Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is an exciting adventure and a great follow-up to M:I:III

If you're one of those people out there who watched The Incredibles and immediately thought, “Whoever directed this really needs to make a live-action version staring Tom Cruise” then you're in luck. Or maybe you watched Ratatouille and suddenly longed to see a funny little man power running and climbing the outside of the tallest tower in the world? Don't look at me like that. I have no idea where you're getting these hypothetical urges.

I know that, for me at least, watching the Iron Giant fly off to sacrifice himself in some movie I can't remember the title of right now gave me an undying urge to watch a super spy majorly duke it out inside a twenty-story-high, fully automated car vending machine. Maybe I'm alone in that kind of urge? Maybe you didn't think the same thing?

But if you did, your wishes have come true.

Brad Bird, the director of The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and The Iron Giant (That's the movie I was trying to remember! Ratatouille!), was brought on to helm the new film in the “Mission: Impossible” series, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. This continues the tradition of each movie in the M:I series being directed by someone entirely new, and it totally works here.

But first, the story

At the beginning of the film, we get to see a clandestine, covert, super duper top secret please don't tell your mom about it mission, to apparently retrieve someone from a Russian prison. We're given no immediate hints as to why this person is in prison, nor why it's so important for IMF (Impossible Missions Force) to get him out.

But then that's kind of the status quo for this kind of movie, isn't it?

Tom Cruise stars as the IMF super-agent, Ethan Hunt. He's sent on a mission to Russia where, after a giant snafu, IMF is blamed for a bombing of the Kremlin. Hunt and his entire team is disavowed while IMF is shutdown completely.

At least officially.

So now Ethan has to go out and try to clear the name of his agency regarding a deed they didn't do, and show to the world who the real deed-doers are.

And to top it all off, he's forced to work with a team that includes one or two agents that he doesn't exactly know that well. And for a clandestine organization, little trust issues can become giant in a hurry.

(Heck, there's even a literal trust fall in the mix here.)

He's joined by Benji (Simon Pegg, one of the only characters carried over from the previous movie), Jane (Paula Patton), and Brandt (Jeremy Renner).

Dot dot dot

As the M:I films go, I've said that I felt the movies got better as they went. I know some out there liked the first one over the second, but it's pretty accepted that the third movie was a step up. Now, with the release of the fourth movie, I think I still prefer number three, but Ghost Protocol is definitely a good entry into the series.

M:I:I and M:I:II were very much “the Ethan Hunt adventures.” M:I:III brought back the idea of an entire IMF team working together at every level, and M:I-GP continues that concept very well. There's plenty here for every member of the team to do. It's still very much Tom Cruise's movie, but it's an ensemble story.

Which is great for those out there who feel that maybe there's just a bit too much Tom Cruise out there anyway. What with the couch jumping, the rants against Paxil, the marrying of women sixteen years his junior, the rather freaky middle tooth, the rumors of the oxymoronic "silent birth" ..... There's certainly no shortage of Cruise in the Nuise ... I mean news.

But don't take it out on this movie. I suspect the third "Mission: Impossible" movie suffered from Cruise fatigue and I'd hate to see it happen again.

But, as I said before, these last two movies definitely bring back the idea of the team. I know there's four "I"s in "Mission: Impossible" but how about we spell it "Mwessweon: Wempossweble"?

Nope. You were right, Dictionary. That was a bad idea.

But as much as M:I:III brought the team back, when you really look at it analytically, the final climax was Tom Cruise power running, then shooting a bunch of guys, then defeating the bad guy, then dying, then going home with his wife. It's still a very Ethan Hunt-centric climax.

For the climactic scene of M:I-GP, if any one member of the team were to fail in their duty, the whole thing would have failed. Absolutely everyone was critical for the whole movie. And it's really cool to see it work like that.

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol trailer

Now, I probably don't have to point out that this movie is definitely different from some of director Brad Bird's previous directorial outings, but there are segments here where I can see signs of his eye for distinctive visuals.

There's an overhead shot of one man chasing another. (Do I even have to tell you that the name of one of those men rhymes with something that rhymes with Tom Cruise?) The camera is several hundred feet up and the sunlight is coming in from the bottom of the screen. The end result is a shot where you can barely see the men themselves but on the ground, you see one shadow chasing after the other.

It's simple, but I like it.

Basically, this is a fun action movie with great visuals and whose main story is not so overly complex that it's just not fun to try to follow.

More of these, please!

But what do you think of the movie?

4 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

Personally, I give this one an 8 / 10.

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is rated PG-13 for action violence, some explosive mayhem, a bit of language, and sensuality.

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