The titles within this franchise always surprise with the punctuation. This one opts for one colon and a dash. A dash, huh? It must feel the need, the need for speed. This is the first time they've used a dash unless you prefer your Mission: Impossible 2 in its funkier weirdly abbreviated decapitalized M:i-2 format. Anyway.... the point is that Tom Cruise is back as agent Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol or M:I-GP Vol. 4 if you'd like to complicate it. Let's accept the mission to break down the trailer with our Yes, No, Maybe So protocol.
YES You wouldn't know it from the trailer which focuses on reminding you of the stunttacular nature of this franchise and the familiar but arguably still special effect of Tom Cruise running-jumping-glaring (say what you will about Tom Cruise -- and we all have -- but there are few movie stars as committed/believable in action sequences) but Brad Bird directed this. BRAD BIRD. If it has the teensiest sliver of The Iron Giant's humanity and if the action scenes are anywhere close to as good as the ones in The Incredibles, it's going to be straight up awesome. The big question is: can Brad Bird work directing wonders with flesh & blood actors the way he can with animators?
NO -Did we really need a fourth picture? My biggest beef with this franchise, continued here with the title card insistence that only Tom Cruise is starring in the picture, is that the Mission: Impossible series would be so much better if it were more team-oriented. Ethan pulls too much focus and the team maneuvering and chemistry is the real spark it needs to generate fireworks.
MAYBE SO -On the other hand, even if they aren't given enough to do the cast is exciting: Simon Pegg, the always welcome until he gets too ubiquitous (any second now) Jeremy Renner, Josh Holloway, Michael Nykqvist, Paula Patton, Lea Seydoux, and Tom Wilkinson doing what he does best (that distinctive voice: authoritative but always suspect with hints of possible certifiable whack-a-doo pulsating underneath)
Do you think Tom Cruise will have the comeback he's looking for over?
Will Brad Bird work well with actors who can talk back?
If you were an action star would you do your own stunts?
Are you a Yes, No or Maybe So?
Related Post from the Archive:
Directors of the Decade: Brad Bird "Mr Complexity"