26th Apr2019

‘Impossible Mission’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Jimena Gala, Ben Vinnicombe, James Giblin, Karina Matas Piper, Maarten Swaan, Gilles Gambino, Alika Del Sol, Mat Cruz | Written and Directed by Gilles Gambino


You have to respect the likes of High Octane Pictures and Wild Eye Releasing, the amount of truly independent genre films they put out in the US is astounding. Of course many filmmakers can go down the self-releasing route and debut their films on streaming services etc. but there’s nothing like getting a physical release – and that’s where High Octane and co. come in, seemingly picking up titles no one else will and there’s some real gems hidden in their output, as long as you can look past the low budgets!

But when you’re dealing with so many independent films and so many low budget films there’s bound to be some stinkers; and unfortunately Impossible Mission is one such movie. The film follows Rosa, a master assassin with a knack for poisons,; however Rosa wants out of the assassination game. Given a promise that this will be her last job and she can walk away from her “career,” she sets out on a search and destroy mission against a spiritual leader in the heart of Spain.

Honestly, I’m a huge fan of action movies with female leads, I have been ever since I discovered the films of Cynthia Rothrock as a teenager. And there have been some good, nay great, baddass action films with female leads: from recent movies such as Atomic Blonde, The Villainess and Peppermint, to lesser-seen films like Running Delilah, And Now You’re Dead and Code Name Phoenix, to classics like La Femme Nikita. And it would seem writer/director Gilles Gambino is clearly aiming at films like the latter with Impossible Mission – however he, unfortunately, hits way wide of the mark.

So wide in fact that Impossible Mission, originally filmed un the title of The Vibe, isn'[t really that much of an action film. It is instead a VERY low-budget film that – whilst the basci story is intriguing – spends way too much time on talking heads and exposition – telling the audience what’s going on rather than showing them. And when Gambino does try and use action instead of words he screws it up by punctuating everything with a truly terrible soundtrack, which does more to annoy the viewer than guide them through the films more suspenseful portions – oftentimes the music not even tallying up to whats happening on screen.

Lead actress Jimena Gala is the films biggest problem however… She’s just too good for the role! In scene after scene she offers an empathic, emotional performance (as all troubled hitwomen should be, right?) whereas the rest of the cast deliver wooden one-note performances, some even feeling like the actors are reading from cue cards off-screen! Gala, despite this being her first credited feature film role, out classes and outshines everyone here and its such a shame to see such an enigmatic performer relegated to such dross.

But Impossible Mission shouldn’t be so dull. The central concept, of people fighting against the current political and sociological status quo SHOULD make for an interesting conspiracy thriller and it probably would have in more experienced hands. As it stands now, this film is probably set to disappoint people looking for a badass chick kicking arse in an action movie (just look at that mis-selling artwork above); and will even disappoint anyone looking for the next Mission Impossible rip-off too!

Impossible Mission is available on DVD and VOD on May 7th, from High Octane Pictures.


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