Review: Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol
At first the Mission Impossible franchise was a television series that was then adapted for the big screen. The television series aired on ABC from 1966 to 1973 then again on ABC from 1988 to 1990. Mission Impossible then became a fairly successful film franchise that has withstood the test of time as the first one was released in 1996. Each film has done relatively well, and now with Ghost Protocol being the fourth entry, it has done the best out of the four films. Surprisingly, this film is one of the first to really connect some story lines from the previous installment to the next. J.J. Abrams did a terrific job with the third installment, and stayed on to produce this one while bringing some of his friends. Michael Giacchino frequently composes the score for Abrams' projects and he did for MI3, and is back for this one and another one of Abrams' buddies has a small role in this film. The director for this film is instead Brad Bird, and while he is more accustomed to doing animated films, he does a very good job.
The plot once again obviously follows Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and other Impossible Mission Forces (IMF) as they attempt to save the world against, dare I say it, impossible odds. This go around they attempt to make it much more difficult on Ethan as the IMF are blamed for the bombing of the Kremlin in Russia. The secretary of IMF finds Ethan and tells him that him and his team are disavowed by the government but also instructs him to leave as he believes Ethan is the one man that can put an end to the villain that they are dealing with today. Their meeting is interrupted by gunshots that also brings about some deaths, but the chief analyst William Brandt that was with the secretary and Ethan are the only ones to survive. The two get away to meet up with their other teammates, Agent Jane Carter (Paula Patton) and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg). Ethan tells them all that they are now on their own, but if they want out they can leave now. He also tells them that the man they are searching for is Kurt Hendricks (Michael Nyquist) and that he now is in possession of a nuclear launch control device that if activated could send a missile flying over to America that would effectively kill many Americans but also start a nuclear war. Hendricks, however, needs the launch codes in order to launch the missile which assassin Sabine Moreau has in her possession. Somehow, Ethan knows that Moreau and Hendrick's right hand man, Wistrom, are to have a meeting at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Upon getting to the Burj Khalifa the team comes up with an elaborately dangerous plan that on the surface seems impossible, but hey if it wasn't impossible then it would be Mission Impossible then right? Sorry I had to. The team encounters one problem after another, with the highlight being that Ethan has to scale the Burj Khalifa tower wearing a special adhesive glove that allows him to stick to the windows. As the mission comes to an end, the team begins to question each other and blame one another as it did not go smoothly. For one, Ethan questions Brandt for showing exceptional skills in hand to hand combat and that a chief analyst would not have those abilities. It comes to fruition that in fact Brandt is hiding something from Ethan, that is quite the surprise to the film but also one of the better plot developments of the story.
Ghost Protocol is the last action film to come out in 2011, and may actually be the best action film of the year. It had a serviceable plot, terrific action sequences and terrific directing by Brad Bird. The highlight as I said before would be when we see Ethan scaling the Burj Khalifa tower, a lot of credit should go out to Tom Cruise as he did actually do this scene and all he had on him to protect him was a harness. The only special effect that was used for this stunt was to erase the cable that was holding him from falling. The other part that was truly breathtaking about the scene was the fact that since Brad Bird filmed the entire movie in an IMAX camera it allowed everything in the windows reflection to be seen. You could see the traffic down below on the ground, you could see the trees and it really added to the realism of the shot while also providing a beauty to it as well. The acting in the film was what you would expect, Tom Cruise does a solid job as always in the role of Ethan but yet he can come off a little pompous from time to time. The inclusion of Jeremy Renner as William Brandt provides a new layer into the film, that layer being heart. His back story is intriguing and we can see why Brandt doubts himself, which Renner does a terrific job of portraying to the audience. Paula Patton also does a great job as Carter as she does a terrific job of being sexy and a tough woman all at once while still having her own issues that she is dealing with. Simon Pegg does what you would expect from him, he provides the comic relief, nothing more and nothing less. All together it comes together as quite possibly one of the best Mission Impossible's to date, but it is tough to say for me which is the best of the franchise.
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