Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol (2011)

December 19, 2011 By Mike B
Movie Review

What Worked?

Ethan Hunt is back with a new team, a new mission, but still the same slick moves and precise skills he’s showcased in the past Mission: Impossible films. Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol has Hunt and the IMF agency being wrongfully accused of the bombing of the Kremlin, a major fortified central complex in Russia, and Hunt and his disavowed team have to set things straight. Tom Cruise is joined once again by Simon Pegg, and a few new players: Paula Patton and Jeremy Renner.

Director Brad Bird, who has directed such fantastic Pixar films as the Incredibles and Ratatouille, takes a stab at live-action for the first time with the fourth installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise. Did I mention Bird uses a big, bold, brass-knuckle grip knife with teeth? Bird brings the action in loads, breathing life into the cliche description of “non-stop action.” The film moves at a break-neck pace, with action coming from all fronts, but there is still a solid story, at least for an Action movie, being told. There’s also many moments of fun tension, especially with the now-famous stunt of Tom Cruise running down the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, and the re-invention of the famous hanging from the ceiling scene in the first Mission: Impossible. There’s a good mix of CGI and live-action, and most of the time the CGI is mixed in well enough that it’s not bothersome. Additionally, there are gadgets galore in this film, from HD projections used as a cloaking device to Spider-Man gloves, and all of them are crowd-pleasers. The fight choreography is fluid, and so hard-hitting that every thud can be felt in an IMAX theater.

Tom Cruise reprises his role as Ethan Hunt, and he hasn’t lost a step as the best spy agent to play the game. Cruise has a determination in his mannerisms and voice that could lead a last place sports team to the finals, or at least the playoffs. In addition to Cruises’ fine acting, he also does his own stunts once again, even if he’s pushing 50. Joining Cruise is Simon Pegg, as Benjamin the tech guy from the previous Mission: Impossible film. Pegg is given a lot more screen-time in this installment, now that he’s a field agent, and he’s hilarious;  his comedic timing is just right. Paul Patton, the leading lady of this film, playing Agent Carter, is a knockout with her fighting skills, her looks and her acting. Patton isn’t just eye-candy, she’s a wonderful talent. Lastly, there’s Jeremy Renner, as Brandt, a former agent with a shaky past. Renner always gives a fantastic performance, and this film is no exception. There are rumors that the character of Brandt will take over once Hunt retires, and it looks like the franchise will be in good hands if Renner stays on as Brandt.

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol is an absolute blast that is arguably the best film in the franchise. The film will take you on a fast and frantic ride; it’s the equivalent to the most entertaining ride in the amusement park. “Mission accomplished” is an understatement.

Potential Drawbacks:

This time around, Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt goes through a lot of damage that would have killed him. Some thought it was overkill, and broke their suspension of disbelief, even for an action film.

The story is pretty solid, but it’s nothing that hasn’t been done before in a Mission: Impossible film. Hunt gets blamed for something he didn’t do and he needs to clear his name, as well as his organization’s name. Nothing new here, but hey, it’s an action film.

Film Recommendations:

Bourne Ultimatum
Mission: Impossible 3
Mission: Impossible 2


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