The Bye Bye Man
The Bye Bye Man is the kind of film that is so boring and bereft of anything of possible interest that it becomes infuriating.
Ethan Hunt is in some respects the least inquisitive man in action movie history. In "Mission: Impossible" (1996), he risked his life to (I quote from my original review) "prevent the theft of a computer file containing the code names and real identities of all of America's double agents." But Ethan (Tom Cruise) must prevent this theft after it happens, because first he must "photograph the enemy in the act of stealing the information, and then follow him until he passes it along." The plot also involves crucial uses for latex masks and helicopters, one of which flies through the Chunnel from England to France, which is difficult, considering helicopter blades are wider than the Chunnel.
In "Mission: Impossible II" (2000), Ethan has to stop a villain who possesses a deadly virus: Twenty-four hours after exposure, you die. The heroine (Thandie Newton) does, however, survive at the end of the movie, leaving her available for the sequel, although by "Mission: Impossible III," Ethan Hunt is engaged to a sweet nurse named Julia (Michelle Monaghan), who thinks he is a highway traffic control engineer.
Helicopters are again involved, and Ethan falls for the old latex mask trick again, and even uses a latex mask himself, so that others can be fooled and he doesn't have to feel so bad. In a nice visual pun, the helicopters encounter giant energy-generating windmills in deserts near Berlin that uncannily resemble deserts near Palm Springs. It's kind of neat when one propeller slices off another, wouldn't you agree? Observing the curious landscape outside Berlin, I was reminded that Citizen Kane built his Xanadu "on the desert coasts of Florida."
Ethan Hunt's assignment in "M:I III" is to battle the villain Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman) for control of the Rabbit's Foot. In Ethan's final words in the movie, after countless people have been blown up, shot, crushed and otherwise inconvenienced, he asks his boss Brassel (Laurence Fishburne), "What is the Rabbit's Foot?" Ethan should know by now it is a MacGuffin, just like the virus and the computer file.