Super spy Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) scales a skyscraper in Dubai in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol.

Aisle Seat: Cruise is back and in control

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol: three and a half stars out of five

  • Dec. 30, 2011 12:00 p.m.

Whew. Darn good thing Tom chose to accept this one. See, while Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol might not be the smartest edition of the franchise, it’s by far the most entertaining.

A solid bundle of adrenaline, international locations and –– no way, you say? –– cleverly positioned sarcastic wit, this sequel is what two and three should’ve been. Fun.

And it couldn’t come at a better time for Mr. Cruise. I mean, Mission: Impossible pretty much sums up salvaging this dude’s career.

It’s not that the films he’s been making the last few years –– Tropic Thunder, Valkyrie and even Knight and Day –– were horrible, but when you spend your off hours couch jumping with Oprah and angrily debating the merits of happy pills with Matt Lauer, those box office numbers seem to take on a few dips.

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol is a step in the right direction, if for no other reason than THIS is the Tom Cruise we like, the Tom Cruise we’ll happily pay to see. It’s Tom Cruise, definitive action star.

Returning as Ethan Hunt, leader of the International Missions Force (IMF, for short), the grim-faced and physically chiseled super spy (if there’s any question whether the 49-year-old can run and jump like he used to, the answer is a resounding yes) is forced to dig his team out of a huge hole in this one.

Accused of bombing the Kremlin and thus, disowned by the U.S. government, IMF is on its own here, desperate to restore their good name by recapturing a nuclear activation device. Kind of a vital gadget to maintain global peace, yeah?

Hunt’s posse consists of tech engineer Benji (Simon Pegg, the comedy relief), slick fellow agent Jane (Paula Patton, the hottie) and former government suit Brandt (Jeremy Renner), a chap who doesn’t spill all of his secrets too early, making for a pretty interesting character in an otherwise cookie-cutter trace.

The chemistry works.

Add director Brad Bird, whose experience comes largely from animated epics (The Incredibles), and you’ve got a heap of icing on the cake. I mean, Ghost Protocol’s action sequences are SO ridiculously ambitious (climbing a 100-plus story Dubai tower with one hand) they could easily BE a cartoon, so why not bring in an expert?

A successful roller coaster action ride with Tom Cruise at the wheel? That’s not only long overdue, I’d have to say that’s mission accomplished.

The feature is currently playing at Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

–– Jason Armstrong is the longtime movie reviewer at The Morning Star. His column, Aisle Seat, runs every Friday and Sunday.

Just Posted

New Vernon store Fills green need

Vernon’s Refill Store may be answer to plastics problem

Vernon RCMP not toying around when it comes to impaired drivers

Saturday, Dec. 7 is National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day

Crown delves into Sagmoen’s history with North Okanagan sex workers

Decision on validity of police search warrant will be made on Monday, Dec. 9

Vernon Glee club sells out Bohemian Rhapsody

Community Music School shows at Powerhouse Theatre this weekend

Southbound lane of Silver Star Road re-opens after rollover

Single vehicle rollover on mountain road, no injuries

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

Okanagan Similkameen could have a sister city in the south of France

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen considering agreement with wine region in southern France

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

Summerland businesses participate in Sip N’ Shop

Downtown event on Dec. 14 will feature local beverages

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

UBCO daycare services slated for major improvements

More families will have access to high-quality child care services at UBCO

Noxious odour detected at Summerland Health Centre

Staff felt nauseous following incident on morning of Dec. 5

Most Read