Tom Cruise is crazy. No, this isn’t because of his chosen religion; a “faith” based on science fiction writings about aliens being the cause of all our mental problems (to be fair, Star Wars is an official religion in some countries, so what do I know?). No, it’s not because of that. It’s because Tom Cruise, one of the most well-known movie stars of the modern era, risked life and limb by hanging from the world’s tallest building, with no stunt doubles, all for a movie. That makes him crazy. And awesome.
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, much like Tom’s crazy stunt, puts its characters in drastic situations with no safety nets. After a mission leads to the unexpected bombing of the Kremlin in Moscow, Ethan and his new team of IMF agents are disavowed by the U.S. Government, and sent on a last ditch operation to not only clear their names, but stop a nuclear war.
The new faces of the IMF.
From a certain point of view, this can be thought of as an action packed re-imagining of Spies Like Us (with Tom in the Dan Aykroyd role, I think) – a team of spies must stop an extremist from detonating a missile over theU.S. and inciting World War 3. This idea made me laugh at times, especially how most politicians act like they’re still in the Cold War. But don’t take this as a deterrent – the action set pieces alone are enough to wipe away any funny flaws. From the skyscraper scene noted above (I could almost feel the wind hitting me) to an obstacle filled parking garage, no other action film this year can touch the daring stunts this movie has.
Filmed in jaw-dropping IMAX, the action sequences are creative and exciting. I really appreciated how the movie made use of real landscapes and real skyscrapers to take full advantage of the large format. I know that some digital effects and camera trickery had to be used at times, but overall, I was completely involved in what the characters (and actors for that matter) were being put through. And not to knock 3D, but I’m glad it wasn’t used for this. Maybe it’s because large format film has the ability to surround you and immerse you in the images without the need for glasses. Maybe it’s that large format film captures tiny details and blows them up big time (like a scar on Jeremy Renner’s face). Whatever the reason, it works.
Bigger IS better.
There were a few things that hit me in an odd way during the movie, but the one that really stuck out was the villain. Nicknamed Cobalt, this almost elderly looking man was able to outrun Ethan freaking Hunt on two occasions, and almost killed him in another. The man even throws himself off of a rail and survives! I’m guessing that there was a deleted scene where it’s revealed that Cobalt is actually an indestructible Terminator, sent from the future, with the objective to guarantee a nuclear holocaust. Boy, would that scene have explained a lot.
For anybody that enjoys the spectacle the only cinema can provide, go see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Say what you will about Tom Cruise, but his craziness comes in handy when he’s required to run across a skyscraper.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: for every time you realize that Tom Cruise is living larger than you ever will.
Take a Drink: every time Tom Cruise gets injured
Take a Drink: when you imagine Chevy Chase as an IMF agent.
Drink a Shot: if you weren’t glad to see Paula Patton in IMAX (becuase you should’ve been)