I don't want to belabour my view on Impossible, but I wouldn't want to think somebody might let it slide for the wrong reasons. A last go at it...
Seems that most - but obviously not all - of the underwhelmed reactions to Impossible are based on a viewing of the routine - presumably the DVD - rather than a live performance.
Again, first time I saw it performed 20 years ago by one of my local magic dealers, it sucked.
But it sucked because the routining sucked, so much, in fact, that the underlying principle was lost on me.
As you note cfrancis, the construction is brilliant. But that's really the point: it's an extremely deceptive basis for an "in their hands routine".
You don't have to do these types of routines, but I always like to have one, and tend to do it towards the end of things, because it leaves just the right memory with the audience; i.e., the magic was good (hopefully) and at one point, he even did this thing where he didn't even touch the cards and yet found it...actually, I found it.
Most tricks are cleaner, but they take place in the magician's hands. The moment you let go of the cards, it almost invariably means you'll need greater control, possibly at the expense of pace and clarity.
But, if pace were the only consideration, you'd never bother doing a card trick over the phone. That would be a loss.
Where things get muddled in Impossible is the routining.
So, if you want a powerful "in their hands", but want a brisker routine, then change the routine. That's effectively what I did and, as a result, was able to take advantage of the principle without boring folk to death.
A few suggestions:
(1) I've cut out big chunks of the routine without losing anything....big hunkin' chunks.
(2) I move pretty briskly, creating a Whirlwind of Randomness(tm). It reinforces the seemingly haphazard nature of the whole thing.
(3) I've had nothing but great reactions. Seriously. I mean it. No lies.
Either I truly believe this thing is worth a try, or else I am a closet Impossible apologist.