Tom Cruise’s super spy Ethan Hunt pulls off his trademark feats of acrobatic insanity with breathtaking panache in his latest adventure, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, but whereas previous outings have seen him hogging most of the action this time around he’s much more of a team player than before. Which means that sidekicks Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton get bigger roles when Hunt’s Impossible Missions Force band strive to stop a rogue scientist (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’s Michael Nykvist) from provoking a nuclear war between Russia and the US.
As the team go about their globe-trotting mission via Moscow, Dubai and Mumbai, Pegg’s nerdy Benji Dunn, promoted to field agent status after his backroom duties in the last M:I film, contributes comic relief, Renner’s analyst William Brandt demonstrates brawn as well as brains, and Patton’s Jane Carter supplies beauty and cool.
But it’s Cruise’s daredevil bravado and laser-like intensity that provides the film’s standout episode, a sequence of hair-raising, palm-dampening, gob-smacking suspense that sees him clinging to the side of the world’s tallest building, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa hotel, as a whirling sandstorm approaches.
All that attaches him to the surface of this vertiginous tower of plate-glass and steel is a pair of high-tech electronically adhesive gloves, and then one of the gloves begins to fail…
It’s a heart-stopping sequence that not only shows that Cruise still has the chops as an action star at the age of 49 but also proves that animation whiz Brad Bird, maker of Pixar gems Ratatouille and The Incredibles, has got what it takes as a live-action director too.
Movie Talk star rating:
Released on DVD & Blu-ray on Monday 23rd April by Paramount Home Entertainment.
To activate the sound in the trailer: hold your cursor over the screen to reveal the control panel and click on the volume control in the bottom right-hand corner.