from THE TALL GUY'S GEAR GUIDE:
Kudos to Cruise
Tom Cruise has had it rough over the last few years, ultimately being toppled from his perch as the biggest movie star in the world after an almost twenty year reign.
Due to his Scientologist beliefs and sometimes bizarre behavior, Cruise became almost a pariah, but still a pariah who commanded 20 million dollar paydays. His last few films, 'Valkyrie' and 'Knight and Day' (which is an unappreciated, satisfyingly funny action comedy) failed to measure up to Cruise's glory days, while the third 'Mission Impossible' film was the lowest grosser of the series, which still amassed a worldwide gross of 1.4 billion dollars.
While he may not be as big as he once was, Cruise works hard for the money and never phones it in. He's never taken his audience for granted and goes to great extremes to see that they get their money's worth. His latest film, 'Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol', showcases Cruise's willingness to do outrageous stunts in the name of realism. Dude works hard for the money, as this featurette on the still physically fit superstar's climb (and leap) from the highest building in the world (in Dubai) demonstrates.
'MI: Ghost Protocol' delivers the thrills. It's action packed and hardly ever lets up. Cruise once again is agent Ethan Hunt, on the run with what's left of the IMF team as they race around the world to stop a madman from detonating a nuclear bomb in America. There's not much fresh about the story, but noted animation director Brad Bird ('The Incredibles', 'Ratatouille' and 'The Iron Giant') attacks his first live action film like he's been doing it all of his life. His stunt sequences are seamless, the pacing perfect and his actors all fit into the international intrigue, ably handling the action as well as the more light hearted tone of the film, but it's Cruise's movie star weight that is the glue that holds it all together. Nearing 50, Cruise has the confidence to be generous with his fellow actors, resulting in this fourth 'MI' adventure being the first one that really felt like there was a team onscreen, instead of a superstar and his supporting cast.
'Fast Five' was the most over the top (but effective) popcorn blockbuster I had seen this year, but 'MI:GP' is right there with it. Cruise had the idea over 15 years ago to turn the classic television show into a film franchise and has hand picked every director that has helmed one of the films, allowing them all to put their own personal touch on their movie. Brian DePalma, John Woo and JJ Abrams directed the first three films, respectively, but Cruise's most impressive hire has got to be Bird. To entrust this global brand to a man who had never directed a live action film before is the biggest stunt of all, but like his character, Cruise always seems to find a way to win, when it comes to 'Mission Impossible'.