M:I Ghost Protocol

M:I Ghost Protocol

Static Mass Rating: 4/5

Release date: December 26th, 2011
Certificate (UK): 12A
Running time: 133 minutes

Director: Brad Bird
Writers: Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec

Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Josh Holloway

Spies, messages that tend to self destruct and operations that are carried out with extreme precision. That can only mean one thing – Mission: Impossible. Based on the 1960’s television show, it’s the movie franchise that began in 1996 and forged Tom Cruise as a formidable action hero right up there alongside Arnie, Bruce and Sly.

This fourth outing is filled with even more twists and turns than its predecessors but it doesn’t scrimp on the action either. It starts off in Budapest where IMF agent Trevor Hanaway (Josh Holloway) is gunned down by an assassin during a mission to intercept a person of interest, code-named “Cobalt”.

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

From there the action then shifts to a prison in Moscow where Ethan breaks out with a fellow inmate. He’s then recruited to lead Hanaway’s team leader, Jane Carter (Paula Patton) and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) in an operation to break into the Kremlin archives to search for information on Cobalt’s real identity. Unfortunately, mid-way through the operation, something goes terribly wrong and Ethan is forced to abort.

As he’s walking away from the Kremlin the ground shakes and he turns to see the building destroyed by a series of explosions. With Ethan and his team blamed for the attack and the Russians calling it an act of war, the US quickly moves to initiate “Ghost Protocol”, a black operation contingency that disavows the entire IMF.

The Secretary however allows them to continue their work in uncovering Cobalt and recovering the nuclear launch codes before he gets a chance to use them. The catch is that they have no one to rely on but themselves.

The latter makes this instalment more authentic as the team don’t have any extreme gadgets, and what they have sometimes fails. The characters have to make use of their brains and guts above all which adds some intelligent spice to the story. Whereas Cruise often appeared like an augmented super soldier in the previous parts, here he seems vulnerable and not such a wise-ass.

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

For an action spy thriller movie, Ghost Protocol certainly delivers everything it promises. The action scenes, the stunts and the atmosphere throughout give the feeling of an adrenalin rush and it’s really hard not to feel that way when you see some of the stuff Cruise is doing. From abseiling off buildings to scaling the outer walls of the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa in Dubai, you really have to hand it to him; he’s taking the term “action star” to impossible levels.

As for the supporting cast, it’s great to see Simon Pegg returning as Benji, he’s now a newly promoted field agent and as you would expect, his presence adds a comedic touch to the film in just the right amount. Paula Patton as Jane Carter also proves to be a great addition to the cast, bringing much beauty, charisma, intelligence and action to her role. Jeremy Renner as William Brandt, IMF’s intelligence analyst is also one to keep a close eye on and his chemistry with Pegg holds a lot of promise for future sequels.

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

Indian actor Anil Kapoor makes an appearance as the wealthy businessman Jane has to seduce and while she looks stunning and he plays it for laughs, there seemed to be something lacking. It didn’t burn up the screen the way similar scenes in John Woo’s Mission: Impossible II (2000) did.

Ghost Protocol is an exhilarating experience but there are stretches as well when it feels a little too long. This is most noticeable as the film enters the third act but aside from that, the franchise shows no signs self-destructing anytime soon — in fact, with its rather complex back stories Mission: Impossible may have taken a turn towards more character-driven stories.

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