The movie lives up to its name. It throws one impossible mission after another to the team, with the emphasis on impossible. There always seems something that went off the map that requires the team to constantly thinking on their feet, improvise, and relying more and more to instincts, no doubt honed by years of experience or maybe, a good script. Added to that, the team were also not only going blind, as their organization, IMF, was shut down, but also has a limited time frame to accomplish their mission. Not to mention dodging the tailing authorities and keeping their eyes constantly on the target. No pressure, there. And failure? Never an option.
A story of a team, with each member having their own unique traits to make the sum greater than its parts, had never failed me. Or anyone else, as far as I’m concerned. The IMF team, with this fourth installment, works just as well. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise), is back. Together, this time with the alluring one, Jane (Paula Patton), the tech savvy one, Benji (Simon Pegg), and the mysterious one, Brandt (Jeremy Renner), they had to stop a nuclear war from happening. A mission that of course, easier said than done. The mission involves, among many, a high-tech theft inside Kremlin, a breathtaking scenery from the heights of Burj Khalifa, and a fist-over-fist inside a very modern looking parking building in Mumbai.
I was more excited of this movie’s choice in Brad Bird (of The Iron Giant, The Incredible, and Ratatouille) as its director. This is his live-action debut, and I have loved his previous engagements. He manages to bring an upbeat tempo at the very least, with one action after another and slowing down just enough to keep the plot forward. Though, given my preference, I loved the more subtle set-up of hotel rooms in Burj Khalifa than a car chase sequence on its street, or the ultimate fist-over-fist scene in Mumbai’s parking building. But ultimately, I’ve got no complaints.
But in the end, this is all Mr.Cruise’s. Make no mistake, he was, and is still, very charming on screen. He is 49, but he still what do you call it, has “it.” Insisting on doing the often marketed stunt scene in Burj Khalifa by himself, running around chasing the bad guys, but still manages to give his famous stare that occupies the whole screen with that precise half smile and a lock of dropped hair. This movie is his, and there’s nobody out there to challenge him. I had half-expected that Jeremy Renner could live up to the task but as far as I could recall, he only has one golden scene where he manages to look very scared and deliver it in a humorous manner as it was intended, at the same time. I’ll bet he’s going to have that same “unremarkable” role in “The Avenger”‘s Hawkeye next year. With Michael Nykvist, a name that would only familiar if you are familiar with the name Blomkvist, as a villain, the dominance of Mr.Cruise is all but certain. On a side note, though, Simon Pegg did very well on what he did very best in all of his movies. A comic relief. But that is to be expected from him and I would be disappointed if I have less.
All in all, this movie, as an action blockbuster movie, is a well made, and a bang-for-the-buck. The Burj Khalifa’s scene alone is worth the admission fee. But other than that, I’m feeling a bit detached from the movie as it was obviously centered around Mr.Cruise so much that at a point, I was wondering of whether this franchise has pivoted into a James Bond movie. I wasn’t disappointed, mind you, but given the fresh rating that this movie had from RottenTomatoes.com, perhaps I am having more expectation than I should have.
Note: There are at least three cameos that I hadn’t seen their names on the credit list as they rolled by (probably I’m just not paid enough attention). Well, they were each having a very short part, anyway.