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OPINION - COMMISSION IMPOSSIBLE

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Coming soon to a cinema near you . . . Commission Impossible. ...
Coming soon to a cinema near you . . . Commission Impossible.

While hang-gliding in the Mexican desert, Ethan Hunt - Tom Cruise - is contacted by his handlers to be told of a sinister plot for domination of a small and obscure nation. The plot is being hatched by an organisation known simply as 'The Commission'. Hunt's task is to enter the organisation, win the trust of its cunning leader and sabotage his master plan. Before Hunt can get close to 'Number One', he must show his loyalty by an act of mindless violence.

Hunt volunteers for the secret mission, code name CPA. The mission involves brainwashing and humiliating the leaders of powerful local mafia. To prove himself, Hunt must destroy the resistance of the mafia's supreme council - 'The Association'. Drawing on his experience of psychological warfare, Hunt lures The Association into believing it can join forces with The Commission - thus neutralising any threat it might have posed.

Hunt soon elbows aside the ambitious but unstable leader of project CPA - Brad Pitt in the cameo role of Agent Kirby - thus proving himself to Number One and joining the Commission's shadowy grand council.

There, Hunt discovers that The Commission's plans are much worse than had been feared. Behind his friendly and reassuring act, Number One turns out to be a ruthless operator. He tells Hunt of the way he has made The Commission indispensable to the state. Hunt discovers Number One has even placed a Commission sleeper - Julia Roberts plays the glamorous foreign spy 'Miss Wendy' - at the very heart of the government.

To his horror, Hunt realises The Commission has already embarked on its three stage plan for total power.

The first step is to win the sympathy of the remaining local mafia heads. Number One does this by turning against The Commission's old masters in government, accusing them of being responsible for Number One's own favoured act of terror - wrapping up victims in unbreakable red tape, branding them and throwing them to the merciless pack of media wolves. Step two is to take control of the country's health service, destroying its will and crushing the powerful resistance of the hospital's white coated war-lords, 'The Consultants'. Step three is to demand the government itself endure CPA, followed by the forced removal

of the regime in favour of Number One and his henchmen.

Hunt discovers Number One has a major psychological flaw, but will he have time to expose him or will this truly be 'Commission Impossible'? (Cert PG - unsuitable for unaccompanied councillors).

Matthew Taylor

Director, Institute for Public Policy Research

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