After JJ Abrams’ impossible rescue mission on this franchise in 2006, Brad Bird gets to direct fourth film in the run. It’s an interesting one; in 2006 the IMF gadgetry seemed like movie magic. One year later the iPhone came out and it set the ball rolling on a whole new world of pocket computers as powerful as full-sized ones and seamless wireless access to the internet from almost anywhere in the world. The every-man now has all the cool shit Ethan Hunt had in 1996.
It’s not about what you’ve got though, it’s how you use it, and here the crew get up to some pretty bad-ass hi jinks in Dubai. I liked it the first time and the stuff in the desert definitely holds up to a second viewing. Lea Seydoux matches Seymour Hoffman like for like on the scariness scale but sadly they kill her off way too soon.
It wouldn’t be such a bad thing but the actual villain seems to have no real motive for doing what he’s doing. That, along with the Jeremy Renner plot, does put the whole film on shaky ground. However, much like the last one, it’s a well made piece of spy fun propped up by good actors and stand out set pieces.
Bring on number five!
(Also, send help)