Can Mission Impossible 4 break from Ghost Protocol?
Can Tom Cruise and co save the world AND avoid reheating a load of knackered old tropes? Let's trawl through the trailer
This winter's Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol has to walk a very delicate line. On one hand, it has to reinvent the series thanks to all manner of external circumstances, like the commercial under-performance of Mission: Impossible III and the increasing public mistrust of Tom Cruise.
But then again, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol has to remain as an identifiable Mission: Impossible film. It's a hard act to pull off. Tilt too far one way and you might alienate all of Mission: Impossible's existing fans. Tilt too far the other and you'll just be serving up a reheated goop of knackered old tropes. Luckily, thanks to the newest Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol trailer, we're more able than ever to assess the balance that's been struck.
1) Tom Cruise wearing a disguise. We've seen this before, of course. Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible character is a master of disguise, so he's always dressing up as other people. However, none of Cruise's disguises have ever been as endearingly crap as this – a fake moustache and a hat. Which means that, so far, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is completely new.
2) Tom Cruise getting flung at an awkward angle by an explosion. We've seen this too – the shot of Tom Cruise getting flung at an awkward angle by an explosion on a bridge was one of Mission: Impossible III's most iconic moments. However, this scene doesn't take place on a bridge, so it's still fresh and exciting. Well played, Mission: Impossible.
3) Simon Pegg pulling a face. Simon Pegg's entire screentime on Mission: Impossible III was spent pulling a face. But, crucially, it was an infinitesimally different face to the one he's pulling here. Vive la différence!
4) Tom Cruise running as fast as he can with a face that suggests he's holding in a fart. Sadly, we have seen this many times before. In every film he's ever made, Tom Cruise runs really fast with a silly expression on his face. Every single one. Disappointing.
5) A woman in a ballgown getting out of a sports car legs-first. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that this is almost the exact same shot used in Mission: Impossible III to announce the arrival of Maggie Q. But hold on there, buster – in that film, the car was a slightly different colour. This is fresh and new and exciting.
6) Sawyer from Lost looking a bit shifty in your grandpa's cap. This is exciting. To my knowledge, no previous Mission: Impossible film has ever featured any former Lost cast member in any form of vaguely antiquated headwear. This immediately negates the thing about Tom Cruise running.
7) A woman controlling a touch-screen map projected on to a transparent surface. Now I'm confused. This is a direct steal from Tom Cruise's Minority Report, but it's new for the Mission Impossible series. Oh, screw it, I'm going to say this is another bold reinvention.
8) Tom Cruise titting about with crashed vehicles somewhere dusty. Remember in Mission: Impossible II, where the entire climax involved Tom Cruise titting about with some crashed vehicles and Dougray Scott? They were motorbikes. These are cars. It literally couldn't be more different. If you disagree, you're wrong.
9) A character perfectly suspended by a complex pulley system with his arms outstretched. No, this has never happened in any Mission: Impossible film. Not even once. Another innovation.
10) Tom Cruise leaps out of the world's tallest building attached to a hosepipe and then runs down the side of it. Oh, this again? What a letdown.