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Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Remember the first Mission Impossible movie?  A confusing mess of a plot involving double and triple crosses, some cool action set pieces, and Tom Cruise RUNNING.  Seriously, dude looks good running.  We’re now on film number four in this franchise and the plot line stays pretty much the same.  The setting around it though, hoo boy.  I hate to use the phrase “ACTION BLOCKBUSTER!” but watching Ghost Protocol it might as well have preceded every scene in huge block letters.  I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but for better or worse, the film has become a bit less cerebral and much more eye candy.  It’s a spectacle to behold, just don’t think it about it too much.

(Editors Note:  My internet is rough at the moment so there are no pictures.  In fact I’m kind of impressed that this article even got posted in the first place.  Hey Comcast, you suck!)

The film starts its epic adventure in Russia, involving a team of agents attempting to “acquire” (read: steal) some nuclear launch codes.  Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is not part of this operation, so in a spoiler alert that everybody can see coming, the operation goes bad.  Thus it’s time to break out Hunt from a Russian prison (Why is he there?  We’ll figure that out later!) and get to the bottom of this code business.  I mean that more than you know.  Every mission in the movie that Hunt and the team take in some way revolves around protecting, copying, stealing, or faking some sort of super secret computer code.  It’s pretty much ALL they do.  They in this case consists of Hunt, franchise newcomer Paula Patton playing Jane Carter, MI3 veteran Simon Pegg as Benji, and guy who has to have made about a bazillion dollars in the past two years Jeremy Renner as an analyst named William Brandt.  The plot involves them trying to stop a psycho nuclear terrorist code-named Cobalt.  Yes I’m serious.

These are your four action stars and it’s a pleasure to watch them all together.  The chemistry between all four leads is clearly very high.  It was so noticeable that at points I even got an Oceans 11 style vibe in that even during some of the more serious moments of the plot, I couldn’t help but get a sense that these people were all enjoying working together and enjoying making the film.  The action is top-notch, Tom Cruise even does his own stunts.  I’ll come out and say it;  I like Tom Cruise.  He ranges from a good to excellent actor and the guy just does action WELL.  The highlight, visually, of the film is Cruise climbing the tallest building in the world, located in Dubai.  Cruise actually trained for this then went out and did it himself.  I can’t even imagine the insurance costs of Tom Cruise running around on the side of a building only being held aloft by stunt ropes.  But it looked amazing.

The Mission Impossible franchise has basically taken up where the Pierce Brosnan James Bond movies left off.  While Daniel Craig took the newer Bond films to a more dark and gritty place, Ghost Protocol recalls the Bond films of old.  Excuse to get Tom Cruise in a tuxedo?  Check.  Insane near future gadgets such as a small camera attached to a screen that projects an image of what’s behind so that our protagonists can walk down a hallway and to anybody looking it appears empty?  Check.  (This is way more awesome than I’ve described it here, one of my favorite scenes in the movie.)  The female lead, in this case Patton, getting into a form-fitting dress, showing off as much as cleavage as possible, and finding an excuse to try to seduce someone?  Check.  Jetting from Russia, to Dubai, to Mumbai, with crazy establishing shots showcasing each area from the sky and being so bright and colorful that your tv would light up a darkened room?  Check!

One aspect that this film didn’t follow in the Bond tradition, sadly, was memorable villan.  Cobalt, played by Michael Nyqvist, is basically a non entity.  Nyqvist is an excellent actor, and he does his best here, but he is almost literally given NOTHING to work with.  All we know is that he for some reason thinks nuclear war would save the planet earth.  In short, he’s crazy and needs to be stopped.  It’s this failing that makes the second of the film go off the rails a bit, plot wise.  There’s at least three instances where it’s set up that our team MUST stop Cobalt from doing X or he’ll win, then they fall seconds short of being able to stop them but then OH WAIT if we can do THIS we can have another chance!  It’s something almost all action movies do but the overt nature of it here, coupled with a villan who means nothing, hurts the film.

The plot failings near the end aside, Ghost Protocol is a fun movie.  Simon Pegg remains hilarious in almost anything he’s in, and Renner gives Cruise a run for his money in the looking like a badass while doing action department.  Also, Paula Patton fights French actress Lea Seydoux at one point, and the Bond tradition of having good-looking ladies fight each other is welcome in ANY movie.  Expect to see a few more of these films.

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3 Responses

  1. I didn’t read the whole article yet because I want to see the movie first, but I wanted to say I am glad I am not the only one who thinks Tom Cruise looks good while running. The running in the third movie was awesome!

  2. […] Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (faceplantreview.wordpress.com) […]

  3. Finally saw it. Great movie! Totally agree about the James Bond thing.

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