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Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Is it okay to start liking Tom Cruise again, because I think I’m ready. The poor man has suffered enough. After all that couch jumping a few years ago, and subsequently picking on Brooke Shields and lecturing Matt Lauer, Tom was becoming an insufferable prick. But after almost 30 years as a movie star(an incredible majority of them absolute smashes), he keeps on truckin’ as he approaches his 50th birthday(coming up in July). I mean he had a bad run there for a while, but he’s certainly no Mel Gibson. And I know he’s one of those scientology kooks, but so is John Travolta and we still like him. Plus, I had to admit something to myself after watching the latest “Mission: Impossible” franchise flick. I missed him. I really did. Hell, he’s never been a real actor-despite that smattering of Oscar nominations. He’s often outshined by better thespians in his hit films. But you always ended up seeing most of them anyway—and more often than not because he was in them. And I have gone from liking to absolutely loving 1996’s “Jerry Maguire” over the years. It’s a damn good movie, and maybe his best work. Whenever I click-through to it on television, I can’t turn it off. Now, that’s power. And I guess his comeback is complete with this fourth mission for Ethan Hunt and his crew, after a nearly 700 million dollar take at the worldwide box office. Now that’s cash. And it’s kind of nice to have him still around as our big movie star, as former heavyweights like Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis have almost faded away. Now that’s survival.               I’m not about to rehash the whole “Ghost Protocol” plot because it’s completely unnecessary. You really just need to know one thing. Cruise climbs the damn Burj Khalifa. Over 2000 feet tall and 160+ floors, and Tom Cruise is on the outside of it. Yes, I realize it’s a special effect. But it’s spectacular. I only wish I had seen it at a theater and in IMAX. I got woozy watching this thing—it’s a marvelous set-piece from animation giant Brad Bird making his live action directing feature debut. In fact, the whole film is an incredible action spectacle. A Russian prison break, blowing up half the Kremlin, a chase through a sandstorm, and a battle implementing car elevators(Mitt Romney must love this part). This movie moves. There’s also able support from Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner and Paul Patton. We even get a cameo from “Mission” series stalwart, Ving Rhames. But make no mistake…this is a Tom Cruise blockbuster. And he’s funny, and charming, and as graceful as a ballet dancer. It is a ballet. Barishnikov, eat your heart out. And is that actually a shot at poignancy at the finale, playing off of a leftover plotline from the last “Mission Impossible” flick? And it works! Go figure.               So, yeah, I’m ready to greet Cruise with open arms. All that previous crap has made him stronger. He has a gravitas now that none of us could have imagined after he first slid across the floor in his underwear in 1983. He makes you want to like him. Heck, I may even be prepared to love him. Well—someone had to say it. We missed you, Tom. Welcome back!   Grade:  B+

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2 comments on “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

  1. I’m not sure anyone likes Travolta anymore. Does he still make movies?

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