Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)

You can’t keep a good franchise down, or even a mediocre franchise down. But I kid Mission: Impossible. For the most part, the series has remained entertaining and perfect summer weekend viewing. But it’s one of those series that I don’t hear people clamoring for. One will come out; people will see it, enjoy it and then move on to the next action flick. It’s rare to hear someone say, “I can’t wait for the next Mission: Impossible. But that doesn’t keep Tom Cruise from going back to the well.

After Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is sprung from a Russian prison, he finds himself involved in a new impossible mission. Agent Jane Carter (Paula Patton) and newly minted field agent Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) need his help to break into the Kremlin and steal some classified information. Of course things don’t go as planned and before you can say, “Didn’t this happen in the last three movies”, Hunt and his team are accused of a terrorist action and disavowed.

It’s all a plot by the diabolical Kurt Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist). This brilliant war strategist believes that nuclear war will bring about the next stage of world peace and human evolution. Now Hunt and his team are joined by the capable analyst William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) to stop the mad man, and do it off the grid. But Brandt is hiding a secret and Hendricks is one step ahead. Can Hunt and his team survive all the chases, escapes, explosions, dust storms, building climbing and malfunctioning gadgets to save the world?

Good Points:
  • Excellent direction by Brad Bird keeps the flick moving at a good pace
  • Plenty of humor injected into the film, keeping everything fun
  • Enjoyable musical score by Michael Giacchino

Bad Points:
  • Michael Nyqvist is underused in a flat role
  • Some of the scenes break the laws of physics a bit too freely
  • Tom Cruise is… Tom Cruise

This movie was a bit of an improvement over the last film. The pacing was perfect, the humor was a great addition and action scenes were intense and fun. However the main villain isn’t given much of a chance to shine here. Cruise is pretty much in his comfort zone , and that will not work for some viewers. But this outing was a fun evening’s viewing.

Scores (out of 5)
Visuals: 4
Sound: 4
Acting: 3
Script: 3
Music: 4
Direction: 4
Entertainment: 4
Total:  4

Curious about a full review, sent me an email and I’ll make additional thoughts to this review.

Mission: Impossible Reviews


  1. Cruise can do this sort of part on, well, auto-Cruise. He is very much the same in the recent Jack Reacher movie, too, despite the very different backstory of the character. But that's OK. He rarely hurts a movie by being in it, though he rarely seems irreplaceable either.

    1. That's how I feel about him. He's fine in most parts, but you could put someone else in there and it might be better. I actually revisited "Rainman" a year or two ago and found his performance to be really good. Probably the best I've seen out of him.

  2. I enjoyed this film for what it was. Lots of good action, decent dialogue and lovely ladies (Paula Patton... wow!). I still think De Palma's film is the best of the bunch, but Abrams' is a close second.

    1. I think De Palma's film is the best one also. I love the style, the twists and the way it keeps you guessing who is behind the whole scheme right up to the end. Fun movie.

      I liked "Ghost Protocol" a bit more than Abram's effort. It was just more fun, the humor was a nice relief to all the down and dower action films of late. I think Bird did a great job in his first live action flick.

  3. I enjoyed Ghost Protocol. Some nice scenes, and as you said the humor helped. I like Pegg as a supporting character. For me Tom Cruise's best film might be Vanilla Sky or at least he seemed perfect for that role. Rain Man was good too, and really overall he does a good job at anything he's in.

    1. Yeah it was nice to see Pegg in this one. He was a lot of fun, and it looks like he'll be back for the upcoming film. I'm just hoping the whole "disavowed" angle is dropped. They have done that in all four of the previous films. I'd like to have one of these M:I movies play out as a mission for them to complete, and not have every government on earth hunting them down. :)

      I was just chatting with a pal of mine who felt that someone like Tom Cruise, who pretty much only plays Tom Cruise, isn't a real actor. They are just really good at picking roles where they can play themselves. They put Samuel L. Jackson in the same territory. Not sure if I agree with them, but I see where they are coming from.