Friday, December 23, 2011
Movie Review: "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol"
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is a whiz-bang, breezy fourth installment to a storied franchise that has never been quite as good as James Bond, but has always managed to deliver entertainment, and this fourth installment does just that, but little else.
Tom Cruise is back as Ethan Hunt, whose IMF team is now having to do the true impossible, when they are believed to be behind a bombing at the Kremlin in Russia. The biggest difference from the other three films in the franchise is that director Brad Bird treated Hunt and his team, just as that, a team, working together to prove their innocence. From Simon Pegg to Paula Patton to Jeremy Renner, Bird made sure that Cruise would not be stealing the spotlight from the rest of his team (even if he is still given the best action bits).
There are plenty of laughs throughout the story, and the plot unfurls at a nice click, constantly keeping the viewer on their toes. However, there is not much emotional depth to the movie, with a subplot involving Ethan and his wife only hinted at in a handful of scenes until the end, and when we are supposed to have an emotional payoff, I was left cold. But seriously, this is Mission Impossible, not Shakespeare, you watch it for the impossible action and adventure, right?
So what if the villain is an underdeveloped psychopath who only gets like two lines of dialogue (and I am not joking, we see his face and are told he's evil, but we never see or hear him do anything evil). When you get right down to it, the action is well directed, Pegg is on top form here, Michael Giacchino reworks Lalo Schifrin's theme into a score that is clearly his own whilst paying homage, and Cruise still proves that he isn't too old to hang off the tallest building in the world. If these things do not allow one to switch off their brain for two hours of simple fun, then you shouldn't accept this mission.
I give Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol a B!