“Your mission, Mr. Hunt, should you choose to accep it....”
Of course we know that he will accept it.
And we're looking forward to seeing him try to accomplish the
impossible. The fact that
it's so extremely unlikely in the real world doesn't bother us a bit.
We'd just like to think that there is somebody out there so
incredibly skilled and competent who's fighting the invisble bad guys so
that we can all sleep better at night.
Sleep seems to be in short supply here, as this nonstop action
movie turns up the adrenalin from the beginning, and doesn't let up
until the very end. Tom
Cruise reprises his role as Ethan Hunt, who's part of a covert operative
group outside the CIA or the military, but is dedicated to stopping
America's international enemies. Here,
it seems that a dastardly new group called The Syndicate has recruited
disavowed and disgruntled spies from all over the globe, many of whom
have also managed to fake their own demise.
Their goal seems to be to spread chaos and disharmony, through
accidents that aren't accidents targeted at top officials of government
and industry, particularly the ones devoted to peacekeeping.
Ethan Hunt has been tracking this Syndicate all over the globe,
but its leadership has remained elusive, until he actually catches sight
of Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), a disgraced ex-British spy, who's
apparently the mastermind, but he's not easy to catch.
It turns out that he is extremely well-funded, in part because
he's had help from inside MI6, because the rogue syndicate was
originally set up to eliminate opposition without the niceties of Her
Majesty's government approval, or any official accountability.
But the Prime Minister did not approve, because he feared the
Syndicate would become a law unto itself, which is exactly what has
happened, despite MI6's efforts to send its best counter-spy, Ilsa
(Rebecca Feguson) to penetrate the Syndicate, and either bring it back
under MI6's control or eliminate its head.
Ethan Hunt becomes persona non grata when the CIA decides to
disavow the Impossible Mission Force (IMF), so now he's operating
virtually alone. Except some
of his old buddies, like Benji Dunn
(Simon Pegg) decide to help out, anyway, and whose side is Ilsa really
All this setup, of course, is really just an excuse for some
breathtaking action sequences, like Ethan Hunt holding on to the outside
of a plane taking off, or a knife fight in close quarters, or
pulse-pounding car chase scenes, even
Nice touch with the backstage shenanigans while the Viennese
Opera is in full performance mode.
Is Tom Cruise a little long in the tooth for this part?
Maybe. But in the
original television show, Peter Graves was already silver-haired in the
lead role, and in the last “James Bond” movie, Daniel Craig wasn't
exactly a fresh face, either. Unlike
the Bond series, though, there's no tongue-in-cheek here, and almost no
humor. And there's only a
faint whiff of romance, unfulfilled.
We're far too busy saving the world here to actually relax and
enjoy ourselves, even for a moment.
But that slick fast pacing also prevents us from thinking too
much about the plot holes. Just
enjoy the bumpy thrill ride.