Mission: Impossible II (2000)

I adore the beginning of this film. Words can’t capture how gloriously, deliriously shlocky it is; a cooly-long-haired Tom Cruise performing an insane free rock climbing sequence at Dead Horse Point in Utah. The strategic whip-off of sunglasses containing a super-spy message. The quip and cut to titles. It’s beautiful. The rest of the movie…

Mission: Impossible (1996)

An extremely 1990s, taut action-thriller that feels like what it is, Brian De Palma delivering a hit he needed. His touches spark up the movie (split diopter shots, POV tracking shots, mounting tension presented through sudden switchover to dutch angles), but the lack of a script while shooting shows, and the whole thing feels very…