Well it has been five years since the last Mission: Impossible and the franchise has spanned 15 years with four films.
In each film, Tom Cruise heads an elite action force who has to takedown some devious villain like Henry Czerny, Dougray Scott or Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
This time the villain is Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’s Michael Nyqvist, his second evil European spy type in a row after September’s limp spy thriller “Abduction”.
In this mission, should you choose to continue reading, begins with Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) locked away in a Russian prison.
His crack team of the very sexy and capable Paula Patton (munitions expert and seductress) and Simon Pegg (hacker, computer expert from Mission: Impossible 3) break him out of prison so they can go on the hunt for some stolen Russian nuke launch codes.
The team is joined by a CIA Analyst (Jeremy Renner) who comes to the team with a hidden secret after the death of the team’s boss (Tom Wilkinson).
What makes the Mission Impossible series so interesting is just how different each entry is. The first movie was a Cold War thriller, the second was kind of what if James Bond was a Hong Kong action flick, the third one was a action film with romantic undertones and well this fourth entry is kind of a mix of number one and number three. The combo gives you an intense action film with a Cold War thriller thrown in.
The film’s plot involving a Russian prison, blowing up the Kremlin and rogue Russian nuke codes feels very retro like maybe this should have been made in the late 80s. But for some reason it work.
Brad Bird’s direction is flawless and out of this world and a marvel to see. It is amazing this guy came from Pixar animation and after this flick not sure he will be going back. The action sequences put Tom Cruise through the ringer and it is so much fun to watch. When he jumps he doesn’t always make it and you never know how the scene will play out. I loved the whole sequence with Cruise hanging from the tallest building in the world in Dubai. You have got to see this sequence on IMAX as well because the whole scene is shot just for IMAX and incredible.
The movie surprised me in many places first how I had no problem welcoming Tom Cruise back into the action hero role. Not like he left but kind of figured Mission Impossible 3 was the last one.
I was also astounded for how much I liked Paula Patton, who I last saw as Denzel Washington’s love interest in the under-appreciated “Deja Vu”. I hope to see a lot more of her.
Jeremy Renner was also a lot of fun as the reluctant action hero. Renner running the franchise after this flick, could work, but not holding my breath.
There was a lot of hoopla surrounding Anil Kapoor being in the movie and a lavish premiere in Mumbai and such. But really the man is a patsy in the film and on screen for probably less than ten minutes. Can you really call this a crossover?
But I think the glue that held this flick together was the comic relief provided by Simon Pegg. The series has never really had his kind of a character or if there was one they were very forgettable. I loved Pegg and Cruise together as the comedian and straight man. Pegg makes this movie really memorable.
I have to say I am getting worried for Michael Nyqvist in Hollywood. He already seems to be type-cast. What made him so interesting in the Millennium Trilogy was how he was a flawed and sensitive character. I hope that Hollywood or someone lets Nyqvist explore this kind of character again in something. It is so hard watching a three-dimensional actor shoehorned into a two-dimensional role.
I really think you should accept this mission and have some fun in IMAX!
4 out of 5
So Says the Soothsayer