The latest installment of the Mission Impossible franchise began with action, and seemingly didn’t stop for the first two-thirds of the film. Helmed by first time live action director, Brad Bird, Tom Cruise and company barely stop to catch their collective breaths before one action sequence ends and the next set piece begins. It’s almost as if the unstated formula for M:I – Ghost Protocol was to swap out the famous Cruise charisma which in the previous films, seemed almost as important as what he was doing , and replacing it mainly with pursuits in cars, chases on foot, fights, explosions, guns, computer magic, and other assorted action with far less emphasis on the star himself.
This is an older and more mature Cruise as Ethan Hunt. He’ll still flash that familiar high wattage smile – except this time around, it’s infrequently displayed and with decidedly less impact. Other members of this IMF include Paula Patton who is on board as the potent and sexy sidekick Jane. Simon Pegg is Benji Dunn, the technical wizard who mans the computer and also dispenses wise cracks in what seems like clockwork work fashion – one smart ass remark every fifteen minutes.
The new boy in town is Jeremy Renner who joins the team about a quarter of the way in. He’s introduced as Brandt, an analyst on the MI payroll. Introducing him is Tom Wilkinson in an un-credited role as the erstwhile unseen Secretary who as we all know, will offer Cruise and Co a mission with the provision that if it goes bad – all together now – the secretary will disavow any knowledge of the IM force.