When I saw that this movie had a 93 percent rating on Rotten tomatoes, I thought something had to be wrong. I mean, it’s a Mission Impossible film for chrissake, how great could it really be?
This movie is that rarest of beasts–a “dumb” Hollywood action movie that manages to be great. And it brings up an intersting question–why there aren’t more like it.
The plot isn’t cerebral, or complex. In fact, it’s almost stupid–the villain’s motivation doesn’t even pretend to make sense. Something about evolution and the strong surviving and nuclear holocaust making the world a better place–basically, like Kevin Bacon from X-Men: First Class. Because that villain motivation wasn’t dumb enough the first time (actually it was).
Yep, he wants to destroy the world.
Why does this guy value evolution more than everyone’s lives? Why are people helping him blow up the world? Are we supposed to believe that more than once person was willing to go along with an idea this crazy? Seriously, why is that one blond minion helping him?
Who knows? And, though I can hardly believe I’m saying this, who cares?
This movie works despite its dumb plot, despite its lack of a message or a deeper meaning or any of that stuff. It works by not trying to be anything more than what it is–a fun, adventurous, action-packed, suspenseful summer romp (except in the winter, this time).
In all honesty, this movie puts most Hollywood blockbusters to shame by showing just how easy it should be to make a good action movie. All it takes are a few simple ingreidents. Likable characters. Clever, inventive, and well-choreogrpahed and shot action sequences. Some lively humor to liven things up a little.
Oh, and suspense. Genuine suspense that comes from the sense that things can go wrong. Somehow, MI4 feels more real than a lot of films of its type, even gritty films like the Bourne series (which is excellent in its own right). Characters make mistakes. Tom Cruise misses his jump. Jeremy Renner nearly chickens out of jump. Every clever spy gadget in the film (and I mean every one) malfunctions. It makes it all feel so much more immediate and dangerous.
No 3-D bullsh**. No forced, obligatory love story or tacked-on scenes of crude and cliche character development. None of that nonsense. All this is is a movie about four well-acted individuals fighting to stop a bad guy. It’s about camaraderie in the face of, well, impossible odds. It’s pure, uncomplicated fun.
So does it deserve its high rating on Rotten Tomatoes? Yes, I think it does.