Tom Cruise the action star is back with full force. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol hit select IMAX theaters on December 16th, and didn’t disappoint. Moviegoers enjoyed a refreshingly light action film, and director Brad Bird delivers cinematic treats like the latest IMF gadgets, kick-ass and unbelievably athletic fight scenes, internationally pleasing witty banter, masterful disguises and high-tech BMW collateral damage. This is everything a big-budget action thriller should be.

Let’s not forget what makes Mission Impossible the most recognizable action franchise of our time. Tom’s amazing death-defying stunts, in which he doesn’t look a day over Jerry Maguire, ignite the gasp-worthy energy that clings to the whole two hours and twelve minutes. The glory of the return of his Spiderman wall-climbing gloves is matched only by the team’s reactions to his Burj Khalifa scaling adventure.

Paula Patton shines as a vengeful Agent Jane Carter, who adds some sex appeal with the token seduce-the-rich-bad-guy-wearing-a-sexy-dress sequence. Simon Pegg steals scenes as the adorable techy, day-saving Benji Dunn.

Even though they’re all disavowed (which could have easily been inserted in the title instead of Ghost Protocol), they’re endearing and interesting as they’re saving the world from nuclear world war.

 

The lighthearted dynamic of the team is what really makes this spy film enjoyable from start to finish. Jeremy Renner’s scrumptious turn as a more-than-he-appears Analyst William Brandt lends a vulnerability and relatable “helper” role to the high-tech, fast-paced film. His charm, charisma and one-liners could mark one of two things: his rumored take-over of the Mission movies, a la the Bourne flicks, or the return of the incredibly interesting sidekick. Renner achieved similar greatness playing to Ben Affleck in The Town. Add to that Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Inception and the upcoming The Dark Knight Also Rises on the horizon- it seems that sidekicks are becoming cooler than ever in Hollywood blockbusters. Renner’s vulnerability and inner struggle is the perfect counterpoint to Cruise’s confident I’m hurt-and-limping-but-still-can-kill-you Ethan Hunt swagger.

 

French and Russian assassins, the battle for nuclear codes, Tom sprinting around Moscow shoeless, guns, fast cars and more guns abound in this super-enjoyable film full of fun. Mission accomplished, Producer Cruise!

 

Seems like audiences agree. Mission Impossible topped the New Year’s box office at No. 1, and has earned $134.1 million domestically- so far!

 

Media Credits:

first photo courtesy of ontheredcarpet.com

second photo courtesy of indiewire.com

third photo courtesy of usatoday.com

fourth photo courtesy of jmmnewaov2.com

 

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