The movie starts with a clever jailbreak by Cruise's Ethan Hunt, stuck in a Moscow prison for reasons unexplained until late in the story, then serves up an opening-credit montage fondly reminiscent of the old Mission: Impossible TV show.
Once free, Ethan is dispatched to infiltrate the Kremlin along with Impossible Missions Force agents Jane Carter (Patton) and Benji Dunn (Pegg). But it's all a setup by madman Kurt Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist), who sets off a devastating explosion at the Kremlin to cover his theft of a Russian nuclear launch device and manages to finger Ethan's team for the blast.
With U.S.-Russian tension at its worst since the Cuban missile crisis, the threat that's always hung over the IMF team comes to pass: the secretary (Tom Wilkinson) disavows knowledge of their actions, leaving Hunt and his comrades on their own as they try to clear their names and stop Hendricks from instigating nuclear war.
Joining them is Wilkinson's aide, William Brandt (Renner), a guy who takes to field work a little too easily to be the desk-jockey analyst he claims he is.
Cruise looks shaggy, and sure, we could blame his bad haircut on the fact that Ethan's just out of prison. But it doesn't help an aging screen idol to look so unkempt; the Mission: Impossible world routinely defies reality, so would it have been so far-fetched for Ethan to stop by a salon before heading back into action?
What Cruise does on screen is pretty much the same-old. Ethan runs, Ethan leaps, Ethan bashes faces, Ethan violates traffic laws, Ethan runs some more. Cruise has two main modes in his acting repertoire: flash that thousand-watt smile or play the stone-face, and he mostly does the latter here, so honestly, Ethan's not all that interesting when he's standing still and talking.
That work ethic of Cruise, though, shows in every one of the spectacular action moments. For the climb up Dubai's 2,700-foot Burj Khalifa skyscraper, the filmmakers claim they had planned to re-create part of the building's exterior and have Cruise scale it on a safe soundstage. But Cruise wanted to climb the real thing, so much of the sequence was filmed with him harnessed to the building more than 1,000 feet up.
His action scenes are clean, coherent, thrilling, and visceral, never more than in a mid-film sequence in Dubai that piles setpiece atop setpiece as the action moves in, around, up, and down the Burj Khalifa skyscraper—the tallest building in the world. If you have the slightest fear of heights, grip the arm rests tightly and press both feet flatly to the floor during Cruise's attempt to scale the world's tallest building; even safe in your seat, an unnerving feeling of vertigo is bound to result as you stare down from the 130th floor. This is one the best part of the movie is during the task Ethan took up in Dubai where they showed him being “Spiderman” on the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa.
Most interesting about this latest "Mission: Impossible film" is the frequency in which technology fails at the critical moment.
The characters are likeable and developed, the scenarios are complex without feeling ridiculous and the action is engaging. One more I can say is - "Pegg is Pegg", the comic relief who adds some decent chuckles.