Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
This was directed by Brad Bird, who previously has only done animation for Pixar, movies I liked a lot. We had a good time. I hardly ever saw the TV show, but I know the idea, that the M:I team fooled people into believing something that was not true. A Big Con, high-tech. This had a lot of that—plus, of course, a lot of slam-bang action, too—and it was a team, though Cruise was the main dude. All four of them were good. It was all extremely impossible, but wasn’t the TV show, too? What surprised me was that it was funny a lot, and not unintentionally. Much of this was provided by Simon Pegg, who I love. But sometimes it was Tom Cruise looking at the others on the team and saying, “You seriously expect me to do a human fly routine on the tallest man-made structure in the world? … You do, don’t you. Oh, hell.” And clearly he’s scared out of his pants. The exotic locations, including the aforementioned Burj Khalifa and a high-tech parking structure in Mumbai, were entertaining. And though many of the stunts were clearly not survivable and many of them would leave you crippled for life … what else is new? That happens in all action pix. And rather unusually, Ethan does not always bounce away from these big drops and explosions, good as new. He gets hurt, badly, twice in the movie. These days, that’s all I ask for in the realm of believability.