DVD Review - Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

At the end of the TV series Lost, all the characters meet at a church. Josh Holloway who played the character of Sawyer was there but it's never shown how his character got there. Supposedly, he died but we never see how. The opening of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol answers that question. Only, instead of being called Sawyer, he's called Hanaway. Yet, he's disposed pretty quickly and we immediately jump to Moscow where we find Ethan Hunt, played by Tom Cruise, in a Russian prison and a team of IMF agents, including Benji Dunn, played by Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead and Star Trek) reprising his role from the 2006 sequel and Jane Carter, played by Paula Patton (Precious and Jumping the Broom), trying to break him out.

Things are fun and things are fast. Kudos to director Brad Bird! He keeps the pace up and designs amazing and thrilling sequences from beginning to end. The film is almost non-stop. Technology is key to this film and visually Bird is able to explain things without a lot of exposition. Though it pains me, much credit can't be given to the screenwriters. I'm sure a lot was on the page, but it takes a good visionary director to pull something like this off and Brad Bird is that director. I don't want to bash the writers, but everything here is pretty formulaic.

Instead of breaking into the Vatican, as Ethan Hunt did in the last movie, this time he and his team break into the Kremlin, Russia's equivalent to the White House. The rest of the movie plays out like this: impossible feat, chase scene, fight scene, shoot out, then impossible feat again, chase scene, fight scene, shoot out and then impossible feat and then chase scene, fight scene, shoot out. That's how it goes. Thrown in between will be a brief scene where we hear the iconic phrase, "Your mission, should you choose to accept it," where some things are explained, but the rest just follows the repeating formula.

Yes, this is a criticism, but in the hands of Brad Bird, it still works. It's still fun and fast. The final fight scene and shoot out are a bit tedious, but were ultimately enjoyable. Unfortunately, the bad guy in this movie is Kurt Hendricks aka Cobalt who is played by Michael Nyqvist, the Swedish actor best known for starring in the original The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. He's just not as engaging or even as interesting as Philip Seymour Hoffman was in the previous movie, Mission: Impossible 3.

Even though the signature IMAX stunt in this movie was Ethan Hunt, scaling the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, standing at 2,723 feet, which is over a half-mile in height with 160 floors, I think that I was more impressed with the chase scene in the sandstorm. I found that to be more clever. I must say also that the concluding fight scene in the automated parking garage was like something out of Pixar.

Four Stars out of Five.
Rated PG-13 for intense action and violence.
Running Time: 2 hrs. and 13 mins.


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