Like Tom Cruise’s career of late it seemed like after the third installment of this previously popular film series it had hit a brick wall. The third Mission: Impossible film did make almost $400 million so to say that it tanked would be an exaggeration, but it certainly did not do as well as the previous two. I’m sure plenty of eyes rolled when it was announced that the film series was coming back with a fourth installment and Tom Cruise would once again be Ethan Hunt. All those eye rollers now have to eat a generous helping of crow.
IMF Agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise – War of the Worlds, Risky Business) is behind bars in a Russian jail. Not for much longer, though as Agents Jane Carter (Paula Patton – Precious, Jumping the Broom) and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg – Run Fatboy Run, Hot Fuzz) are part of a mission to break him out.
Once Ethan is out they are given a mission (should they choose to accept it, of course) by the IMF Secretary (Tom Wilkinson – Michael Clayton, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) in Russia that involves the Kremlin and nuclear launch codes. Things go wrong and there is a massive explosion at the Kremlin. Tensions rise between the U.S. and Russia as the Russians believe that the IMF is to blame for the explosion. As an organization the IMF is disavowed and the President invokes the Ghost Protocol.
More importantly and dangerous is the fact that known terrorist Kurt Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist – Abduction) now has the nuclear launch codes. He will use the launch codes to attack the United States. After assigning the team of Hunt, Carter and Dunn to get the codes back the IMF Secretary is killed. The team is pretty much on its own along with the help of the IMF Secretary’s intelligence analyst, a man with a past, William Brandt (Jeremy Renner – The Town, The Hurt Locker). They will travel to India, Hungary and Dubai to stop the inevitable nuclear war from happening.
All the ingredients required by fans of spy films are found here. There are exotic locations, technology and gadgets, disguises, action, and an elusive bad guy. The twists and turns are engaging enough, the stunts are impressive and our leading man is once again a pretty cool spy. The story is fairly simple and that is okay. A bad guy wants to blow up the entire world with a weapon he has gotten his hands on and the good guys are going to try and stop him. The IMF team is doing this all without a net as they have no back up due to being disavowed. Four agents must do it all themselves.
Up to this point in his career Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille) the director has been best known for his animated films. With this one he proves he can work magic and keep the viewer interested with real humans as well. It was seen as a “gamble” hiring this guy to direct a live action spy film. Obviously that gamble paid off as the film took in around $650 million worldwide. Well done, Brad and (begrudgingly) Mr. Cruise. All in all it is great entertainment.
-Mission Accepted – Heating Up in Dubai
-Mission Accepted – Vancouver Fisticuffs
-Impossible Missions – The Sandstorm
-Impossible Missions – Props