Highlights: Tom Cruise
By Jason Barney
June 19, 2012
3) Mission: Impossible 4 - Ghost Protocol (2011)
If Tom Cruise went through a dry spell, it ended when Ghost Protocol came out in December of 2011. The studio was confident with the gem they had on their hands as they released it to select theaters, let the positive word-of-mouth spread, and watched as fans got in line. By the time it left screenss it had earned over $200 million in the U.S. and about $480 million overseas. It was proof that Cruise’s stardom had not waned.
The story is complex, but involves Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his team trying to prevent the detonation of a nuclear bomb. The first scenes in Moscow are very intense as we see Cruise change disguises and infiltrate the highest levels of the Russian government. His team takes the blame for an attack in Moscow, and then is sent to deal with Kurt Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist), the Swedish nuclear physicist who is the main antagonist in the story.
The setting moves to Dubai. This is where this pic sets itself apart from the other Mission Impossible entries, and provides some truly classic action scenes. It all starts in the glass walled skyscraper where the transaction of the nuclear information is supposed to take place. As Tom Cruise hangs on for his life on the side of the building, audiences are on the edge of their seats. There is a massive chase scene in a sandstorm that features cars zooming by out nowhere and crazy near misses. It is so good it leaves people wondering if it will be okay to drive on the way home.
The magic behind this one isn’t just the action, though. Hunt is given some wonderful back story, which is integral to how the plot unfolds. Also, much of the plot hinges on the rest of Hunt’s IMF team. Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, and Paula Patton all provide solid performances. The film is not flawless. The motivations of the villain Hendricks are a little weak, but this is one damn good film.
Ghost Protocol is also a reminder of just how successful Cruise has been in the action genre, something many fans don’t realize. This is the fourth in the Mission: Impossible series, with another already rumored to be in development. Want evidence of Cruise’s current status, even after 30 years in movies and almost 40 films? It was his highest opening movie ever, and the fifth highest grossing film of 2011.
4) Minority Report (2002)
Cruise teamed up with legendary film maker Stephen Spielberg to make this pure science fiction flick. Artistically, it is an amazing production that involves awesome special effects, plot twists galore, and a very thought provoking story. Cruise plays John Anderton, a cop in the future who works within a very special unit of crime fighters, called Precrime. Using individuals with pre-cognitive abilities, they fight criminals by identifying murderers before violent acts are committed. Anderton is good at what he does, and the storytellers make us believe his work is almost an art form.