Exciting, fun and mostly effective - if slightly hollow? I appreciated the emotional beats as emotional beats but for whatever reason I didn't feel them as I assume I was supposed to. As a whole, the film doesn't quite feel as magical as its predecessor but it's still a darn good time. (And Benedict Cumberbatch's villain is a vast improvement over Eric Bana's. I mean, really.) I laughed, I was thrilled, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I seriously hope we don't have to wait another 4 years to visit these characters again.
I keep going back and forth on this one. The film is gorgeous to look at and Tom Cruise is still great at being Tom Cruise but so much of it borrows so heavily from other movies, indisputably better movies, that all this kind of pales in comparison. I realize that all great sci-fi borrows and I'm all for expanding on an idea or a theme but I feel like the ideas on loan here play less like an homage and more like a greatest hits. The final act is the main problem - even without the borrowed ideas, the climax is still too long, unaffecting and a bit kitchen-sink-y.
The same thing happens with every David O. Russell movie I see: I am completely on board and excited by the potential in the first act only to be totally let down by the rest of the film. The performances here are pretty great but by the end of the movie I literally had a headache from rolling my eyes so much. Disappointing.