Tom Cruise returns as superspy Ethan Hunt for the fourth time in what I think may be the best Mission Impossible film yet. The film's opening has Ethan languishing in a Moscow prison before he is sprung by his IMF team of Benji (the returning Simon Pegg) and Jane Carter (a kick ass Paula Patton). Hunt gets to flex his muscles quick as he fights prisoners and guards on his way out with a Russian informant in tow. After Hunt is out, he is brought up to speed on the latest mission in which his skills are sorely needed. It appears a Russian extremist named Cobalt plans to launch a nuclear warhead at America once he has stolen the key components needed. It's up to Hunt and his team to stop him.
The first leg has Ethan and Benji going undercover at the Kremlin but that mission is compromised by Cobalt and a huge explosion is set off and Ethan is blamed for the incident. Now a rogue agent, Hunt is tasked by The Secretary of State (a nice uncredited bit by Tom Wilkinson) to stop Cobalt at any cost. Tagging along is analyst Brandt (played by Jeremy Renner) who gets involved in the action quite quickly. Soon our team has to do the impossible to stop Cobalt. Including a breath-taking sequence which has Hunt scaling the tallest building in the world in Dubai using nothing but suction gloves. It's been awhile since I seen a movie that has a scene where the entire audience is just gasping and looking at the screen in awe. The scene is flawless in execution and looks amazingly real. No CGI or another type of effect, just Cruise doing an unbelievable stunt. This scene is worth the price of admission alone.
And if MI4 offered nothing else for the entire movie, then that scene would be more than enough. But thankfully there are several more adrenaline pumping action scenes that follow. Including a foot chase which leads to a car chase during an unrelenting sandstorm; brutal fist fights with all team members, including a wicked woman on woman fight between Patton and a blonde assassin. And there is a doozy of a climatic chase and brawl as Hunt pursues Cobalt through a automated parking garage in India. All the time Ethan is pursued by a Russian detective who chases him all over the world. Reminds me of Tommy Lee Jones chasing Harrison Ford in The Fugitive.
What makes this new installment even better than the previous entries is that Cruise gets to show some vulnerability for a change. Gone is the cocky, never get hurt Hunt and now is a more patient and sometimes unsure Hunt, who still sometimes will take the risk. He just has to think about it a little more. Like when Benji tells him he has to climb the building in Dubai and should be a piece of cake. You can see the look in Ethan's face as he thinks..yeah maybe 10 years ago but now I'm a little older. Not as quick and my body has more wear on it. And let me be clear..Ethan gets banged up quite a bit in this one. I'm talking Bruce Willis Die Hard banged up. But he takes the punishment and keeps on coming.
Mission Impossible is directed with expertise by Brad Bird, who previously helmed the animated flicks The Incredibles and Ratatouille. Here he shows he can play with the big boys with it comes to heavy duty action and adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed this film and now wait news when the next one will be announced. And trust me, there will be another one. I do hope that this entire team comes back as they gelled quite convincingly. Patton and Renner make great additions and Cruise and Pegg work magic once again.
So to all moviegoers, the mission should you decide to accept it..is to see one of the best films of this or any other year.