While we have the John Wicks and the Fast franchise doubling down on set-pieces that feel like they may as well be computer games, the mission franchise has banked on the stardom and batshit-crazy stunts that Tom Cruise pulls off.
This one is no different in that respect, however the previous films have had more of an emotional underpinning that this felt like it lacked. Without going into spoiler territory. There are relationships here that have been bloomed and thrived over years. Skimming over any of them in favour of plot movement is detrimental to the experience.
The best action set-pieces and stunts visually matter only as much as the audiences investment into the success of that challenge. This is where I felt the film suffered most.
I also had problems with the premise of it being Spy vs AI and getting short-changed on both fronts. This felt more in the zone of pickpockets vs Gabriel, with a forced backstory planted to justify that “Everything is Planned!”
I’m still a huge fan of both Cruise and McQuarrie (and particularly the combination thereof) so I will be there at the first available show of the next, with great expectations once more.