Start with a Tom Clancy-ish storyline, throw in equal portions of "Speed" and "The Fugitive", flavor with "Sneakers" and what do you get? A surprisingly dull techno-thriller that plays like a watered-down James Bond flick. Tom Cruise, displaying all the smug smirks we hoped he had outgrown, takes center stage in this big screen update of the classic TV series. Brian De Palma, the director of the TV remake "The Untouchables", proves that lightning seldom strikes twice in the same place.
Ethan Hunt (Cruise) turns out to be the sole survivor of a dangerous mission to recover a computer disk filled with the names of American operatives. Kittridge (Henry Czerny), his superior, kicks him out of their elite intelligence agency, forcing him to go on the run. Ethan, who now realizes he has been setup, attempts to steal the actual operative list from CIA headquarters in Langley, along with a few specialists he picks up in Prague. But rest assured, even when this caper has been completed, there are still more twists and turns in store for our hero.
Inbetween the occasional clever stunt, the pacing of "Mission Impossible" often lags dangerously. Audiences expecting a good mix of action and intrigue will likely be disappointed. With sparse scoring and special effects which range from pretty good to inconvincing, the film just doesn't have the excitement that the summer movie crowd has come to expect.