Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.
Released on December 21, 2011
Directed by Brad Bird
Written by Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec
Cast: Tom Cruise, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Michael Nyqvist, Josh Holloway, Vladimir Mashkov, Samuli Edelmann, Anil Kapoor, Léa Seydoux, Tom Wilkinson, Miraj Grbic, Ving Rhames, Michelle Monaghan
After a five-year hiatus, Tom Cruise returned as Impossible Missions Force agent Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the third sequel to the franchise original, and one I had high hopes for after my so-so feelings towards M:I-2 and M:I-3. For me, the first Mission: Impossible movie was a prime example of an adventure espionage film that succeeded as both serious and fun, and though the two follow-ups didn’t quite live up to these standards, thankfully this fourth installment did, and did quite well.
Here, Cruise is joined by Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton—and a returning Simon Pegg—as four IMF members, now on unexpected ‘ghost protocol’ status after being disavowed by the government, who are now on the trail of a terrorist who intends to start a nuclear war; the team travels from Russia to Dubai and then to India, taking part in some spectacular set pieces and administering their usual IMF tactics to hopefully intercept activation codes that will launch nuclear missiles at the US.
I’ll admit, I had a few problems with this one when I first saw it during its theatrical release, mainly with some gaps in logic and an overboard procession of situational and technical failures that plagued the team from start to finish, but this time around I forgave these minor blemishes and enjoyed the film for what it was: a smart, all-out action flick that entertained. Director Brad Bird handled his live-action chores with ease, and created several thrill-a-second sequences—the prison escape, the Kremlin infiltration, the Burj Dubai tower climb and deception, and the ‘auto türme’ car tower finale—that kept the pace energetic.
Perhaps the sentimental wrap-up was a tad clumsy (to me it should’ve been better written, and not treated like an afterthought), but everything else was spot-on, including Renner’s analyst character Brandt, who hopefully will be invited back for the next chapter of the series, and Josh Holloway’s IMF agent Hanaway, whose role I wished was more involved. As many of you know, I really love high-tech spy films, and I’m happy to say that Ghost Protocol fulfilled nearly all of my expectations. The second time around, anyway. (8/10)