Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Another installment of superspy Ethan Hunt delivers with action-packed stunts and supersized adventures.
Yes, this is the fourth installment of Tom Cruise version of kickass James Bond alike Ethan Hunt. Whoever is familiar with Tom Cruise might also say with 100% confidence that this James Bond ripoff will lack all the charisma, charm, and (I know this will sound strange) all the sanity. I assume, you are not suppose to think about the plot making ANY sense in this kind of setup. There’s a strict formula and what movie does is just follow that formula. In essence it should work. And by spending $140,000,000 on a movie they make sure it does work. In return you have roller-coaster type film with incredible special effects, stunts, explosions, random witty catchphrases, and another saved world.
Essentially it all starts with the first equation – some kind of heroic high octane action scene involving our main hero doing incredible stuff and succeeding in it. The setup in MI4 for this scene is a russian prison, where Ethan is held captive and IMF (NOT to confuse with IMF) operatives are trying to set him free. Well of course this is Ethan Hunt, another incarnation of Chuck Norris, so NOTHING can try set him free, he just can set himself free if he wants. So unlike all the help from outside, Ethan manages to escape mostly on his own. Well, and there’s a mission waiting on him – infiltrate Kremlin to overcome crazy Swedish nuclear analyst Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist from the original Swedish version of Girl with Dragon Tattoo), which of course goes wrong and Ethan (and the whole IMF) gets set up and accused of terrorist attack on Kremlin (2nd equation of the formula). And again Ethan and handful of loyal IMF operatives are left alone with no backing to fight the bad guy and save our precious little world.
I don’t want to comment Tom Cruise’s performance, essentially its the same performance he shows in any film and the performance he has refined over the course of his career to the point where it spills to all his other movies, either he wants it or not.
The presentation of villains is very peculiar. No back story, no justification of wrongdoings. Just the statement, hey these are the bad guys and this is how they look. Go figure it out. I assume Michael Nyqvist is living off his fame gathered during original Swedish run of Girl with Dragon Tattoo. I have nothing against his performance, nor I have anything for it. The assassin so interestingly portrayed by Lea Seydoux was probably the only bad guy (gal?) worth mentioning, but she doesn’t have too much screen time.
The IMF operatives are played by Simon Pegg, Paula Patton and Jeremy Renner, and only Pegg is a returning character. He is given much bigger and more central role this time, primarily due to his rise to stardom in recent years, I suppose. His character is still dorky, but this time he is bigger comic relief in the movie (and the only one), and this actually helps the story a lot. Patton seems rather incompetent as a field operative, proving her “greenness” not less than once. The only role of her is a romantic relief, and that’s was kind of dull too. Usually this kind of role goes to super-sexy bombshell, and I can’t say that about her. But that’s that my personal thoughts. Renner is a nice addition to the team, and I wished there was much more to his character rather than boring back story.
Direction is astonishing. Implementing amazing IMAX cameras helped creating incredible shots. Wikipedia says almost 30 minutes in total are shot using these cameras. Watching this movie in IMAX theater helps this movie a lot and creates a unique representation. Aerial shots and some crazy CGI sequences are really beautiful. Taking into account that Brad Bird used to make Pixar animation features (The Incredibles, Ratatouille) he had a solid first-time live-action film experience. Unfortunately, the amount of head trauma withstood during the course of the whole movie by Ethan puts him into Terminator category and that’s I think is the only weak point of the direction.
Overall I really enjoyed the RIGHT russian translation of the russian part of the movie, which I should say takes 25% of the whole film. Usage of the Russian actors makes the movie much more authentic.
I’m giving the movie 7 stars out of 10. Its an interesting action movie.