Mission: Impossible appears in both an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. Expect a generally good but not great image.
For the most part, sharpness worked well, as the majority of the image seemed crisp and concise. However, some interiors could be a little iffy, and a smattering of light edge haloes could impact this.
Jagged edges and shimmering created no problems, and if the transfer used digital noise reduction, it remained even-handed, as the movie still showed a fairly natural sense of grain. In terms of print flaws, I saw a handful of small specks but nothing major.
Colors seemed positive, as the movie offered a reasonably lively palette. It leaned a bit toward blue and red but it mustered a largely natural set of hues that came across well.
Blacks were deep and dense, while shadows tended to be acceptably smooth. I didn’t love this transfer, but it was usually pretty good.
The film’s Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundfield was nicely open and broad. Music showed excellent stereo imaging, while effects were well-placed and neatly integrated.
Elements moved smoothly and connected in a concise manner. Some directional dialogue opened things up a little more.
The surrounds contributed to the sense of atmosphere, though they didn’t get as great a workout as I expected. Nonetheless, they kicked into high gear for the action sequences, and the bullet train scene offered excellent material.
Audio quality was always positive. Music fared especially well, as the score sounded bright and dynamic.
Effects were concise and clean, with solid low-end response. Speech came across as accurate and crisp, with no edginess or other problems. This was a consistently satisfying soundtrack.
How did the 4K UHD compare with the Blu-ray from 2008? Audio showed the same scope but offered improved quality since the UHD’s TrueHD mix replaced the Blu-ray’s lossy track. Some will bemoan the absence of an Atmos remix, but since 5.1 reproduces the original audio, I’m fine with it.
Even with the concerns I witnessed, the UHD offered significant visual improvements. The Blu-ray was a very lackluster product that showed few real strengths, so the UHD turned into a definite upgrade – though I think it should’ve been better.
One note about the UHD’s colors: I occasionally wondered if the movie went through visual changes that leaned toward teal and orange. These trends didn’t seem overwhelming and they may have resulted from the UHD’s HDR capabilities, as it’s possible the added boldness of HDR accentuated tones that were always there.
That said, given how many movies get “re-timed” these days to push toward orange and teal, I find it hard not to feel suspicious. Any altered hues remained fairly subtle, though, so if these changes occurred, don’t expect them to seem distracting.
The UHD includes no extras, but the included Blu-ray copy provides a decent array of materials, and these start with an 11-minute, 26-second featurette entitled Mission: Remarkable – 40 Years of Creating the Impossible. It brings comments from producer Paula Wagner, actor/producer Tom Cruise, screenwriter Robert Towne, directors Brian De Palma, John Woo and JJ Abrams, and actor Jon Voight.
They discuss the influence of the TV series on the first movie and connections between the two. We also hear about the film’s plot and story complications, finding its director and his impact, and locations. From there we get notes about the sequel’s story and director, and then we find some tidbits about the third film in the series.
Chalk up “Remarkable” as a disappointment. I hoped it’d be a full examination of all the different Impossible incarnations, but instead it simply offers minor information about the various movies. We learn very little in this glossy featurette.
Next we find Mission: Explosive Exploits. This five-minute, nine-second featurette includes notes from Wagner, Cruise, De Palma, stunt coordinator Greg Powell and actor Henry Czerny.
The show looks at two stunts in the first film. We get decent reflections on the challenges caused by these scenes, but don’t expect a lot of depth. Instead, we mostly find praise for Cruise.
In the six-minute, 31-second Mission: International Spy Museum, we hear from International Spy Museum executive director Peter Earnest. He takes us on a tour of the establishment and tells us about various spy gadgets and techniques. This proves moderately engaging and likely will entice some folks to visit the museum in Washington DC.
Mission: Spies Among Us goes for eight minutes, 40 seconds. We discover statements from Earnest, CIA senior operations officer Chase Brandon, special intelligence operations expert Dr. Derrin Smith, Rand Corporation senior analyst Gregory Trevorton, US Army Special Forces MSG (Retired) Carl Donelson, and CIA former senior disguise specialist Robert Barron.
They discuss the reality of life as a spy. The program presents an interesting little primer about the various issues and concerns.
During Mission: Catching the Train, we hear from De Palma, Cruise, visual effects supervisor John Knoll and associate visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri. The two-minute, 39-second program looks at the creation of the film’s climax. A few nice insights and behind the scenes bits appear, but the featurette’s brevity means it doesn’t shed a lot of light on the topic.
Seven Agent Dossiers appear. These offer biographies for seven of the movie’s characters. They add a fun note to the disc.
The next two pieces connect to the same event. Excellence in Film: Cruise is a nine-minute, 15-second compilation of clips from Cruise movie’s created to precede his receipt of an award. It doesn’t seem especially interesting.
For more praise of the actor, we get a three-minute, 36-second montage called Generation: Cruise. It serves the same purpose as the “Excellence in Film” collection and presents shots from the actor’s flicks. Yawn.
Two trailers appear, as we get both the teaser and theatrical trailers for Impossible. In addition to nine TV Spots, we find a lackluster 40 image Photo Gallery comprised mostly of publicity shots.
Although I enjoyed Mission: Impossible, I can’t say it made much of a mark on me. The movie packed enough action and drama to keep me interested, but it lacked a certain spark that would have made it more memorable. The 4K UHD offers erratic but usually positive visuals along with pretty good audio and a superficial set of supplements. This doesn’t become a great 4K UHD release but it’s definitely the best version of the film on the market.
To rate this film, visit the original review of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE