Plot: When a terrorist bombing destroys the Kremlin, the United States government activates "Ghost Protocol" and disavows the entire Impossible Mission Force. Ethan Hunt and his team are blamed for the attack, but are allowed to escape as part of a plan to enable them to operate outside their agency. Hunt is warned that if any member of his team is captured or compromised, they will be charged as terrorists planning a nuclear strike. He is forced to work with fellow IMF agent Brandt (Renner), who knows much more about Hunt and his past than Hunt himself.
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner (Hurt Locker and The Town), Simon Pegg (Paul and Star Trek), Paula Patton (Jumping the Broom and Deja Vu), Josh Holloway ("Lost"), Michael Nyqvist (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Anil Kapoor (Slumdog Millionaire), Lea Seydoux (Midnight in Paris)
Background: In 1996, when the first Mission Impossible was released, I was 11 and I wasn't that impressed with Agent Ethan Hunt. I was too busy watching The Craft, The Cable Guy, and The Nutty Professor. But as the saga progressed, Ethan transformed from an in-over-his-head newbie to an unstoppable and invincible agent. It became less of a dramatic conspiracy thriller, and more of an action-packed spy thriller. He became the American James Bond. And so now, 15 years later, Ethan Hunt is still as invincible as ever, and 49-year-old Tom Cruise doesn't look like he's ready to slow down. This is his franchise, the way Pirates of the Caribbean is Johnny Depp's, Transformers is Shia Labeouf's, and Bourne Identity is Matt Damon's. When we watch an MI film, it's to see Cruise do his thing. But there have been rumors that the studio would like to pass the franchise onto someone slightly younger—nine years, to be exact—so that they can churn out another trilogy without breaking their action star's hip. And Jeremy Renner was rumored to be that fortunate up-and-comer—which explains the iconic hover scene that he gets to do in the trailer. So all eyes will be on him during this film to step it up to Tom Cruise levels. And if he can, perhaps naysayers will be more accepting of his future endeavor of starring in his own Bourne spinoff.
Verdict: While everyone's doubting Renner, who's impressed me enough in The Town to have my full confidence, I'll be keeping an eye on Holloway, who is prime for a full-fledged film career, if he can be crowned the breakout star of this film. If the freefall shooting scene is any indication, he's got this one in the bag. I'm also excited to see that Pegg is the new go-to-comic for action films these days. He cracks me up. And it'll be interesting to see Patton playing more of an assertive role—Bond girl-esque, but better because MI girls never seem objectified. Another part of the trailer that's of note is the song. I was totally distracted by it. One, because it's Eminem and Pink collaborating on a track. That's epic. And two, because it's not the signature MI song. We do, however, get to hear a snippet of it, but it seems more Heavy Metal than usual.
Release Date: December 16