Monday, January 02, 2012

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol: A mission that every moviegoer should choose to accept

It’s been five years since Ethan Hunt chose to accept his last mission. His latest– Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol – was well worth the wait and the price of admission. The newest installment of the Mission Impossible series is packed with lots of action, mind-boggling stunts and a great cast. Though the film misses the mark at times, struggles sometimes to get from one scene to the next and runs longer than necessary, it still succeeds as an awesome action-packed adventure film.

The plot is rather generic, but that’s not detrimental to the film’s overall impact. Rather than confuse and confound like the first film in the series, Ghost Protocol tells the familiar story about a bad guy who wants to unleash nuclear Armageddon on the United States and a team of agents trying to stop him. Tom Cruise is up to the task as Ethan Hunt, showing that at 49 years of age, he can still pull off some heart-stopping stunts. He’s flanked by newcomers Simon Pegg, Paula Patton and Jeremy Renner. Together they share great chemistry as an IMF team charged with such tasks as executing a jailbreak from a Russian prison, penetrating the Kremlin, assuming alternate identities to circumvent an exchange of information, crashing a swanky party and working without US government support.

There’s some great gadgetry, particularly during the Kremlin break-in which involves one of the coolest gadgets in the film, a portable gauze camouflage screen, and some great funny moments courtesy of Simon Pegg, the film’s comic relief agent, who often steals the show. The Kremlin mission goes wrong after “Cobalt,” the subject Ethan Hunt et al are trying to steal information about, blows up the Kremlin and pins the explosion on Hunt’s team. What results is “ghost protocol” or total disavowment by the government of the IMF and its agents, forcing Hunt and his team to go rogue, without government aid and protection.

It’s at this point that Jeremy Renner gets involved and, like Simon Pegg, he’s a great addition to the cast. Portraying the female contingent, Paula Patton, sizzles and kicks butt as Agent Jane Carter. It’s great to see Patton in a high-profile, mainstream role because the girl can act (consider her work in Precious) and she proves here that she can do action just as well as drama and holds her own with the guys.

This is a must see for fans of the series, and for that matter, fans of humour, action, suspense and crazy special effects. There is one gob-smacking scene that alone makes the movie worth watching. It’s a vertigo nightmare that has Hunt climbing the tallest building in the world – the Burj Khalifa in Dubai – a 160-story skyscraper that Hunt scales along on the outside using adhesive gloves that falter midway through his climb. The scene is heart palpitatingly intense and unbelievable, and it’s mind-blowing on the big screen.

The film is solid entertainment and a good thrill ride. High tech equipment fails, tried and true mask disguises falter, sand storms blow in and even the agents show signs of weariness, apprehension and nerves just before taking the plunge and making the leap. As the fourth installment in a franchise, the film delivers on all cylinders and I left the theatre hoping for another impossible mission should all involved choose to accept it.


  1. I would pretty much pay the price of the ticket just to see this Burj Khalifa scene. I just wish my partner hadn't been put off by the last three in the series though I can undestand why she is dubious.

  2. Even thought the script is trite (I mean seriously, we're running after Russian nuclear missiles again?) it is the one in the franchise that is best at conveying some sense of character. I don't like that end scene much (too mushy gushy for an MI film), but at least there's something there. Paula Patton, whom I didn't know existed, was a pleasure,

  3. @Pete - The Burj Khalifa scene is definitely worth the price of admission. I can't say this one is all that different from the other three, but it's great entertainment.

    @edgarchaput - Yes, not an original storyline by any means, but I agree with you, the character development was good and I really enjoyed the new team. The ending was a bit mushy for me as well, and Paula Patton was great. I do hope they keep her around for the next installment.

  4. MI4 was 2/3 of a good film. I really liked the set pieces, stunts, action and the comedy stylings of Simon Pegg. Where this film lost me was when it tried to be dramatic. Why even bother to attempt drama with this franchise.
    Also not sure if it was worth the price of admission. got stuck paying $19 a ticket to see it in Imax opening weekend.

  5. - MI4 worked on most levels, and I wasn't that thrilled with the dramatic ending myself, but I suppose it was the filmmaker's way of tying the third and fourth films together. Now that they've taken care of that link, hopefully they can go full action in the next one.

    $19 is steep. I only paid $8.50, so it was well worth that price, but I didn't see it on Imax.


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