Great fun, and coming as the fifth instalment in the franchise (after ‘Mission : Impossible’ 96, ‘Mission : Impossible II’ 2000, ‘Mission : Impossible III’ 06 and ‘Mission : Impossible – Ghost Protocol’ 11) it perfectly mirrors the trademarks of its predecessors – fast pace and fantastic stunts with supporting characters that essentially just pass muster, and a take it or leave it story that exists to primarily facilitate the action. This time around Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) must do battle with an elite super-secret nefarious organisation hell bent on seemingly random acts of evil – a group so secret that even the CIA disbelieve its existence, forcing Hunt to go dark and avoid capture himself as the IMF (Impossible Mission Force) are annexed by the Agency at the bequest of its director (Alec Baldwin) who apparently also thinks it more likely Hunt himself may be to blame for the aforementioned acts of terror.
Cruise has well and truly outdone himself on the action front here. Always one to step up to the plate and perform his own stunts, this film will absolutely be remembered for the set-pieces involved, chief among them the opening scene which was well reported in the media prior to the film’s release but I shan’t ruin it in case you remain unawares, suffice to say they filmed the thing eight times with naught but a single wire used as safeguard for the film’s star, and given the nature of the stunt I wouldn’t exactly be keen to put all my trust in that solitary wire. Indeed, not long after this Cruise puts to shame everyone who’s ever been handcuffed to a vertical object in a film before, and numerous impressive displays of acrobatics are spread throughout the movie.
Accompanying Cruise’s showmanship as one of the main attractions is Rebecca Ferguson (‘Hercules‘) as a mysterious female member of the shadowy organisation who is nothing short of completely fantastic in the role, imbuing it with physical prowess, sex appeal and solid acting to boot. There are the perhaps to be expected parallels with the Bond franchise, ‘Skyfall‘ in particular, and indeed look out for the several nods to the earlier M.I. films, but this is a very strong, entertaining blockbuster in its own right and it would be surprising not to see the cast and crew return for a decidedly merited number six. Indeed, this is also the fourth collaboration between Cruise and the film’s writer/director Christopher McQuarrie after he directed ‘Jack Reacher‘ and worked on its screenplay, along with that of ‘Valkyire’ (08) and ‘Edge of Tomorrow‘. With Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Jeremy Renner, Sean Harris and Simon McBurney in support.
Tom Cruise chats about his infamous stunt (spoiler alert) :