Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Review

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Review

Review by Laurence Manley – 8/10

When I heard that another Mission Impossible movie was on it’s way, I kinda thought why. What’s the point? I mean, the first one was great, under the watchful and careful eye of Brian DePalmer. But then came MI:2 – John Woo’s take on it should’ve been better after the action success of Face/Off, but it wasn’t. He just didn’t marry the action and espionage very well, relying on slo-mo far too much (and those frickin’ trademark doves!). And then to be honest, I don’t even remember MI:3, which is surprising, especially now considering what J.J. Abrams has done with Star Trek and Super 8.

So, with all this in mind, the impossible missions had 3 options: Just stop with the gradually worsening franchise, make another very mediocre actioner OR take some original bits, some new parts, and make a proper Mission Impossible filled with some awesome action set pieces with a nice chunk of ‘who dunnit?’ and ‘are they a goodie or a baddie?’. That’s what a spy movie should be about, right?! The latter was the chosen option. But who would bring the MI movies out of the doldrums once and for all? The third sequel was offered to Brad Bird should he choose to accept it. And I’m happy to say he did; and he’s done a fucking awesome job.

So, we find Ethan Hunt (Cruise) with a new crew flitting all over the world trying to stop a nuclear war head plunging into some city. Ok, so it’s not the most original premise, but after the U.S gets the blame for blowing up the Cremlin, the president envokes ‘ghost protocol’, which means that everything that was not suppose to exist, which of course, exists, is now to be kiboshed and disbanded. So, Tom and his gang are not only fugitives, they’re dead to their country; and with limited resources, they have to kick ass and save the world! So, the whole nuclear warhead shit gets a little more interesting.

Where ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’ asked a lot of it’s audience; patience and the ability to decipher stuff, MI:4 pretty much just hands it to us on a plate. But it is does so with fun, wit and excitement, and never forgets what it is to be a movie about espionage; basically setting people up, screwing them over and blowing shit up. For a movie that’s over 2 hours long, it has a really speedy pace, helped of course by the country-hopping, from Russia to Hungary to Dubai to India with a new set-up and/or set piece in every place. The movie doesn’t stand still for more than 20 minutes at a time. And at that pace, I coulda watched it for another hour or so, thoroughly entertained throughout.

Filling a co-starring role in this is Simon Pegg. Shit, he’s done alright for himself. I never ever thought he’d be in a Tom Cruise movie back in the days I used to watch Spaced! But he’s good; he adds that humour factor needed to balance the ludicrous ideas visiualised in the movie. And I’m glad they left his accent alone. I dunno whether this was because Pegg can’t do American, or if his British accent fit the tech-nerdy character, because us Brits sound far more intelligent, right! But taking over from Ving Rhames as the computer guy, I think was a good move, if only because the slight comedic and tongue-in-cheek incisions are required for the movie to work as well as it does. The token girl (Paula Patton) does her part, but in all honesty, it could’ve been anybody. It was Jeremy Renner, whom I felt was a little out of place though.

I like the guy, don’t get me wrong. He was good in both The Hurt Locker and The Town, but that kinda ‘loose cannon’ role that he did so well was lost on this kinda straight down the line, rulebook character. He does get involved in the action a bit, but I’m guessing he’s gonna get to flex his muscle in The Avengers and the new Bourne movies. It was almost as if he was in this because he’s an ‘up n’ comer’, you know, one to look out for, rather than for a proper fleshed out character. And Tom. Unlike, a lot of people, I really don’t mind the guy. In his mid-fourties, he still pulls of the action stuff and has a watchability on screen. Even though he runs like a retard. But let’s not forget, he was great in ‘Magnolia’ and ‘Interview with a vampire’. Tom, you’re ok in my book.

Brad Bird, coming from predominantly an animation background has done a great job with this live-action Mission Impossible. I dunno whether I liked this movie more because I thought it was gonna suck, or whether it really is good. But it sure as shit was fun and could really set up a new franchise within a franchise, just as long as all the components are in for the long-haul. Well, if Cruise, Pegg and Bird are in, I’ll be looking forward to more MIs, for sure.


7 Responses to Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Review

  1. Chris Lazo says:

    Nice review – Im assuming you mean Brian DE PALMA?

  2. conordcfc says:

    Nice review there, I like the comparison to ‘Tinker, Tailor’ too! Give my review a read when you have the time please 🙂 http://conordcfc.wordpress.com/2011/12/29/film-review-mission-impossible-ghost-protocol/

    • Conord, checked out your review. The 1st MI is definitely worth a watch. MI2, not so much. MI3 is a bit rubbish, but Philip Seymour Hoffman is a pretty good baddie. A good baddie is what Ghost Protocol lacked!

  3. Thank you for your kind comment on ‘Midnight In Paris’. When you get the chance, have a read at my review of M:I-4.


    What do you think?

    • Unlike FilmFella Lozz, I have avoided Ghost Protocol, since MI2 turned me off from the franchise. However, since you have both described it as something other than a train wreck, I’ll definitely give it a watch. After all, I loved Brad Bird’s Ratatouille, Iron Giant and The Incredibles, so I guess I should have a little faith.

      Keep up the good work and thanks for visiting the site!

      -FilmFella Henry

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