I have to admit to being the Grinch in the group ahead of seeing MI:IV. I find that I’m quite been-there-done-that with this series.
For all its high octane and breakneck action, helicopters flying through the Chunnel and its multitude of face mask gags, I gravitate more towards the lean efficiency of the Bourne series than the crash-bang loudness of this one. While the Bourne franchise just gets better and better with every installment, by MI:III I found the experience to be useful if only as a way for grown adults to make out in public and eat candy in the dark.
Having said that, I’m delighted to report that I chose to accept this mission because to my pleasant surprise, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is not only the best in the series, but the best pure action movie of the year.
Wow, does this movie deliver! It hurtles forward with so much breathless energy that even in the down time as its characters perform the required expositional dialogue in order to make sure we don’t get lost, even those sequences thrum with urgency.
The set pieces are dazzling, with the crowning achievement involving Tom Cruise scaling the glass windows and then practically doing a riff on Spiderman over 120 stories up the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building. Pushing 50, Tom Cruise is reported to having performed all of his own stunts. If that isn’t true, we sure as heck can’t tell. That entire sequence had me sweating all over the place since my vertigo and the film’s IMAX presentation combined to blow my mind. It’s a scene worth the price of admission alone.
There are other great sequences in the film, including a most clever virtual screen device used in a very involving scene where Cruise and his partner are hiding in plain sight of a security guard while they fish around for secret files in the Kremlin.
There’s a brilliant sequence detailing the simultaneous acting-out of a complicated financial transaction involving diamonds that goes down in two separate rooms at the Burj Khalifa with some of the best use of editing I’ve seen all year.
Then of course there’s that gripping opening involving the murder of one of the Mission team’s operatives spliced together with Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt character being freed from prison, as well as the intro of baddie Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist), who plans to use a Russian satellite and nuclear codes he’s obtained to wipe out humanity in order to reboot her again because every so often the world needs to go through that so it can bounce back even stronger or some such dreadful reason.
Ethan Hunt’s team has been cut loose by the IMF after they’re falsely implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin while the US government has issued a “Ghost Protocol”, meaning the team has been disavowed and will have to work on their own in order to defend their organization’s name.
Ethan Hunt is a rather bland modern-Bond. Whereas James Bond‘s libido is a character of its own in the 007 series and Jason Bourne is workman-like and an intellectual, Ethan Hunt is a more one-dimensional hero who is filled with purpose and courage and who operates forever with the urgency of an over-caffeinated sort. Except, of course, I wouldn’t say that Hunt would even have a drink, let alone coffee. Doesn’t seem like the eating or drinking type, ya know?
Cruise seems to understand this well and as both producer and star he’s done a fine job of surrounding himself with a strong cast of supporting characters that allow Ethan to talk less and do more. Simon Pegg (Scotty in Star Trek) is back as Benji, the type on the Mission team who can walk into a government building and hack into its mainframe using his laptop. He carries all the nervous energy in the film and thankfully it allows him enough time to punctuate moments without lingering too long.
The silky-smooth Paula Patton (the teacher in Precious) is the most welcome addition to the team bringing real sex appeal, brains and toughness to the role of Jane. It’s her lover on the team who is murdered at the beginning of the film and needless to say, Jane exacts revenge in a terrific, well-choreographed and exciting scene later on the film. Patton is sure to draw even more notice here since MI:IV will have made more money by the end of its opening weekend than Precious made in its entire run. She’s so perfect for this role and she also sidetracked me into wondering what she uses on that perfect coffee-complexion of hers.
Another great addition is Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Town) as Brandt, the Secretary to the IMF head who is more skilled than his first impression would lead you to believe. Renner’s beginning to exude a presence in the cinema that makes us feel connected to him the first time we see his face, he’s just that good. He brings great comic timing to another original and tense sequence involving him floating over a huge and ominous ventilating shaft fan with the use of a steely mesh-looking undergarment that is controlled by Benji using a remote device.
After Brian De Palma, John Woo and J.J. Abrams each took their kick at the can, along comes Pixar’s Brad Bird to show them all up and deliver a heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat action/thriller that is sharp, original and filled with terrific visual timing and editing. No doubt his time spent on The Simpsons and then making The Iron Giant, The Incredibles and Ratatouille have taught him well about the art of timing as well as crisp, efficient editing which he brings to Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, breathing new life into a series that really needed it.
A terrific entertainment.
Say what you want about Tom Cruise, the man knows how to make a movie and carry a franchise.
When the first trailer for Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol dropped, I was immediately all in. Any doubt I had about director Brad Bird transitioning from animation (he directed The Incredibles and Ratatouille) was immediately erased. Any doubt that I had that Tom Cruise had lost his ability to make a movie..was erased.
This trailer looks amazing.
I mean through the moon, over the top in the best way awesome.
The movie, which stars Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner, with Paula Patton, Josh Holloway, Ving Rhames, Michael Nyqvist, a pretty badass looking Anil Kapoor, Lea Seydoux and Vladimir Mashkov, has now vaulted to the top of list for Christmas movies to watch.
Never mind that the IMAX version will have that super teaser for the next movie in the Batman franchise – The Dark Knight Rises.
Looks like we are in for a great ride this holiday season.
Mission Impossible : Ghost Protocol opens in theatres December 21st, 2011.
Check out the full trailer below.
Official Synospis -
Director Brad Bird and Producer J.J. Abrams bring us the action packed, entertainment event of the holiday season with MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL. This is not just another mission. The IMF is shut down when it’s implicated in a global terrorist bombing plot. Ghost Protocol is initiated and Ethan Hunt and his rogue new team must go undercover to clear their organization’s name. No help, no contact, off the grid. You have never seen a mission grittier and more intense than this.
source - /Film.