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Review: Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol


The fourth instalment in the Mission: Impossible series sees the IMF implicated in a global terrorist plot, - resulting in the group being shut down, leaving the team to go rogue under Ghost Protocol to clear their names. Ghost Protocol is helmed by director, Brad Bird (Of Ratatouille & The Incredibles fame) and stars Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton and a tiny bit of Tom Wilkinson. It has also been my first experience of IMAX and it certainly was the perfect film to demonstrate the heightened filmic experience. However, it is also significantly more expensive and whether this is justified will depend on your personal enjoyment of the film - luckily it was for Cruise's blockbuster.

Brad Bird's film starts with a daring prison escape sequence with Dean Martin's version of Ain't That A Kick In The Head blasting whilst Cruise batters his way through prisoners and guards. This opening pre-title sequence perfectly sums up the fun, action packed and highly tongue-in-cheek nature of Ghost Protocol and throughout Bird's film manages to be convincing, awe-inspiring, yet never takes itself too seriously. The team dynamic and outlandish visual spectaculars even feel similar to that of Bird's previous feature, The Incredibles and without question, he is the perfect man for a film like this, making the transition from animation to live-action flawlessly.

There appears to be several IMAX crafted scenes, in particular a palm-sweatingly tense sequence where Cruise's Ethan Hunt scales the walls of the Burj Khalifa - Dubai's tallest building - which is the film's key set piece. There's also another superbly crafted visual spectacular, where a chase takes place through the streets of Dubai during a sandstorm. These two moments look truly stunning and justify the upgrade to IMAX (or Blu-Ray if watching at home).

Given the amount of globetrotting and action set pieces that are crammed into Ghost Protocol, sometimes the plot gets less focus than it should. At several moments throughout, the plot feels messy and tangled with so many new strands appearing including "he's got the nuclear codes", "we don't need the codes, let's just exchange the diamonds", "he's at the Playboys party", "the Russian police are in India". I found the best tactic was sit back, gawking at the screen and wait for something to explode. To be honest, the messy plot is not a huge issue, I don't see people watching this for an education on hard hitting international affairs.

Fans of classic Mission: Impossible (AKA the original television serial and revival series) will be happy to know that Ghost Protocol features an abundance of disguises and gadgetry. And like me if you've been waiting your whole life to see Tom Cruise dress up as an elderly Russian general and shout at Simon Pegg - then boy, are you in luck. The cast all do well in their respective roles , in particular Tom Cruise, an actor who fully commits himself to the movie-making experience - his passion for the job truly makes a film like this a joy to watch. For me personally, most of the fun did not come from the Simon Pegg's 'comic relief' character, Benjie (who was just fairly annoying) but from Paula Patton and Jeremy Renner. Patton shines throughout the action sequences and is particularly interesting - with her character being unnerved after a mission goes wrong. Jeremy Renner, is a wonderful, charismatic addition to the series - seeing him in this type of role has got me very excited for The Bourne Legacy, sure to be the thinking man's Ghost Protocol.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is a fun popcorn blockbuster with some pulse-pounding action and awe-inspiring set pieces with an occasional wink at the camera. Bird's smooth direction and a convincing cast managed to make the sub-standard plot seem irrelevant. In my opinion, it is one of the strongest entries into the series.




Rating: 3.5/5
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