Released: 21 December 2012, Paramount Pictures
Starring Tom Cruise
Director: Brad Bird
3.5 stars (out of 4)
So I finally had an opportunity to check out Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol on Friday. I went in expecting a great action/adventure movie and I wasn’t disappointed. Critics and audiences have really enjoyed this outing of Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt and I’m among them. And like all good action films, I left the theater exhausted.
If you are not familiar with the Mission Impossible movies, Hunt is an operative for a secret U.S. agency called the IMF (Impossible Mission Force). As their name signifies, the agents are sent in to situations where success is considered next to impossible. In this particular outing, we have a break-out from a Serbian prison (part of an exciting main title sequence), a break-in to the Kremlin, an external climb of the world’s tallest building (Burj Khalifa in Dubai) and we end with an incredible chase through a completely automated parking garage. Along the way, we learn Hunt’s marriage from the third movie has ended.
In each movie, Hunt’s team changes and in this one the sole carryover from MI:3 is technician-turned-field agent Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg). Hunt and Dunn are joined by Jane Carter (Paula Patton) and the agency director’s Chief Analyst William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), who carries a secret of his own. Our villain this time around is Kurt Hendricks, aka “Cobalt” (Michael Nyqvist), who is determined to start a “controlled” nuclear armageddon to cleanse the world. To make the mission even more impossible, Hendricks manages to set up the entire IMF to take the fall for a bombing of the Kremlin, so the agency has been disavowed by the President and Hunt’s team is on its own with only each other and a train car of IMF tech.
Much has been made of Cruise’s stunt work on the outside of the Burj Khalifa and it is well-deserved. The sequence is stunning (even more so in IMAX apparently) – both taut and riveting. But I think my favorite action scenes are from the automated public garage, as Hunt and Hendricks both try to retain custody of a briefcase containing the launch codes/tech to set off a nuclear warhead. As the two race, jump and fall through the various levels, cars and platforms are constantly sliding around, above and below them – a regular ballet. I enjoyed discovering Brandt’s secret and how it tied into an event in Hunt’s past. There was an appearance by Ving Rhames and another character from MI:3 that helped tie everything up in the finale, making it really feel like a continuation of the series.
All in all, this was an extremely well-done action film from director Brad Bird – and kudos to Cruise for allowing him to helm this as his first live-action movie. I look forward to seeing more from Bird in the future.
What did you think of Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol?