May the Force Be with You

Cool gadgets, spectacular cinematic sleight of hand, nefarious spy jinks, a propulsive musical score built around a signature instrumental jingle, and a nimble, swaggering secret agent armed with lethal everyday commodities such as explosive chewing gum A Mission: Impossible the movie has more in common with James Bond than it does with its namesake TV series. (The keepers of 007's cinematic flame would do well to consider this De Palma's audition tape.) The labyrinthine narrative barrels ahead with such momentum that it mows over your natural skepticism; you never have time to concentrate on any one part of it. Which is probably a good thing. I doubt that most of the plot twists would seem credible or the characters compelling if they were closely inspected. Not giving the audience an opportunity to analyze any of its components in depth is essential to this Mission's success. The movie accomplishes that feat with such panache that, if you're like me, you'll exit the theater dazed and unsure of what you just saw, but eager for more.

Mission: Impossible.
Written by David Koepp and Robert Towne; directed by Brian De Palma; with Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Jean Reno, Emmanuelle Beart, Vanessa Redgrave, Emilio Estevez, Henry Czerny, Kristin Scott-Thomas, and Ving Rhames.

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