A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
If James Bond is still around at the end of the 21st century, he will look a lot like Ethan Hunt. The hero of the "Mission: Impossible" series is a 007 for our time.
That means: Sex is more of a surprise and a distraction than a lifestyle. Stunts and special effects don't interrupt the plot, but are the plot. The hero's interest in new consumer items runs more toward cybergadgets than sports cars. He isn't a patriot working for his government, but a hired gun working for a shadowy international agency. And he doesn't smoke, hardly drinks, and is in the physical condition of a triathlete.
The new Bond, in short, is a driven, over-achieving professional -- not the sort of gentleman sophisticate the British spy family used to cultivate. His small talk consists not of lascivious puns, but geekspeak. When he raised an eyebrow, it's probably not his, because he's a master of disguise and can hide behind plastic face masks so realistic even his cinematographer doesn't know for sure.
The first "Mission: Impossible" (1996) had a plot no one understood. "Mission: Impossible 2" has a plot you don't need to understand. It's been cobbled together by the expert Hollywood script doctor Robert Towne out of elements of other movies, notably Hitchcock's "Notorious" (1946) from which he takes the idea that the hero first falls in love with the heroine, then heartlessly assigns her to resume an old affair with an ex-lover in order to spy on his devious plans. In both films, the woman agrees to do this because she loves the hero. In "Notorious," the hero loses respect for the woman after she does what he asks. The modern hero is too amoral to think of this.