‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’ Movie Review
Each year, filmmakers are pushing the stylistic envelope, finding ways to make films visually stronger. In the case of the Mission: Impossible franchise, where each film becomes visually better as the series goes on, this progression is easily noticeable. This isn’t to say that each film gets better, but the action sequences tend to.
The same can definitely be said about the fourth installment, Brad Bird’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.
The face of Impossible Missions Force (IMF), Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise), must go back into the field after a personal hiatus to stop a global nuclear threat. When IMF is disbanded and ultimately blamed for a terrorist act, they must work as a rogue unit to clear their name, but more importantly, stop the threat. The Russian threat, Kurt Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist), has set out on a human cleansing mission, believing that desolation is just a natural part of evolution.
On the brink of a nuclear fallout, Hunt and his small group of covert agents must do whatever is necessary with whatever they have available. His teammates include a former IMF field agent William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) and two current agents with different specialities (Paula Patton, Simon Pegg).
What ultimately drives the film is the extraordinary stunts and set pieces behind the story. Being able to set itself apart from other spy and action movies, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol needed to go big. Part of the fun of the Mission: Impossible movies are the crazy stunts and gadgets they have to use to get the job done. Bird used this to his advantage, and created magnificent jaw-dropping shots. This ranges from the chase scenes to the epic skyscraper shots, where Cruise is running, jumping, and climbing across the Burj Khalifa, the tallest skyscraper in the world.
Another thing that sets this film apart from the rest is the use of IMAX camera technology. Hollywood has recently become obsessed with 3D technology, but I’d personally rather see a shift towards IMAX. If you get a chance to catch this thing in IMAX, I’d highly suggest it. Almost all of the chase scenes are projected on a screen the size of an office building. It’s beautiful, realistic, and less distracting compared to 3D.
The director, Brad Bird, was an interesting choice, since this was his first live-action film. Bird has been involved in numerous Pixar projects, including The Incredibles and Ratatouille. This is likely the first of many great live-action films being attached to his name, and I can’t wait for more.
This isn’t to say that the film is perfect, though. As you can tell, the highlights of the film are purely visual. Where the visuals do excel, the story does become a bit generic. Film (and television) have been saturated with nuclear terrorist story lines. Although the motive was pretty unique, I wasn’t ever really shocked with anything pertaining to the plot. Also, some of the chase scenes became a little tiresome by the end.
However, these seem like minor bumps along the long, twisted, and action-packed road that Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol paves. The action rarely dulls, it’s perfectly funny, and the cinematography is impeccable. Being a December release, it does feel a little out-of-place, but I hate the summer blockbuster stereotype anyways. Regardless of the timing, this film deserves a lot of credit.
As for continuity, Mission: Impossible fans can be happy that this film continues in the steps of its predecessors. Like the previous films, this one continues to use awesome gadgets and tricks. Likewise, a few of the famous Mission: Impossible moments, from the masks to the suspensions, are used in a traditional manner. Its nice to see a franchise that stays true to its past. I can’t praise this film enough, find time to see it this holiday season!