Produced on the scale of a superior James Bond movie and packed with the sly, sexy humor of a 1960s caper picture, “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” is one of the rare Hollywood “tentpole” franchise pictures that deserves its huge success.
“MI4″ delivers the sort of fast and furious, but also surprisingly sophisticated, entertainment that the manufacturers of action movies rarely produce anymore.
Tom Cruise is in peak movie star form and he was smart enough (as one of the producers of the movie) to make himself part of a great team that includes Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, and the sensational Paula Patton, who could be the sexiest and most believable woman of action to come along since Diana Rigg’s Emma Peel.
Six months ago, few movie people would have predicted that a Christmas season that included two Steven Spielberg pictures, a Cameron Crowe/Matt Damon movie, and “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” would end up being dominated by a Tom Cruise star vehicle.
After the horrendous publicity he received a few years back — the Oprah couch jumping, the on-air tiff with Matt Lauer — Cruise was written by a lot of people as a hopelessly tarnished star.
Female movieogers were through with him, it was said, after the star criticized Brooke Shields for resorting to post-partum meds and when it seemed that he was acting as a Scientologist Svengali to his third wife Katie Holmes.
It became so popular to bash Cruise that the Viacom mogul Sumner Redstone pointlessly “fired” the independent producer/star in a shameless bid for positive press in the middle of one of Redstone’s own PR crises.
The bad vibes surrounding Cruise hurt his very entertaining summer of 2010 comic thriller — “Knight and Day” — which was not as well-reviewed or as well-attended as it deserved.
The star’s wonderful performance in “MI4” and the picture’s spectacular box office success puts Cruise back where he belongs — at the top of the Hollywood heap — and I can’t wait to see what he does in next summer’s musical comedy “Rock of Ages” and then as the Lee Child action hero Jack Reacher.