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Mission: Impossible (1996)

Mission: Impossible (1996)

Chapter 23 Mission: Impossible (1996)
Brian De Palma's Split-Screen
Douglas Keesey
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter explores the deception, duplicities, and trickster impulses embedded in De Palma's most financially successful blockbuster, the spy thriller, Mission: Impossible (1996). Notably, the film is a departure from the formulaic TV series it is based on, adding layer upon layer of deceptions and red herrings that do not resolve into the happy endings of the TV series. Instead, it betrays the expectations of the audiences of both the film and TV series alike. A mole is suspected within the ranks of the Impossible Mission Force (IMF), a team of covert CIA spies, just as De Palma himself plays as a mole in Hollywood, “betraying” genre conventions by making his own rebellious kind of movie.

Keywords:   Mission: Impossible, genre conventions, spy thriller, espionage, Hollywood genre films, betrayal

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