I remember when I first saw this film in theaters and the lights dimmed the first thought that ran through my head was "Here we go again" as I released an involuntary sigh of apathy. Somewhere along the line, before seeing this latest installment, I had decided to re-watch the original four films and realized that the character of Ethan Hunt really has no defining characteristics beyond just basically being Tom Cruise. This bothered me for some reason. Jason Bourne was a fully fleshed out character and even the new Bond films had added newer elements to give a traditionally stereotypical character more depth and complexity, but Ethan Hunt is just...bland. He has no personality. What seemed even stranger to me was the fact that Mission Impossible was supposed to revolve around a team, yet Tom Cruise is seemingly always the only one who ever does anything. So basically these films boil down to watching Tom Cruise perform his own stunts, which I will admit are extremely impressive, especially in this latest escapade. However the plots of all five films are basically nonsense to try and connect each elaborate stunt to the next. Then I realized that all 5 films have remarkably similar story lines as well. Tom Cruise has a mission, something goes wrong, he goes rouge, needs to find some kind of MacGuffin, the villain is some kind of terrorist arms dealer, insert random forgettable love interest here, big stunts, the end.
that being said, the film's action scenes are amazing, and really make you question the sanity of Cruise, who needlessly continues to insist on doing all of his stunts. Basically it's another Tom Cruise Hollywood blockbuster, which at the end of the day made me finally realize, "Why was I ever expecting anything else in the first place?"