I’m feeling a bit guilty for waiting until now to post my thoughts on Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol given that I saw it more than two weeks ago, but life gets in the way sometimes; the delay is definitely not because of any problems with the film.

Just to get the thing out of the way, I have said it before and will say it again:  I like Tom Cruise, actor and film star. I’m going to pass over what I know about Tom Cruise, real life person because it’s not really relevant here. This is all about whether he can still make good films. And on this evidence he certainly can.

So, film starts with The Cruiser being broken out of a Russian prison, then a whole load of nastiness happens in the Kremlin and TC and his team are totally disavowed and have to get themselves out of all types of horrible trouble without any support. Stop the bad guys, clear their names, save the world and get reinstated – just another day at the office, your mission should you choose to accept it.

Cue gadgets, country-hopping and TC doing his own stunts, some of which were really pretty spectacular. I was lucky enough to see this at the IMAX cinema on the South Bank in London and can really recommend watching it on such a big screen – some of the shots are truly breathtaking and vertigo-inducing on occasions. Money has been liberally chucked onto the screen and it shows. And Brad Bird does a fabulous job of directing the whole thing.

The rest of the team is excellent; Simon Pegg is amusing without being at all annoying which is often really difficult in that type of role (he got away with it in Star Trek too, to be fair), Paula Patton is very good indeed and once again Jeremy Renner was great, proving himself to be one to watch (I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve seen him in so far) – he would have been a good replacement for Cruise as was I think the original intention.

As for the star, well, he’s still cool on screen but beginning to look his age (as indeed he should); I love him in this type of role, the big grin was rarely in evidence and he carried off the thoughtful, under-pressure team leader brilliantly. And I have to say that if he has had “work” done it has been really subtle because that was a really big screen and I think we might have noticed a nip or tuck.

So in summary this is a strong action movie which is now on my DVD to buy list.

But not surprisingly what really generated a lot of interest was the six-minute prologue to The Dark Knight Rises which was shown before the main feature and introduced us all to Bane; the sound is as horrible as I had been led to expect but boy, that was some six minutes. Now very excited indeed!

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