The Mission Impossible films have been so different from one another that it is really hard to look at them as a group. Each film works as a different entity and each one seems to not want to be associated with the film that came before it. With Brad Bird in the director seat this trend doesn’t stop, as MI4 is the most action packed and cheesiest film of the franchise. It is also one of the most fun times I have had at the movies in a long time and a reminder of the attraction of the popcorn movie. It doesn’t make you think nor does it make you yawn. It requires no work except to sit back, relax, and enjoy probably the best Mission Impossible film ever made (which is a compliment but not much of one).
Brad Bird is known for directing the Pixar film, The Incredibles, and although that film had the advantage of having a better script, much of it’s fast pace action can be seen in MI4. Brad Bird may of left the animation game but MI4 still stylistically feels like one. Anything is possible and the ridiculous is coated with colors and lights. The action here is truly the high point of the movie. I don’t think I have ever seen so many entertaining action sequences from the nail biting Dubai sky scraper scene to the car garage ending which is one of the most ridiculous and awesome action sequences around. But even the action scenes cannot save the movie from its subpar script. The story isn’t really important here as it is more of a vehicle to move our characters from action set piece to action set piece. This is a shame because a great story only solidifies and intensifies the action pieces but so be it. MI4 was never meant to be a smart action film, it was meant to be an action film and it does that very well.
Tom Cruise and Company here are all entertaining and each one adds to the team complexity that MI4 does so well. The ensemble all serves a purpose and all have colorful personalities that work well with the many high flying and exhilarating stunts. MI4 does just about everything to optimize its action potential. Except for some little references, it doesn’t even feel like a Mission Impossible film because the film just doesn’t seem interested with being one. It’s all about the action and that’s fine with me. It’s about time somebody looked at this franchise as just a means to an end. Bird did and has given me one of the most enjoyable cinema going experiences in awhile.
(Note: Please go see this in IMAX. To see it on IMAX is to really see the film the way it is intended and should be seen.)