BY BILL SMITH STAFF Tom Cruise has surely fallen from grace in the past several years. From his obscene couch jumping on the Oprah show, to outspoken devotion to the cult of Scientology, and what some might view as the downfall of Katie Holmes, Cruises certainly doesn’t appear to be batting a thousand in his personal life. His professional life has been suffering as well. With the disappointments of “Valkyrie,” and “Knight and Day,” it seems as if Cruise has drifted too far away from his audience. Although there has been some glimmers of hope, his cameo appearance in “Tropic Thunder,” for instance, proved to be the highlight of a rather over bloated and lackluster film. “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” may possibly be Cruise’s last attempt at recapturing the admiration of his fans that have lost interest in his career. If that is the case, M.I. 4 may certainly be that vehicle for Cruise.
Cruise once again reprises his role as Ethan Hunt, a IMF agent, in the fourth installment of this successful franchise loosely based on the popular television series of the same name during the 1960’s and 70’s. Cruise and his team which is composed of Jeremy Renner ( The Hurt Locker and The Town), Paula Patton (Precious), and Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) travel the world from Budapest, Moscow, Dubai, Mumbaiand San Francisco as they attempt to retrieve stolen Soviet nuclear missile detonation codes. The plan goes awry as Hunt and his team gets blamed by the Soviets for destroying the Kremlin, which forces the President’s hand in calling for Ghost Protocol, thus disemboweling the IMF team. As Hunt and his team get captured, they escape then regroup and devise a plan to clear their names, and save the world from a Nuclear fallout.
Truth be told the plot line falls into very familiar territory. However, we don’t normally go to see these spy/action films because of the incredible story lines and plot twists. We go because of the characters and the wild adventures they have, and the fancy gadgets that almost seem plausible, but not quite. The Mission Impossible series is the closest thing to James Bond that us Yankees have, so naturally we go out in droves to watch these movies. J.J. Abrams, who directed the third installment of the M.I. series, serves as producer, along with Cruise. Brad Bird, director of the hugely successful “The Incredibles” animated film is in the director’s chair on this feature as well.M.I. 4’s cast is tremendous. Renner goes toe to toe with Cruise and doesn’t skip a beat, which says a lot of his acting ability to stand up with a vet like Cruise. Paula Patton is stunningly beautiful and just as deadly, while Simon Pegg adds a much needed touch of comic relieve throughout the film. I have to admit it though; Cruise is back at his acting best in this film. We see in his performance what drew our attention to him in films such as “Top Gun,” “Cocktails,” and “Jerry Macguire.” Shot in the IMAX, to see this film in any other format simply doesn’t do it justice, but since there is no IMAX screens in Lake County don’t let that deter you from going and experiencing this film. The location shots and scenery are breathtaking; the action is original and well choreographed.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it is to go and watch Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. In fact if it’s an action movie that you are craving this Holiday season, this the one to see. M.I.4 is hands down the best action/adventure film of 2011. Hopefully Cruise can refrain from any more personal debacles and use this as a turning point in his career to convince his audience that there is still a reason to spend their hard earned cash on his films. This message will self destruct in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. firstname.lastname@example.org POSTED 12/21/2011 04:16
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