Tom born to do this
EVEN when it hits a flat spot, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is never less than good.
And when it really picks up the pace, a genuinely great action movie bursts to the fore. And if you check your records, there haven’t been too many of those in the past year, has there?
While Ghost Protocol is as jumpy and tech- obsessed as its predecessors, there is a leanness and meanness at its core that transcends all earlier MI efforts.
The starker tone of the new film, which puts it closer in feel to Matt Damon’s Bourne adventures, is established immediately with an electrifying extended opening sequence.
The action begins in the heart of Moscow, where veteran IMF agent Ethan Hunt ( Cruise) is serving time in a grotty maximum security prison.
How Hunt came to be there is of little importance to the plot. What is important is how the IMF will bust him out of this hellhole.
With long- serving computer whiz Benji Dunn ( Simon Pegg, the sole supporting holdover from past MI productions) calling the shots and the weapon- wielding newbie Jane Carter ( Paula Patton) firing them, Ethan Hunt is soon back in the spy business.
And then just as quickly, out of business once more.
Again, the why and how is barely addressed here. All you need to know is that the Kremlin has been blown to smithereens and Hunt, Dunn and Carter have been fingered with the blame.
Forced to go rogue to clear their names, Hunt’s small team – now bolstered by a shadowy IMF field analyst named Brandt ( Jeremy Renner) – sneaks down to the Middle East money mecca of Dubai.
Another major set- piece action sequence unfolds, executed with such high- calibre, vertigo- inducing precision that the film could end right there and no viewer would feel short- changed.
In the interests of keeping everything spoiler- free, I’ll simply mention you will become all too familiar with the windows on the 123rd floor of the world’s tallest building ( the famous Burj Khalifa skyscraper).
From here, it is on to a satisfactory self- combusting climax in the Indian metropolis of Mumbai, and Ghost Protocol ’ s work is done.
It is only once the aftershocks subside that you realise the entire film has been spent evenly among its three primary locations. The stunt work, special effects and combat choreography are all firstclass, and negate any real need for finely tuned scripting or acting.
Speaking of performances, Cruise’s many detractors will find him in the most bearable form he has been in for ages. A lot of that needy show- offery is gone, signalling Tommy Boy may still have some good stuff on the way in the years to come.