“If we only follow the odds, we will never do anything in spite of the odds.”

That’s an awfully gutsy, and awfully goofy, thesis on which to hang Heart of Stone as it brazenly lifts moments from each Mission: Impossible film from the last 27 years (including, and especially, the one still in theaters). Debuting Friday on Netflix, Heart of Stone also hails from the Skydance production company, which coincidentally now handles the M:I movies. Despite this curious cannibalization of its own compelling brand, Skydance finds very little meat on Stone’s bones.

There is an inkling of an intriguing, if slight, idea here: The wallflower tech geek of a crackerjack spy team is actually the group’s most hellacious head-smasher. But Stone can’t capitalize on that in any compelling way. First, it tosses out the complication of newly reconfigured collaborative camaraderie in service of a lame twist — as co-writers Greg Rucka and Allison Schroeder (Hidden Figures) choose bluster over the bonhomie that powered Rucka’s 2020 Netflix adaptation The Old Guard. And then it must cast, as mousy mouse clicker Rachel Stone, anyone other than a weapons-trained veteran of the Israeli military.

It is not Gal Gadot’s fault that she resembles one of the last people you’d expect to be bad at ass-kicking. Blame her, though, for largely bizarre career choices outside the Fast & Furious films and what is, on the verge of the entire endeavor’s epitaph, almost certain to remain as the original DCEU’s finest hour. The gargantuan doohickey of computer-generated nothingness called Red Notice. Her meme-able monotone in Death on the Nile. Pointless cameos to prop up dead films walking.

Sling Stone on that slagheap, too. With a narrative as unwieldy as its title, Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning, Part One might have been a comedown from the typically stratospheric heights of that franchise. But it still has more to offer than action scenes as envisioned by the guy who asked Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones to dangle from a CGI balloon for two hours. Thanks to a modestly hell-raising chase through Lisbon that caps the first act, Stone has slightly less hot air than director Tom Harper’s The Aeronauts. Otherwise, it’s a deluge of digitally assisted effects from which Harper tries to distract viewers using the same analog filter applied to They Cloned Tyrone (and there, at least, for good reason).

Theresa (Jing Lusi) wears fancy gowns with enough give for close-quarters combat. Parker (Jamie Dornan) runs point on punching people. Max (Paul Ready) is a master of getaway escapes. Rachel? Well, she’s supposed to stay in the van, forever running decryption scripts to insert her teammates’ toothy grins into facial recognition software. So it goes until a mission spins sideways in the Italian Alps — during which Rachel must not only leave the van but display her talent as a double agent infiltrating inner circles at MI6.

This includes parachuting down a mountain below a cloth canopy lit like a hundred Hummer headlights, conspicuously Tango & Cash-ing down a precarious wire, stealing a snowmobile and quite loudly picking off a parcel full of pistol-packing bad guys before her teammates arrive. Rachel’s secret handler unironically screaming at her to “Get out before they see you!” is all that passes for comic banter here.

Indeed, Rachel is really an emissary of the Syndicate … er, the Apostles, I mean the Charter — a consortium of rogue spies supposedly serving the best interests the world doesn’t even know it has. The Charter is presided over by the Diamonds, Clubs, Spades and Hearts, each led by a gender-neutral King. (Rachel is known as the Nine of Hearts.) Each team takes marching orders from the Machine … uh, the Entity … wait, wait, is it the God’s Eye? Oh, fiddlesticks! Touted as “the most formidable weapon you never knew existed,” this artificial intelligence able to predict the future is the Heart.

“It knows you better than you know yourself,” one character says as the word PORN is briefly superimposed over the screen. (OK, that is legitimately funny.) The Heart’s data visualization works a lot like thingamabobs in Assassin’s Creed or Minority Report; as the tech-savvy Jack of Hearts, Matthias Schweighõfer (Army of the Dead) seems to have devoured footage of Tom Cruise mimicking the movement of infoscreens with his arms. Have they backed up the Heart in an impenetrable place? Heavens, yes! It’s 16 miles up in the sky, guys. Why, you’d need a shuttle!

Alas, neither Gal Gadot nor anyone else goes to space in Heart of Stone. The earthbound oxygen is thin enough across this movie, which finds Rachel as the only person who can keep the Heart from falling into the hands of malevolent malcontents.

Whatever simple pleasures Stone could have served are instead slathered by complication after complication. Rachel’s boss (an underused Sophie Okonedo) insists that Rachel, ahem, follow the Heart at all times and its “pure, objective calculation.” “Made for us by a machine!” Rachel shouts back, as if real-world programs were already writing weary, existential fanfic about themselves. A venerable Oscar-nominated performer pops up quickly and (wisely) dips out almost as fast. One particularly dumb digression with Dornan’s character is intended to show no one here is entirely black or white but perhaps … let’s say 15 shades of grey.

Meanwhile, Harper indulges in more scenes of people hanging off high-up things, peppered by a few cataclysmic explosions and Rachel’s efforts to encourage a morally ambiguous criminal named Keya (Alia Bhatt) to do the right thing. In other words, all the stuff Cruise has done as Ethan Hunt since Gadot learned jazz dancing in her junior-high days and with little of the skill. Yes, it even ports over motorcycle mayhem a la Mission: Impossible II, albeit in Iceland because … well, Rachel was just in the desert before that and that’s juxtaposition, you see?

That chilly-climate climax is brought to you by a villain who, after a previous digital rope-a-dope, really should have hired a less scrupulous computer expert to follow his commands. It also includes said villain barking lines like “Any news on Spades or Hearts?” and “I have the Heart and I have the Kings. That’s a winning hand.” Ultimately, Heart of Stone just doesn’t have many cards to play.