Mission: Impossible ★★½

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My family wanted to watch it again, so I tried as best as I could to see it with a cold eye. And I definitely could see why it works so well for so many people, but it’s also so patchy and sloppy. Things I couldn’t abide: dispensing with the deeply fascinating Kristin Scott Thomas in favor of the monotonous Emmanuelle Beart; the ploddingly expositional dialogue the pervades throughout; the fact that to bring Ethan Hunt in from the cold Kittridge meets him in a seafood restaurant (?!); the complete lack of understanding of how the internet works (lazy even by 1996 standards); the shambolic way they tacked a 90s action sequence (the train and helicopter) onto the end of a flimsy Cold War spy thriller; and the complete disinterest in character development throughout, especially for any role not played by Tom Cruise. It’s not without its charms, but it’s also deeply flawed.