Directed by Brad Bird
Written by Josh Applebaun and Andre Nemec
Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Michael Nyqvist, Tom Wilkinson

Once upon a time I was a Tom Cruise fan. And then I wasn’t. And despite the great job he does in MI-GP, and he certainly does, it is impossible to imagine him playing an ordinary person with any credibility. He is both larger and smaller than life. Maybe it is too late in his career to attempt to play the kind of parts George Clooney and Brad Pitt play, but it sure would be fun to watch him try. His posturing and lack of depth would grind most movies to a halt—but in a movie like this one—well, hey.

PLOT: The latest action movie madman (Nyqvist) is determined to detonate a nuclear bomb in order to start a nuclear war. It has something to do with starting life on earth afresh. The villain is the most poorly drawn of the characters, so let’s just say that’s the reason. Ethan Hunt (Cruise) assembles his new team (Renner, Pegg and Patton) and a very fine team it is. Each actor gets to show off their skills or physical assets, contributing to the film’s success. They are likable and believable.

Yes, there was an awful lot of long action scenes, but isn’t that what you pay for. And they are executed perfectly. But the film manages to insert humor and a tad of character between the sequences. Director Brad Bird comes to this film from doing animated films and his skill in executing action sequences shows.

If I liked Tom Cruise more, I might recommend this movie. If I liked action movies more, I might too. Ah heck, I will anyway because on both counts this is the cream of the crop.

Patti Abbott writes crime fiction short stories. She hosts a look at Forgotten Books every Friday with readers, writers and reviewers at She hopes you’ll join in