Mission: Impossible - * * *

Improbable but highly entertaining suspense yarn. Tom Cruise stars as Ethan Hunt, the point man for a team of IMF (Impossible Mission Force) agents assigned to do highly confidential and dangerous covert operations. The only character returning from the television show is Mr. Phelps, the director of Hunt’s team, this time played by Jon Voight. The plot has plenty of twists and turns…but it starts out with a mission that goes bad, and mainly focuses on Hunt’s attempts to figure out what went wrong. His various teammates include the likes of Kirstin Scott-Thomas, Emilio Estevez, Jean Reno and Ving Rhames. The convoluted plot relies a bit too heavily on coincidence, and skirts reality on several occasions, but set that aside for a moment. The films true thrills come from its three action set pieces. The first is mostly setup, but the final two are tremendous fun. In these moments, the film really shines, and director Brian DePalma deserves some accolades (especially for rediscovering the lost art of silence). However, between the action, the holes in the plot start to stand out. DePalma does keep the pacing up, though he depends a bit too much on whiplash camera angles. Don’t think…and you can just sit back and enjoy Mission Impossible.

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