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Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

2011-12-14 15:31
 
Tom Cruise is back as Ethan Hunt, performing jaw-dropping stunts and saving the world in what could possibly be the best Mission: Impossible yet.
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
What it's about:

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his new team find themselves working on their own to clear their name and bring down a nuclear terrorist, after being framed for bombing the Kremlin.

What we thought:


With the James Blond franchise having refashioned itself as a more "realistic", down to earth take on the spy film, it's up to the Mission: Impossible series to keep the sillier side of the genre alive. And, boy, does it.

While the previous Mission: Impossible films have had very little to do with one another, Ghost Protocol keeps the tone very much in keeping with what JJ Abrams (back this time as a producer) established in the third film, while picking up a plot strand or two along the way. The film may, on occasion, gesture towards seriousness but, when you get right down to it, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol aims to be nothing more – and certainly nothing less – than a slice of unapologetically ridiculous entertainment. There were plenty of better film released this year but very, very few of them were ever this much fun.

Director Brad Bird is best known for helming some of the greatest animated films of all time (The Incredibles, The Iron Giant) but, so assured is his direction here, it's hard to believe that he has never directed a live-action feature before. Two hours is a rather long running time for a bit of throwaway entertainment (and I mean that in the most complimentary way) but Bird keeps things moving; making good on the simple but always effective hero-vs-the-world plot.

Between Bird's steadfast direction and a witty, enjoyable script by TV writers Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol never lets up for a moment. Not a minute goes by without there being something on screen to capture the audience's attention. High-flying action, well timed quips, brilliant sight gags, character clashes, snazzy cars, crazy gadgets, suave men, beautiful women, narrow escapes, ridiculous disguises and, of course, more globe-trotting than a day on the Travel channel – Mission: Impossible 4 has them all (as all halfway decent spy flicks should) and it usually has at least two of them on screen at any given moment.  

Yes, you could always nitpick your way through the intricacies of the plot, laugh at the utterly bonkers action set pieces or raise an eyebrow at the film's tendency to smooth out any rough edges that might arise, but – almost without exception – to do so would be churlish to the point of pigheadedness. This is daft fluff at its most gleeful and, for that matter, at its most competent and treating it as anything but, is to do the film a great disservice.

The cast certainly realise this, if their performances are anything to go by. Tom Cruise reels in both his more smarmy qualities and, to be fair, some of his more interesting eccentricities but he plays Ethan Hunt as an immensely charming and dependable action hero and, though he's certainly not as young as he used to be (who is?), he is certainly more than capable of kicking a metric ton of ass. Or, at least, he's able to convince as someone who can.

He is ably supported by Jeremey Renner, a potential replacement in the waiting and – who could forget - Simon Pegg, stealing the show in a far larger, comedic sidekick role than his glorified cameo in the previous film. Pegg's slightly over-the-top comedy acting may conceivably rub some people the wrong way but, as far as I'm concerned, he only adds to the jovial madness of the rest of the film.

Paula Patton, on the other hand, is more or less the film's straight-woman and she comes across as somewhat bland in the process. As for Michael Nyqvist (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), he's an impressively intense bad guy but he doesn't quite have the personality of some of the franchise's best villains.    

Such small quibbles aside then, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol is a brilliant piece of escapist nonsense that should go over quite nicely this holiday season and may well, in fact, be the best Mission: Impossible to date.

NEXT ON CHANNEL24X

Hard to Get

2014-08-22 10:14

Add Your Review

(Comments may be edited or deleted at the Channel24 editors’ discretion)
Art 12/19/2011 9:23 AM
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Wow. The world really is getting dumber. If nonsense movies like this, with rediculous action sequences are rated highly as 'pure fun', then we are not far off of what is depicted in the movie "Idiocracy".
Menge 12/19/2011 9:47 AM
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Movies should be bold and insanely creative. This movie blew me away with far fetched action scenes. who wants to watch reality at the movies, news give you that.
Art 12/19/2011 10:33 AM
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Well, it is a matter of personal taste. I hate watching far fetched movies. It agrivates me. What gives me entertainment is something like the movie "Taken" with Liam Neeson. That has action sequences based on reality and it is engrossing. This fluff of "far fetched" is just fluff. Meaningless and not worth my time. It is a personal thing. Glad you enjoyed it
Bernard Black* 12/19/2011 2:15 PM
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Brilliant Movie. There is a decent plot & the action compliments the plot beautifully. It beats crap like TRANSFORMERS hands down. Have a good week people
Ilan Preskovsky 12/19/2011 7:08 PM
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Taken? Based on reality? Bwahahahahahahaha! Sorry, but I just couldn't resist.
Johan Pretorius 12/20/2011 9:09 AM
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This was pure fun. I enjoyed the unbelievability of it all. All the characters complemeted each other well. Who needs reality when going to a fanvtasy land? Deffinately the best of the Missions. Great fun, will watch again
Tanya 12/20/2011 10:24 AM
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I went to watch with a friend, and I wasn't so keen. But it was brilliant. Filled with humour all the way through...laughed so much. Enjoyed the the action too. Definitely don't go to the movies for realism...have everyday life for that. Not a Tom Cruise fan either, but i forgot it was him most of the time. Well worth it.
Art 12/21/2011 9:26 AM
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@IlanPreskovsky hehehehe, ya. Maybe I should have said "more believable"
nadia 12/21/2011 12:13 PM
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NOT!!!! This movie was terrible. It is first of all extremely low budget. The film did nothing to rival the action scenes or nailbiting stunts of the Mission Impossibles!!! Perhaps even more dissapointing is that the movie was so low budget.... that the co-stars were relative "unknowns".... just people that have had second rate movie roles elsewhere!!!!
Bernard Black* 12/21/2011 2:48 PM
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Nadia: You dont know what the hell you are talking about. Firstly do your homework, NONE of these actors are 'unknown' You probably think 'High School Musical' is the best movie ever made. Climb back on your biscuit...
Andrew 12/27/2011 8:24 AM
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I expected more from the show. Such long talking breaks between action scenes.. Movie seemed drawn out. Also what was the point of having that Secretaries Analyst guy in the movie?? Tom cruise should be doing all the action scenes. That guy seemed to out. Then the sandstorm action scene.. what was he point you cant see anything. @nadia, agree with you, definitely low budget. MI3 was 10 times better
Justin 12/28/2011 12:01 PM
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@Art hehehehehehe. Maybe you should have said "irritates" and not "aggravates". In reality, to agravate something means to make worse. But I'm glad you chose it.
Spaceygirl 5/15/2012 2:10 PM
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doesn't often enjoy action movies so I was surprised to find myself enjoying "Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol". It's not just the addition of the rather appealing Jeremy Renner, who has an intensity Tom Cruise can only wish for. It's not just that crazy Brit Simon Pegg provides comic relief or that a strong female character is provided in the form of Paula Patton. It also has terrific set-pieces and genuinely thrilling scenes. (The scaling of the Burj Khalifa and a final parking garage sequence are particularly incredible). Mostly a boys movie but one the girls will also enjoy. 7/10
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