|year: 2011 cast: Tom Cruise, Paula Patton, Jeremy Renner rating: ****|
Tom Cruise, returning in the fourth installment of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, needs only a cape to be a comic book hero. And thankfully, all the extraordinarily grandiose action occurs within a tight plot and the rest of his team... including Paula Patton as a smart and gorgeous agent, Simon Pegg as the comic relief hacker, and Jeremy Renner as an ace who doesn’t show all his cards at once... add equally to the proceedings.
Beginning with a jailbreak from a Russian prison and ending with a good old fashion nuclear crisis, the action never stops – but there are enough pockets of downtime to reboot the characters, and the audience, onto the next level. And it takes all four members working overtime to catch up with a villain named Hendricks, who, in triggering a bomb in Russia blamed on the IMF, skips around with the maligned, desperate team – more covert than ever having been stripped of their status – close on his trail.
A standout segment occurs in Dubai within, and outside of, the tallest building in the world – fitting to the tallest tale in the world, but one that, with each second metered in a calculating, suspenseful precision, will keep even the most stringent fans of the spy genre fulfilled despite the fact it’s more escapist fantasy than a legitimate espionage.