watch Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol. Cruise, reprising his role as undercover operative Ethan Hunt, summons his crew for a rendezvous on a runway. There’s the sexy one (Paula Patton), the brainy one (Simon Pegg), the mysterious one (Jeremy Renner): all team players with their own special skill set to bring to the table. Where are they off to, they ask, for the next bit of their mission? Mumbai, Cruise replies, to an appreciative chorus of ooohs and aaahs. India, eh! In a private jet! Coo!
Already hailed as a return to form for the franchise – now 16 years old and in need of a lock and load before James Bond leaps back on to the scene – Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol’‘s chief innovation is its choice of director. This is Brad Bird’s live-action debut: he’s a Pixar whiz-kid who’s overseen the likes of Ratatouille and The Incredibles, a background that’s left him unfussed about plausibility and eager to keep things upbeat. Plus, he’s also enough of a newbie to know that this is not his show.
For, as the opening credits remind you in words as big as a bus, this is a Tom Cruise movie. Not only has he produced, he’s surrounded himself on screen only by those with negative charisma. Pegg alone is allowed to make a play for our affections, and only if he stays a weedy geek forever almost muffing things.
The baddie is nordic-ish but motivated not by political hostility, but by the iffy conviction that only once the world has succumbed to nuclear annihilation will there be lasting peace.
Yes, there is an on-trend nod to current affairs – “To your government,” someone tells Ethan, “a potential terrorist is a terrorist” – but it’s so glib that it could be taken as a truism whether you thought such a stance was desirable or not.
It’s an opportunistic endeavour – you suspect locations may have been in place, deals done with car firms and tourist boards before the script was given a thought. But such fiscal sense seeps through to the final product, too. This is a good value, bang for your buck, old-fashioned blockbuster that makes up in action what it lacks in soul. Sir Alan would approve. watch new movies