Tom Cruise can turn a lot of people off. He’s kind of crazy, he’s into that whole Scientology thing. He just doesn’t have the pull he used to.
But damn, can he still pull off an action scene. In fact, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol seems to mirror its star. Most people seem unsure about it. “They made another one? Ugh.” “Oh, man, Tom Cruise is too old.” “I guess I’ll go see it for The Dark Knight Rises Prologue in IMAX.”
Those reactions to the movie would be a mistake. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is probably the best film of the four. It’s certainly the most fun.
We find our hero, Ethan Hunt, locked away in a prison. A daring rescue plan is enacted to release him from circumstances in the most exciting way possible. Cue awesome title sequences and we’re off. Then, the movie doesn’t let up. Going straight to more action. Except this time, things don’t go well and IMF is blamed for a major accident. Yeah, the entire IMF gets disavowed.
Ethan Hunt and crew then have to travel the world to essentially prevent World War III and the demise of Earth. Yeah, this shizz is serious.
The action is exhilarating throughout. Most of the twists you can see coming, but there’s one that you will not, and it’s actually a nice little surprise.
The problem? I’m not sure I care about the characters, except for Ethan Hunt and Simon Pegg’s comic relief. The other two are kind of blah. It’s not that they’re terrible acting jobs, it just feels like they’re underwritten. They’re one dimensional, mostly. But that’s excusable in the long run. Did I pay for a drama with layered characters or 2 hours of things blowing up and crazy car chases?
Director Brad Bird, who had previously directed animated films The Incredibles and The Iron Giant, makes the transition to live action beautifully. And he uses IMAX to the full effect. The sequence at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building, may be one of the more impressive scenes this year. Note: I never, ever want to be up that high again.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to see the year’s best summer blockbuster action film in winter. In IMAX. You won’t regret it.