December 25, 2011
Review - " Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol "
(in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Directed by: Brad Bird
Starring: Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Josh
Holloway, Léa Seydoux, Michael Nyqvist, Anil Kapoor, Darren Shahlavi,
When I watched the first Mission Impossible many years ago now I didn;
t like that they made Mr Phelps a bad guy. That was just wrong
somehow. I've since gotten past that. Phelps is long dead and Ethan
Hunt has taken over the team ... and the action.
There are two stars of the new “Mission Impossible–Ghost Protocol”—
Tom Cruise, of course, but also Brad Bird, best known as the director
of the cartoon movie “The Incredibles.”
“Ghost Protocol” is a stripped-down, lo-fi “Mission Impossible.” It’s been
a trend in action films, every since “The Bourne Supremacy,” to
minimize the gizmos, the explosions, the rat-tat-tat, and get bare-
knuckled and nitty-gritty. The “James Bond” films got the grit treatment
character-wise, moving from Roger Moore’s suave, debonair Bond to
Daniel Craig’s work-a-day interpretation.
By adding much humor and the recurring theme of malfunctioning
gadgetry, Brad Bird gives the terrific “M.I. Ghost Protocol” a solid roll in
the grit pit, style-wise, proving that good storytelling always trumps
flash for flash’s sake.
Somebody blows up the Kremlin. Tom Cruise, playing operative Ethan
Hunt, gets blamed, and the president shuts down the agency. Now
Hunt’s got two missions—stop more bombs from going off, and get
himself back in the U.S. intelligence community’s good graces.
Since he’s cut off from the agency and all its formidable intel, backup, and extraction capabilities, Hunt, who’s heretofore
been a go-it-alone tough guy, now has no choice but to throw his hat in the ring with three other ostracized agents. He’s put
into the new role of team builder, operating out of a rolling safe house on a freight train.
The team consists of the tech phenom Benji Dunn (the very funny Simon Pegg), the femme fatale yet super-tough agent
Jane Carter (Paula Patton, memorable as a teacher in the film “Precious”), and brainy analyst William Brandt (Jeremy
Renner of “The Hurt Locker”). Brandt, like an onion being peeled, continually reveals layers of a violent skill set that no
analyst is normally privy to, building an aura of mystery.
After Hunt is sprung from prison, they go after the Kremlin terrorists, who are fixing to blow up a nuclear bomb somewhere for
world peace (and money). They globetrot around Prague, Moscow, Dubai, and Mumbai.
Hunt climbs up glass towers with lizard-like suction gloves, and runs back down them using the terrifying face-first “Australian
Rappel.” He has a knock-down-drag-out fight with the main baddie in a riveting automated parking-garage scene.
The stunts are outrageous, and Tom Cruise, who loves this sort of thing, is credited for doing much of his own stunt work.
“Ghost Protocol” winds the nail biting up to a near-unbearable cliffhanger degree, thanks to Brad Bird’s sense of drama and
timing. On three separate occasions, the audience tension was so high at the screening that when the final positive
resolutions came, there was an audible release of held breath followed by wild clapping.
Cruise is arguably among the most successful actor in history. One just can’t dispute the billions of dollars his work has
earned worldwide. He’s always been an underrated actor due to his pretty-boy looks, but he has terrific comedic skills and
lacks vanity, having thoroughly spoofed his superstardom
in films such as “Tropic Thunder.”
Action, however, is Cruise’s forte, and in “Ghost Protocol”
he brings the gritty goods. MI4 is a legitimately great
action movie. No, it’s not deep, and it won’t win any
Oscars. But, it doesn’t have to be. Because, what we
have here is a deliriously entertaining wind-up toy of
action & heart-in-your-throat suspense that easily trumps
any of what other directors in this franchise tried to do.
From the very opening, it goes, and it never stops. I can
really say that I absolutely 100% enjoyed this film. This is
a weird season, because I feel like a lot of the best
movies I have seen this year is all coming out within the
span of a few weeks, and it’s all a bit crazy. BUT, this is
definitely an awesome action movie that works as more
than just a spy thriller. I doubt anybody wouldn’t at least
have a little bit of fun watching this. As for me, I had a
shit-load of fun with this movie.