Tom Cruise is back with his fourth installment of his “Mission: Impossible” film series. Does this film hold up with the previous three? J.P. reviews “MI: Ghost Protocol.”
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL
Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions
Release Date: Friday, December 16 (Limited – IMAX), Wednesday, December 21 (Wide)
Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence.
Running Time: 2 hrs. 12 minutes
A Tom Cruise / Bad Robot Production
A Brad Bird Film
Executive Producers: Jeffrey Chernov, David Ellison, Paul Schwake, Dana Goldberg
Produced by Tom Cruise, J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk
Based on the Television Series Created by Bruce Geller
Written by Josh Appelbaum & André Nemec
Directed by Brad Bird
This holiday season, two-time Academy Award®-winner Brad Bird directs, with producers Tom Cruise and J.J. Abrams, the action-packed spy adventure MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL.
Blamed for the terrorist bombing of the Kremlin, IMF operative Ethan Hunt is disavowed along with the rest of the agency when the resident initiates “Ghost Protocol”.
Left without any resources or backup, Ethan must find a way to clear his agency’s name and prevent another attack. To complicate matters further, Ethan is forced to embark on this mission with a team of fellow IMF fugitives whose personal motives he does not fully know.
Tom Cruise returns in the starring role as Ethan Hunt and is joined by an international cast that includes Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Michael Nyqvist, Vladimir Mashkov, Josh Holloway, Anil Kapoor and Léa Seydoux.
If ever there were an action film to see in IMAX this year it would have to be “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.” One reason is the caption on the poster that reads “No Plan- No Contact – No Backup – No Choice.” Another reason is the breathtaking action and nail biting stunts. I can’t remember the last time I’ve sat through an exhilarating well-choreographed slice of danger-tainment, which seems as if it were plucked from the realm of extreme sports.
As the film opens we follow IMF agent Hanaway (Josh Holloway, Sawyer ftom “Lost”), who bursts from a roof top door as gunmen are chasing him down. Hanaway turns and shoots back and, just as he starts shooting, he leaps from the building backwards; falling to the ground safely onto an airbag. My reaction was WHOA! I knew this was going to be a nerve racking experience, but the fun is only beginning.
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is once again put to the test after he and his team are disavowed for a botched mission inMoscow. Here is where you may consider this film a playground for Cruise to stretch his legs in the stunts department. It’s been known that Cruise is responsible for his own stunt work, for which you’ll see plenty of here. Not to over shadow his cast mates, who all give great performances as well, but the focus falls somewhat on his character Hunt.
Many of the action sequences will leave you gasping mainly in scenes where Hunt climbs the famous Burj Khalifa building in Dubaii. Standing at over 160 stories, it is by far the world’s tallest skyscraper and Hunt clings to the windows like Spider-Man using only technologically advanced climbing gloves. With swooping over head camera shots, you are placed in his world as he’s dangling almost helplessly. Other nail biting scenes include a brutal fight between Ethan and the Russian agent Kurt Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist). It all takes place in another famous land mark in Dubai, the futuristic car garage with moving platforms.
Of course many of them made possible with the aid of CGI. There are countless other chilling incidences, but I won’t spoil it for anyone — you’ll just have to see it to believe it. Then there are plenty of bone crunching fights, huge explosions, and car chases, which all played out on screen with loud results. Even the cat fight that breaks out between fellow agent Jane Carter (Paula Patton) and French assassin Sabine Moreau (Lea Seydoux) is just as destructive as what the men produce.
Like any Bond film, the plot is a bigger than life showcase to motivate the characters to spring into action. In this case, the mission in question was to intercept a courier code-named “Cobalt,” but instead ends up becoming a mission to stay alive while averting the next nuclear fallout. Also typical of any flick involving good and evil, there is a lot point counter point between the characters. Lastly what would a “Mission: Impossible” movie be without highly advanced gadgets, exotic locations, luxury cars and beautiful women.
The interesting thing about this movie in particularly is that it’s directed by Brad Bird, who usually directs animated features (“The Iron Giant,” “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille”). Here Bird shows that he’s perfectly capable of orchestrating chaos of an action film such as this.
This is certainly a film aimed at the video game enthusiasts simply for the reasons I mentioned above and, at least, it ended on a good note. But in the back of your mind, you can’t help but to feel like their not going to let this franchise die any time soon. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel.