions Jim if it is still necessary to kill Ethan since they need a fall guy. However, Jim stands up and reveals himself to be Ethan in disguise, having determined Claire’s involvement.

The real Jim steps out of the shadows and takes the money from Ethan at gunpoint. Ethan reveals to Jim that he had a pair of video glasses in his pocket that has been relaying Jim’s image to Kittridge. IMF is now aware that not only is Jim alive, but that he was the mole.

Jim threatens to kill Ethan, but when Claire asks him not to, he shoots her instead. Jim climbs on the roof of the train, where Krieger is waiting with a helicopter and a tether. Ethan follows and connects the tether to the train itself, tying the helicopter to the train and forcing Krieger to follow. The helicopter is pulled into a tunnel where Krieger must desperately pilot to avoid a crash.

While in the tunnel, both Jim and Ethan jump onto the helicopter and proceed to fight. During the fight, Ethan pulls out a stick of explosive gum and places it on the helicopter. Ethan jumps from the helicopter and rides the concussive wave from the explosion back to the safety of the train.

In the train, Kittridge arrests Max and retrieves the NOC list. Ethan’s family is cleared of the false criminal charges and Ethan and Luther are reinstated as IMF agents. Ethan is unsure whether he wants to continue as an agent, but on his flight home, a flight attendant uses a coded phrase to ask him if he is ready to accept a new mission.

Add the film to your collection today!

Additional Film Information

Rate the Film!

Our Rating

Our Rating

Paramount Pictures released Mission: Impossible on May 22, 1996. Brian De Palma directed the film starring Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, and Emmanuelle Béart.

User Rating: Be the first one !
Show More
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Back to top button
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x