Tom Cruise’s super spy Ethan Hunt pulls off his trademark feats of acrobatic insanity with breathtaking panache in this fourth adventure.
Previous outings have seen him hogging most of the limelight, but this time around Cruise is much more of a team player, so sidekicks Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton get a decent slice of the action.
The plot involves Hunt’s Impossible Missions Force striving to stop a rogue scientist (Michael Nyqvist) from provoking a nuclear war between Russia and the US. As the team go about their globe-trotting mission via Moscow, Dubai and Mumbai, Pegg’s nerdy Benji Dunn provides the comic relief, Renner’s analyst William Brandt demonstrates brawn as well as brains and Patton’s Jane Carter oozes cool.
But it’s Cruise’s daredevil bravado that provides the film’s standout episode, a sequence of hair-raising, gob-smacking suspense that sees him clinging to the side of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, using only a pair of hi-tech gloves – and there’s a sandstorm approaching…
It’s a heart-stopping sequence that not only shows that Cruise still has the chops as an action star, but also proves that animation whiz Brad Bird, maker of Pixar gems Ratatouille and The Incredibles, has got what it takes as a live-action director, too.