NO PLAN. NO BACKUP. NO CHOICE.
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is sprung from a prison in Russia by his IMF colleagues, but when a subsequent mission is botched and a bomb destroys the Kremlin, Hunt’s team is disavowed. For the fourth film in this franchise, The Incredibles (2004) director Brad Bird was hired and he brings some of that energy, sense of humor and classic spy trappings. His first non-animated film moves briskly between its exciting, outlandish action sequences (the highlight being a daring climb up the Burj Khalifa), although it loses steam somewhat in the last half-hour. Cruise and his team (including high-profiled newcomer Jeremy Renner) are great fun to watch, diverting one’s attention from the silly story.
2011-U.S. 133 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Tom Cruise, J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk. Directed by Brad Bird. Music: Michael Giacchino. Cast: Tom Cruise (Ethan Hunt), Jeremy Renner (William Brandt), Simon Pegg (Benji Dunn), Paula Patton, Michael Nyqvist, Léa Seydoux… Anil Kapoor. Cameos: Tom Wilkinson, Michelle Monaghan, Ving Rhames.
Trivia: Also released in an IMAX 3D version. Followed by Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015).
Last word: “The script that Andre Nemec and Josh Applebaum did, working with JJ Abrams and Tom [Cruise], was full of these inventive set pieces that were really exciting to do. The nuances of information, which these films really have in spades, was a real challenge. Because you don’t want the audience to guess what’s coming next, but also you don’t want to be so, quote, clever, unquote, that you allow them to disconnect. If the audience becomes confused, they start to disconnect, and you don’t want that either. You have this very narrow sweet spot that’s hard to hit, and certainly, the script was always morphing while we were making the film. It kind of drive us crazy a little bit. I understood that it came with the territory.” (Bird, Den of Geek)