What the Mission: Impossible series discovers in this moment is this: Imperfect stunts can be more thrilling than perfect ones, and an unflappable superman who always knows exactly what to do and does it perfectly is less exciting than a fallible, vulnerable action hero — one who can be caught by surprise, who hesitates and has misgivings, who is forced to improvise, sometimes miscalculating and even getting hurt.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout completes possibly the most improbable cinematic hat trick in Hollywood history: An unpromising series that began with three patchy, uneven entries has now produced three terrifically entertaining ones.
Building on the momentum of its predecessor, McQuarry whips up a similar blend of brilliantly constructed set pieces, spectacular stunts, humor, exotic locations and — well, that’s about it, really. What more do you need?
Brad Bird’s Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol is so preposterously entertaining that it makes watching other recent Hollywood action spectacles feel like work. What in the last few years even compares to it?
As he did with The Untouchables, in Mission: Impossible De Palma borrows the marquee value of an earlier franchise as a pretext for a series of loosely strung-together set pieces, highlighted by a single dazzling sequence that’s better than the rest of the movie put together.
Despite its flaws, M:I‑III is competent, disposable entertainment. There’s nothing here that really grabs you like the first film’s CIA break-in, but it doesn’t leave a sour taste like Woo’s M:I‑II. Even so, in the post-007 world of Jason Bourne, that may not be enough.
This second Mission: Impossible film has almost as little to do with the 1996 blockbuster original as the latter had with the classic TV series whose name it happened to share.
Copyright © 2000– Steven D. Greydanus. All rights reserved.