At a time when many moviegoers, including me, are fighting back against
higher prices for 3D movies that don't impress us all that much with
the 3D, Mission: Impossible -
Ghost Protocol proves to be
worth the extra cash for an IMAX showing. I think the IMAX presentation
had more impact on me than any 3D movie all year long, but don't worry.
You'll still enjoy it on regular screens as well.
Tom Cruise is back as Ethan Hunt. Formerly one of the top agents at the
Impossible Mission Force, Hunt is being held in a Moscow jail, but not
for long (they are the Impossible Mission Force after all). After an
operation to secure old Soviet Union launch codes being sought out by a
terrorist ends in disaster, old pal Benji (Simon Pegg) and agent Jane
(Paula Patton), are ordered to break Ethan out, so they can break into
the Kremlin in a last ditch effort to stop this terrorist, but that
mission ends up with the Kremlin being blown up! These guys are not at
the top of their game.
Now, the Impossible Mission Force has been blamed for the attack and
disavowed, while the President has shut them down (invoking Ghost
Protocol, whatever that means), but Benji, Jane, Ethan and another
agent picked up along the way, Brandt (Jeremy Renner), have been
ordered by the IMF Secretary (Tom Wilkinson) to go rogue and do what is
necessary to save the planet from a nuclear attack, which could lead to
a world war.
Will they find this terrorist before it is too late?
Will the Russians arrest them first?
Impossible - Ghost Protocol is
everything you would expect from a massive summer blockbuster, so why
is it Paramount's Christmas gift to the world? I don't know, but I am
extremely happy to be unwrapping this present.
Director Brad Bird fills Mission:
Impossible - Ghost Protocol with
fantastic action sequence after fantastic action sequence. Sure, the
script from Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec has plenty of holes and even
more instances where common sense could have ended the movie before
most people returned from the concession stand, but it almost doesn't
We want to see Tom Cruise hanging from the tallest building in the
We want to see Tom Cruise running away from a bomb, just to get thrown
100 feet by the force of the blast.
We want to see Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton kick booty.
We get exactly what we want.
Watching Cruise as Hunt climb the Burj Khalifa (that's the tower's
name) stands out as one of the greatest scenes in movies in 2011. The
tension and fear we feel (especially if you see it in IMAX, which had
my stomach churning) as Hunt slips, slides and swings up, down and
around the structure is beyond super intense, even more so when you
realize Cruise did much of those stunts himself (If you thought you
were the Jesus Christ of Scientology, you wouldn't worry about dying,
either. You'd figure you're set, so why not go for it?).
Then, Appelbaum and Nemec redeem themselves with some well placed comic
relief, adeptly handled by Pegg, Patton, Cruise and Renner. Mostly,
Pegg gets the funny lines, and he knows how to get the laugh time after
time without letting Benji become annoying.
We could have dealt with less of the "personal" stories and motivation
driving the various IMF agents, but Mission:
Impossible - Ghost Protocol is a
better than solid action movie for those who aren't interested in the
character studies, silent movies and war epics about horses that are
dominating movie talk around this time of year.
Impossible - Ghost Protocol is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense
action and violence