Mission: Impossible (PG). Dispensing entirely with plausibility and coherence, Brian De Palma has made a true blockbuster for the Nineties. Updating the Sixties TV series (and retaining little more than Lalo Schifrin's signature tune), he overpowers the outmoded espionage claptrap with a battery of stunts and special effects. Even for a summer multiplex filler, the movie is garbled. All you need to know from the intricate (but ultimately bogus) plot is this: agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise), framed for the murder of his colleagues, tries to clear himself by retrieving a floppy disk. The two bravura set-pieces stand independently of the rest of the film (which is too incomprehensible to be suspenseful): the first, a nail-biting montage worthy of Hitchcock, has our hero breaking into a sterile high- security vault at CIA headquarters; the second, the daftest action sequence of the past year, involves a helicopter, a speeding train, and an all- important stick of exploding chewing-gum. You might also want to marvel/cringe at Vanessa Redgrave's mad Max, an arms-dealer villainess. Otherwise, there's little here to get excited about - least of all Cruise, who once again shows that he isn't so much an actor as a package of programmed grins and grimaces.
The Tit and the Moon (18). Nine-year-old Tete (Biel Duan) desperately wants a breast to suck on. His mother always offers hers to his baby brother, so he turns his attention to cabaret dancer Estrellita (Mathilda May), the wife and performing partner of an impotent professional farter. Although typically prurient, Bigas Luna's Oedipal fantasy is more beguiling than his last two films, Jamon, Jamon and Golden Balls, and, significantly, less tainted by machismo.
Life and Death in the ER (18). "Trauma!" screams the sleeve. "Real emergencies, real operations, real-life drama." It sounds like a snuff version of ER, but this is a perfectly legit documentary, and a reasonably sensitive one, all things considered. Perhaps pre-empted by the recent spate of medi- cal documentaries on TV, this look at the Penn Hospital emergency team in action is none the less a thoughtful portrayal of the sobering reality behind the drama. Not for the weak-stomached, though: casualties (including a particularly gruesome foot-long laceration) are rendered in vivid close-up.