Attention all you Tom Cruise haters! Set aside your harsh feelings for the couch-jumping Scientologist, and treat yourself to one of the biggest surprises of this movie-going season.
Not that the first three movies in this franchise were chopped liver. They were pretty darned good. Cruise has always played a solid role as Agent Ethan Hunt, with perfect timing, performing his own stunts, wielding some really cool gadgets, masks and his well-toned middle-aged pecs. Remember that famous scene from the first movie when he is suspended from the ceiling by wires while doing some computer hackery? The movies are the essence of coolness. Perfect for a weekend watch-a-thon.
But the fourth installment is by far the coolest, most adrenaline-pumped, most toe-curling.
In the opening sequence, Ethan is busted out of a Russian prison (why is he in there? we will find out later) to be given a special mission...retrieve nuclear launch codes that have been stolen by a doomsday wack-job (played by Michael Nyqvist of the Swedish Girl With the Dragon Tattoo). Only before said codes are safely in the hands of the good guys, the Kremlin is blown to pieces and Ethan's band of agents, the IMF, is blamed. The President of the US invokes Ghost Protocol, and the IMF is disavowed, leaving Ethan's team high and dry. On their own, they must restore their good name and prevent a nuclear holocaust.
Not only does Cruise entertain, but he has a strong cast to back him up. Strangely, Nyqvist makes a pretty decent evil dude. He has transformed his gentle and womanizing nature in Tattoo to a facade of ice and derangement. Cruise's IMF team is made up of Jeremy Rinner (The Hurt Locker) and the sexy badass Paula Patton (Hitch), as well as Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead) for humor relief.
The action never stops. We're not just talking fast car chases and shooting and running around, but hovering body suits, nuclear missles hurtling towards San Francisco, an exploding Kremlin and the one that I witnessed peeking through my fingers...climbing up the outside of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world that resides in Dubai. On the 130th floor. With these (unreliable) little sticky gloves. Mother Mary, it made me nauseous.