Directed by Christopher McQuarrie
Starring Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner
Review by William Baldwin
The long standing success of the James Bond films since 1962 have undoubtedly influenced every action film that has come after them. You have the action sequences, the sexy ladies, and the exotic locations and so on. Mission Impossible possesses all of these owing a lot to the Bond films and was perhaps inspired by an action scene from one of the past bond films. In the James Bond film Octopussy bond rides a horse and jumps onto a moving plane that goes airborne, hanging on to the plane, whilst in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol Ethan Hunt climbs onto a plane that also goes airborne, in both films the heroes hang on to it for dear life.
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and the IMF (Impossible Mission Force) are to be shut down. Hunt, after hearing this, goes AWOL from the IMF, and is aware that a group called the Syndicate (a sort of anti-IMF) has been constructed by former intelligence agents from across the world. The Syndicate leader Solomon Lane wants a change in the world as he is opposed to governments and the state. But what change is not clear. Ethan Hunt, a British intelligence agent (Rebecca Ferguson) and his rogue IMF members must use all their skills to try and stop Lane from accomplishing his goal.
Tom Cruise once again shows he is not just a pretty face; he nails his part and performs most of his own stunts despite being in his fifties. Newcomer Rebecca Ferguson is not only very convincing as a British agent, especially in the fight scenes, but is the film’s main sex appeal. The film is surprisingly funny in parts, most of the actors show off their comic timing well. The funniest actor is Simon Pegg displaying the main comic relief, arguably stealing the show. Solomon Lane, the villain of the film, doesn’t really stand out, unlike previous incarnations of the Mission: Impossible franchise. A surprising factor is that music from an opera (Puccini’s “Turandot”) is central to the film. The opera is used as dramatic music for the scene of an attempted assassination. Melodies from the opera can be heard in the score throughout the film. Director Christopher McQuarrie certainly knows how to photograph an action scene and shows knowledge on how to build up suspense and intrigue which is needed for a spy film. It therefore is a surprise he has only directed two other films.
The action scenes are ridiculously enjoyable. Like the thrilling opening scene when Hunt is holding onto an airborne plane. But the best has to be the motorcycle chase. So if you’re looking for expertly constructed action scenes then you won’t be disappointed.
Although this is generally a favourable review, it has to be said that the finale is an anticlimax (and the villain’s death is a touch implausible) given what has happened before. You could blame the screenwriter (the director of the film), but don’t let this deter you from an exciting time at the movies!