Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
For those that were concerned Tom Cruise might have lost some of his action movie mojo, then I happily invite you to see MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL. The fourth film in the Mission Impossible franchise is a non-stop roller coaster of intense action sequences and impossible stunts. It’s a welcomed return to form for the greatest box office star of our time and a film that should easily cement his place at the top of the A-list.
It’s not fair to compare one Mission Impossible film to another, but if I had to, I’d say MI4 is most like MI2 in the sense that it’s really a collection of great action sequences and rather light on plot points. Naysayers of the film will point out that the villain (played with blandness by Michael Nyqvist) isn’t set up at all. In fact, I can’t remember his name; he had no personality traits, no motives and nothing to set him apart from any nameless villain in any action film. But as it turns out, it didn’t matter. We knew as much as our hero Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and that was that he was a bad guy and wanted to detonate some nuclear warheads. The plot isn’t delicate or intricate, but the action scenes move so fast and brilliantly that making this any more complicated than it was would have been a detraction from what the film was doing well.
Every Mission Impossible film has its own schtick and this one focuses on teamwork. For the first time in the series, we see all four IMF team members, including MI3 veteran Simon Pegg and newcomers Paula Patton and Jeremy Renner, contribute equally to the overall mission. This is not the Tom Cruise show, and although he owns every scene and is clearly the only movie star of the bunch, each character gets their moment to shine. That works well for the film and serves to amplify the intensity, especially during the final action sequence.
And did I mention this is non-stop action? True to Mission Impossible form, this film is flying high with outrageous stunts that look incredible. The famed scaling of the Burj Khalifa building in Dubai is truly one of the greatest stunts ever put on film and watching it on a large IMAX screen showcases the greatness of the stunt. Do we fully understand what they’re doing and why such a stunt was necessary? Not really. But things moved so quickly that there wasn’t time to explain such details. Of course, there were some ridiculous moments that seemed unnecessary. I’m not sure what the point was to have Hunt sketch a profile picture of a bad guy on his hand in 20 seconds and then to have someone actually recognize the drawing, but I guess if we can buy the idea that Hunt can scale a glass building, we can accept Hunt is a sketch artist.
The first Mission Impossible film and MI3 focused heavily on the espionage aspect of the series, while MI2 and Ghost Protocol focus on the action and fun of the series. MI4 is a fun film that will entertain you from start to finish and will leave you out of breath as the final (and satisfying) ending closes.