I’ve seen all the previous Mission: Impossible films, and while I do recall liking them to varying degrees, I’m hard pressed to say that I remember anything about their plots, characters, stunts, special effects, or even their casts. What I do remember, obviously, is that they all starred Tom Cruise. With Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Pixar veteran Brad Bird not only makes his live-action directorial debut, he’s also eager to have you forget the first three entries in the series entirely. He succeeds. This is a fun, thoroughly entertaining, immensely satisfying spy/action thriller. It actually makes an effort with an engaging plot, clever dialogue, pulse-pounding stunts, great special effects, and well-developed characters. It even has just the right amount of humor. If there’s anything a movie like this shouldn’t do, it’s take itself too seriously.
But it also shouldn’t be so silly that it becomes a self-congratulatory form of parody. Ghost Protocol shows a clear awareness of the spy-movie formula, utilizing such clichés as frequent travel, exotic locations, high-tech gadgets and gizmos, impossible stunt work, foreign madmen, nuclear codes, and a scheme to create chaos and war on a global scale. It also makes no apologies for being preposterous, as evidenced by the outlandish displays of technology and numerous scenes of destruction and death-defying escapes. And yet, never once does anyone stop to wink at us slyly. Bird gives audiences what they want without insulting their intelligence. For the first time in what seems like ages, I didn’t ask any questions; I just sat back and let the story happen.
Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt, an agent for the aptly named Impossible Missions Force (IMF). After being sprung from a Moscow prison, he joins fellow agents Jane Carter (Paula Patton) and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) on a mission to infiltrate the Kremlin and gather files on a person of interest codenamed Cobalt, a name somehow tied to the death of another IMF agent in Budapest. But wait a minute. Did I say infiltrate the Kremlin? To describe this feat would only spoil the fun. Let’s just say that this kick starts a chain reaction that leads Hunt and his team around the world. The first stop is Dubai, where Hunt is forced to scale the Burj Khalifa using nothing but specialized sticky gloves. In case you don’t know, the Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building, standing at just over 2,700 feet tall. I’ve never been acrophobic, although I’d be lying if I said that seeing Hunt hundreds of stories high clinging to glass panes didn’t make my heart race.
On two floors of the tower, two separate meetings will simultaneously take place. Both are in regards to making an exchange. They each involve people who are either pretending to be someone else or are not wise to the fact that they’re being deceived. Here’s an example of timing so precise, performances so nuanced, and editing so skillful that the scenes never fail to generate suspense. But mere descriptions can hardly do them justice. The same applies to a surprisingly spectacular car chase, which happens in the middle of a sandstorm. Perhaps we’re too accustomed to always seeing the cars in movies like this. And speaking of cars, there’s a superbly choreographed showdown in an automated parking garage in Mumbai, where vehicles are lifted and lowered into place via a concrete elevator. There’s a lot of jumping, falling, punching, and precarious dangling.
Upping the stakes for these agents is the fact that they’re being shadowed by an unknown operative, who successfully got them blamed for a catastrophic explosion in Moscow – which, consequently, has the Russians believing the Americans have initiated an act of war. This calculated move results in the IMF being dismantled from the inside out under a covert operation known as Ghost Protocol. If Hunt and his team are to track down Cobalt and prevent nuclear war, they will have to do it completely on their own. Their actions will not be officially sanctioned by the American government, but then again, even those in power know that a few rules need to be bent in desperate situations.
Along for the ride is William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), an IMF analyst with remarkably good fighting skills. How he came to be a part of Hunt’s team, I leave for you to discover. The same goes for the secrets he’s keeping from Hunt. What I liked about this character is that he addresses many of the questions audiences are likely to ask themselves. Exactly how does one think of using a dead body and a lit flare to dodge underwater gunfire? Or of wearing a metal suit under your clothes so that you can jump twenty-five feet into a concrete cylinder, be caught mid fall by a magnetized rover vehicle before being shredded by a giant fan, and be dragged floating through a massive computer core? Or of wearing a special contact lens that can take pictures when you blink twice? You’ve got to love this. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is a mission you should choose to accept.
Tom Cruise seems have gone for broke with his latest action film “MI4: Ghost Protocol” after his far from impressive “Knight and Day”. Cruise remains the star and keeps the momentum up for the franchise. I liked De Palma’s first film, then I was less than impressed with John Woo’s sequel despite its action sequences and J.J. Abrams’ MI:3 was pure adrenaline. So you may say that director Brad Bird, his first film as action-director (2nd if you count “The … more
I went to see the new Mission Impossible movie this morning. Let me start by saying that I am not a big Tom Cruise fan. I don’t usually make a point to see his movies first run, and only sometimes on Net Flix. But I am an old fan of the TV series Mission Impossible, so I have made it a point to see all of the Mission Impossible movies. I liked them all to different degrees. The first movie was probably the best until I saw the newest … more
Personally, a good movie is one that takes me beyond the screen, either to a far far away place or to one that I had been before. It creates a connection between space, time and being. Movies like Mission Impossible and 007 series often take viewers beyond, with a grand scheme of the world at large and with an abundance of actions, gadgets and heart-throbbing music. That's the success formula in the past, present and possibly future as well. Again, … more
The fourth chapter in the phenomenally popular Mission Impossible series has arrived in theaters and jump starts the franchise with a dynamic ensemble cast and a bold mix of action and adventure with a touch of comedy thrown in. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol opens with a daring escape from a Russian prison followed shortly thereafter by an infiltration of the Kremlin and subsequent explosion on the famed Russian landmark. Tom Cruise returns as agent Ethan Hunt and is joined by … more
Days before seeing Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, I plowed through all of the previous Mission Impossible films so I could make it in time to see Ghost Protocol in an IMAX release with the Dark Knight Rises footage thrown in. To make a long story short, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is, by a long margin, the best in the series, and an entry that demands to be seen in the IMAX format. The movie picks up a few years after Mission Impossible 3, with our usual hero Ethan Hunt breaking out … more
While I was watching 'Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol' directed by Brad Bird...in IMAX, a thought kept drifting through my mind...Why am I finding this film so boring?...And why does everything look so familiar? It wasn't until the drive home, that it hit me...Of course, everything looked so familiar...because I've seen it all before...the stunts, the chases, the fights, the plot...And that is why … more
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL Written by Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec Directed by Brad Bird Starring Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton and Simon Pegg After seeing the third installment in the MISSION IMPOSSIBLE series, and after witnessing the self destruction of franchise star, Tom Cruise, over the last few years, I would have bet that the most impossible mission of all would be getting a fourth film made. And that is to say nothing of whether it would even be watchable. … more
Growing up a shy kid in a quiet suburb of Los Angeles, Chris Pandolfi knows all about the imagination. Pretend games were always the most fun for him, especially on the school playground; he and his … more
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When a terrorist bombing destroys the Kremlin, the United States government initiates a black ops "ghost protocol" and disavows the entire Impossible Mission Force. Ethan Hunt and his team are to be blamed for the attack, but are allowed to escape as part of a plan to enable them to operate again outside of their agency.
However, Hunt is warned that if any member of his team is captured or compromised, they will be charged as terrorists planning to incite global nuclear war. He is forced to work with fellow ex-IMF agent Brandt, who knows more about Hunt and his past than even Hunt himself.