Sunday, January 8, 2012
REVIEW: Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner,
Paula Patton, Simon Pegg
December 21, 2011
2 hours 13 minutes
In South Jersey on New Year’s Day 2012, the weather was so warm that I could wear shorts if I wanted to. I swear to you it felt like summertime had come on the first day of January, when it should be freezing out. In some ways, I'd say that "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol' is the cause for this. 'Ghost Protocol' is one of those rare examples when a movie takes all the fun of a summer blockbuster and throws it into a winter release. Back in late April, a little known movie called 'Fast Five' came out and surprisingly enough it turned out to be the best 'Fast and Furious' movie in the entire series. While I have not seen all of the 'Mission Impossible' movies, I have seen the first one and was confused immediately when the credits started. 'Ghost Protocol' however is fast, fun, and really big in scope. If there is one movie where you want to turn off your brain at some parts and have it engaged in others, then this is the perfect movie to do that with. Anyone who goes to see this movie will have a lot of fun with it, some more than others. For me, this is a really good action spy movie that had me intrigued for all of its 133 minutes.
SYNOPSIS: (Courtesy of Moviefone.com)
Academy Award-winning director Brad Bird (Ratatouille) makes his live action feature directorial debut with the fourth installment of the massively successful Mission Impossible series. The Kremlin has been bombed, and the blame has fallen on the IMF. As a result, the president initiates Ghost Protocol, and accuses Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team of placing the bomb in an attempt to incite a global nuclear war. Now in order to clear the IMF of terrorism charges, Ethan assembles a new team to uncover the truth by using every high-tech trick in the book. But this time they're on their own, and should they be caught, the entire world could be plunged into a nightmare from which there is no waking up. Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, and Simon Pegg co-star.
Tom Cruise is a very good actor when he makes the right choices. Recently, he hasn't been so successful in any type of movie he makes, despite his most recent film 'Knight and Day' being surprisingly enjoyable. He returns to his Ethan Hunt roots in this movie, and my gosh is he great. Cruise throughout the movie looks like a complete badass, especially during some of the spectacular action scenes. His portrayal of Hunt in this film has a sort of charisma and charm that engulfs you, while at the same time giving some convincing drama with Hunt's personal life that ties in with 'Mission Impossible III.' (I know this from the original trailers of the J.J. Abrams directed film) If this movie isn't considered to be the comeback for Cruise, then I can't see what Hollywood's problem with him is. I didn't find this out until after the movie came out, but it turns out that Cruise himself did all of his stunts in the film. If he is brave enough to climb the outside of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, then I don't know what else he can do to get the attention of audiences worldwide. Maybe he needs a great cast behind him, or at least alongside him for the entire ride. Luckily the makers of this film are already one step ahead of the plan.
'The Hurt Locker's' Jeremy Renner, the undeniably sexy Paula Patton, and the funny Brit Simon Pegg make up the new team, and they are all brilliant. Renner is great because he knows how to play it cool and be an awesome action-tier when the time is called. Simon Pegg is the funnybone of the film, though the comedy isn't used to the extreme, which helps the audience remember that this is an action spy film with moments of comedic relief. Paula Patton is the best of the three because A.) she is incredibly gorgeous and B.) she is a part of some of the coolest fight scenes in the movie, one involving a Russian villain. In the 2010 film 'The A-Team,' the four guys who make up the team all work together to each shine in their own way. Tom Cruise may be the biggest name on the poster, but this movie wouldn't have been so fun without the talents of the three other team members.
If there is one flaw I can distinctly remember from this film, it's the villains of the film. Since the IMF team has gone rogue, there are two sides of villains who are after them: the typical villains who want to take over who knows what, and the guys who think they are helping the problem but are really delaying what the good guys are trying to accomplish. One of the guys in the latter category says some line to Tom Cruise involving the name "rogue leader" multiple times throughout. By the time the guy said "rogue leader" a second time around, I whispered to my friend that it was only just getting dumb and annoying. As for the typical devious villains, I see no purpose why they want to take over the free world. Sure it's explained thoroughly by the villains themselves, but why exactly do they want to succeed with their plan? Did the world somehow tick them off so much that they want to take over the world? Anyways, those are my problems. I've heard people kind of just go with the villains and their over the top plot. Let's just get back to the good stuff.
The director of this film, in case you haven't read anything about this film, is Brad Bird. Mr. Bird is a first time live action director with this film, with his previous work being 'The Iron Giant,' 'The Incredibles,' and 'Ratatouille.' If you just so happen to see this movie without seeing his animated films first, you would believe that he is a natural behind the camera. The action sequences are so well orchestrated that they immerse you into all of the fun that's going on. Bird chose to shoot some of the film's sequences with IMAX cameras, and even just seeing it in a regular movie theater makes you feel involved in something huge. With Brad being successful at his first live action directing attempt, I now have even more faith in 'Finding Nemo' director Andrew Stanton, who's directing the March Disney release 'John Carter.' I tip my hat to you, Mr. Bird, and I hope that your next attempts into non animated filmmaking are all as successful as this one. However next time, please don't show clips from the entire movie during the opening credits sequence.
'Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol' is as much fun as you'll have at the movies in early 2012. There's no sentimental heart, hilarious comedic scenes, or over the top gore. It's just an action packed, thought provoking movie that is non-stop fun throughout. Sure things may get a bit over the top at parts, but isn't that what movies like this are for? We, the people go to these movies to have loads of fun, and we get that here. The cast is surprisingly great, Tom Cruise especially. Brad Bird seems to know what he's doing on live action filmmaking, which is always an awesome sign. Many people thought that this movie wasn't going to be so good and become forgotten in a matter of weeks. Look at it now, a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and a film on many of You Tube critics' top 10 lists. I'm not in love with this movie as many others are, but surely enough this is a sleek and cool action spy thriller that will leave you on the edge of your seat for the entire time. All you need now is some hot weather and a big pool to swim in, and we can call this time of the year "Summertime in the Winter." Either that or global warming, you choose.
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