Have some sympathy for Tom Cruise, he is rapidly running out of things to fall from, crash into, climb or generally endanger himself. After this film, the sixth in the series, he only has outer space to put his life on the line for entertainment purposes.
“Ethan Hunt” (Tom Cruise) is back with a new mission to accept with his two agent buddies “Benji” (Simon Pegg) and “Luther” (Ving Rhames). Once the 5-4-3-2-1 tape destruction smoke slowly drifts away, we are off and what a ride.
As with most MI movies the plot is largely irrelevant yet weaves a byzantine web of deception and counter deception, to the point whereby the characters and audience has no real clue what is going on.
But no matter, Sean Harris is back on bad guy duties as “Solomon Lane”, with Alec Baldwin reprising his previous IMF role and adding Angela Bassett as another shadowy US government big wig.
Similar to a Bond movie, MI films are all about the action. Moving from one exotic location action sequence to another and this is no exception. Hunt also gets help from “Superman” actor Henry Cavill, this time out of his usual spandex as fellow agent “August Walker”. Whether he will help or hinder is more than hinted at in the spoilery trailers.
The story sees the return of two great female characters “Julia” (Michelle Monaghan) and “Isla” (Rebecca Ferguson), with the roles they play and where they feature all part of the story.
The story moves swiftly from Berlin, Paris, London to “Kashmir” (really an amalgam of NZ and Norway location shoots).
Whether breaking his ankle making cross building jumps in London, HALO (Sky Diving) jumps for real, riding a motorbike against traffic sans helmet in Paris, clinging to cliffs or actually flying a helicopter in “Kashmir” (Queenstown NZ), Cruise is clearly loving every minute.
The for real stunts are fantastic, although how the producers get completion bond insurance for these films is the real question. Returning director/writer Christopher McQuarrie’s anxiety level must stay on full alert until the film is in the can.
In a movie world where just about anything can be safely created on a green screen jumbled with lots of computing power, this remains refreshingly real. There are few actors prepared to put themselves at this level of risk, so enjoy it while we can. There is no question the stunts add a level of veracity and real tension to the proceedings.
Despite some public opinion against Cruise, he remains one of our few real “Movie Stars”, with crews always reporting his likeability, professionalism and commitment to promote his movies. As people say, if it’s an act, it’s a damn good one.
The film is arguably the best in the series and will remain a high point in action movies, until well, the next one if there is one. Cruise is as capable as ever at 56 and Cavill adds some real risk to the proceedings
Excellent blockbuster summer entertainment, it’s what big cinema screens were invented for.
Go watch it, ideally on the biggest screen available.