Mission Impossible 4: Movie Review
Tom Cruise is back as the indestructible agent Ethan Hunt
Review by Mark Hadley.
The world is in trouble
Yes, I’m afraid it’s true. As unbelievable as it sounds that this could happen again, a madman has gained the launch keys to a former Soviet nuclear device and decided that the best thing to do is to destroy the world! (Frankly, I’m always a little curious about how these madmen manage to recruit such dedicated henchmen – is it the dental plan?). But fear not, Ethan Hunt and the Mission Impossible team are on the case…
Agent Hunt has been languishing in a Russian prison for an ‘unsanctioned hit’ on some Serbian nationals. Don’t worry, he hasn’t gone rogue; apparently they murdered his wife. However, the shadowy government figures in charge of the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) are in desperate need of their top agent, so they bust him out in classic Mission Impossible style. Hunt is no sooner reunited with his agency than he discovers that a former Russian advisor codenamed ‘Cobalt’ has decided the world would be better off starting over, and has decided to help it on its way with a little global nuclear warfare. IMF would intervene but Cobalt has thoughtfully blown up the Kremlin and left them holding the bag, so the president has no choice but to shut it down. Now only a few hours remain to prevent the total annihilation of the planet, and Ethan’s team is completely on its own – just the way he likes it.
Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol is bubble-gum for the brain, but it certainly makes entertaining eye candy. Fans of the first three Mission Impossible films will find that Scientology has kept Tom Cruise nice and limber, and he’s engaged in a whole new array of mind-boggling stunts including a fly walk up the tallest building in the world. There are also plenty of new exotic locations – Moscow, Mumbai, Dubai – as well as a few new side-kicks. Cruise is joined by Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Town), Paula Patton (Déjà vu, Precious) and most notably Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz). Pegg does a good job as the goofy agent-cum-geek and even manages to add a little serious acting to his repertoire. But it’s Renner’s character that contributes the most to think about.
A touch of grace?
Renner plays Brandt, an agent who lost his feel for field missions after he failed to prevent Hunt’s wife from being killed. In an otherwise fanciful film, he illustrates just how paralyzing guilt can be. He has a chance to explain his past but responds pathetically, “Everyone has their secrets.” Brandt’s convinced that Ethan couldn’t possibly want him on his team if he was aware of his mistakes. However the truth is Hunt has known all along and chooses to see the operative Brandt could be, rather than the man he was. It’s the closest thing to grace in what is otherwise a blockbuster shoot-em-up, but I think it goes well with the fireworks.