Over the years, Tom Cruise has created several iconic characters and has been one of Hollywood's most bankable stars. The 'Mission: Impossible' series might just end up to be his most notable achievement as he continues to literally take his character, Ethan Hunt, to new heights with Ghost Protocol.
From the opening moments of this film, it is plain to see that director Brad Bird has pulled out all the stops to give audiences an experience never seen before on the big screen. Previously known for his work on Pixar films like Up, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille, this is Bird's first live action feature, but you would never know it by how amazing everything looks.
This time around we find Ethan Hunt on the wrong side of a plot that implicates the IMF in a Kremlin bombing and he is forced to go rogue with a team thrown together by circumstance. Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, and Simon Pegg play the other agents in this fugitive team and they set out to solve the mystery of who set them up.
Michael Nyvquist (best known for playing Mikael Blomkvist in the original 'Dragon Tattoo' movies) plays the latest MI villain who hatches a plot to acquire Soviet launch codes and access to a satellite that will allow him to launch a nuclear missile at the United States. His hope is that this will look like a retaliatory strike by the Soviets for the Kremlin bombing and will set off a nuclear war that he believes is necessary to even out the human race.
Loaded with spectacular stunts, huge effects sequences, and intense action that keeps the audience on the edge of their seats, 'Ghost Protocol' definitely adds new life to a franchise that some critics thought to be dying out. Brad Bird handles this huge undertaking like a pro and the fun and fast pace of the movie has a very similar feel as The Incredibles which many feel to be one of Pixar's finest films.
Tom Cruise and his new team of actors really work well together and you get the idea that we are going to see the foursome together for at least a couple more missions. Paula Patton has a great mix of sex appeal and determination and even does some serious ass kicking in one of the movie's best fight scenes as she goes toe to toe with Léa Seydoux's assassin character.
The Mission: Impossible series is known for cutting edge special effects and technology along with fast paced action and this installment is easily the best of the bunch. I would highly recommend seeing this movie at an IMAX theater, like the Boeing IMAX theater at the Pacific Science Center, as there are several scenes that take full use of the format and the result is some absolutely breathtaking visuals that are worth the price of admission on their own.