Tom Cruise saves the world yet again. The FHM staff was lucky enough to watch the advance screening of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol last December 13… in iMAX baby! Opening today, the fourth installment of the franchise is nothing short of a wicked ride into the world of espionage action.
The movie opens with superhuman IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise, in top form) stuck in a Russian prison, for reasons you wouldn't want us to divulge, anyway. After being rescued by hi co-ops–Agent Jane Carter (Paula Patton, the sexy wife of crooner Robin Thicke), Agent Benji (Simon Pegg in his classic form of hilarity), and Agent Brandt (Jeremy Renner who is always a good addition to action)–a simple intercept operation goes haywire.
The government declares Ghost Protocol, dissolving their secret division and ultimately branding them as terrorists. In order to gain back their reputation, they must take down a nuclear extremist named Cobalt, whose psychotic ideologies will catalyze a possible nuclear war through a missile launch.
The movie is produced by Tom Cruise himself, JJ Abrams (director of Mission Impossible 3), and directed by Brad Bird, Pixar baby responsible for The Incredibles and Ratatouille who's doing his first live action film.
The franchise seems to be growing stronger and the definite strength in Ghost Protocol is the chemistry between its characters. Simon Pegg plays the wisecracking field agent-newbie with comic timing that only the Brits are capable of. Witness: In one scene, they give each other planetary code names. His happens to be Pluto. He says, “Why do I have to be Pluto, it isn’t even a planet anymore?” to which Agent Brandt replies, “You can be Uranus.” Pegg’s character retorts: “Its funny cause you said anus.” Classic Pegg.
Paula Patton as the feisty, vengeful Agent Carter is mesmerizing on screen. She has a commanding presence on the silver screen of the “I’m fucking gorgeous, but I can snap your neck” kind. Mission Impossible wouldn’t be complete without a sultry badass babe, and Patton packs the heat.
Action sequences in this one are insane. Although fans may be used to Tom Cruise making like Spiderman and scaling walls, an elaborate climb of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in Dubai is one of the most killer scenes in the movie. Director Brian Bird creates suspense by mixing happenstance–like a sandstorm–to an already, ehem, impossible endeavor.
The fight scenes are beautifully choreographed, which will have you feeling as bruised and beat-up as the characters. Bird’s treatment of the script picks up from JJ Abrams installment, juxtaposing the high-octane thrills with heartfelt drama. Trails of Bird’s humor from his animation background taints the movie with a lightheartedness that will put you at ease, before going in for the kill.
Visually stunning is an understatement when it comes to the films photography and cinematography. The picturesque landscapes and cultures of India, Dubai, and Russia are framed to perfection. The Burj Khalifa scene was capable of invoking the audience with vertigo by simply choosing the right angles.
Finally, we can’t talk about Mission Impossible without talking about Tom Cruise. The dude’s truly got that agent-swagger. The maturity he’s gained over the years shows in his command of the material. He is Agent Hunt and his stunt work is highly commendable. The depth he brings to Ethan Hunt (a character purposely meant to be unknowable and incognito) is sincere. And by the end of the film, you're wishing, praying, hoping, and rooting for Agent Hunt to foil the maniacal evildoer’s plan. He is a hero; your hero.
Then there’s a hilarious trick to the end. You know how people sometimes believe they’ve just experienced a UFO sighting? The media then hypes it up, misinforming the oblivious masses. Well, you know what? That could’ve just been Tom Cruise doing what he does best, saving the world from nuclear destruction and going home to make love to Katie Holmes. Mission accomplished.