No plan. No backup. No choice.
Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol is a 2011 spy film directed by Brad Bird, written by Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec, produced by Skydance Productions, TC Productions, and Bad Robot Productions, and distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film is based on the 1966 TV series, Mission: Impossible. It stars Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner. The film was not nominated for any Academy Awards. This is the fourth film in the Mission: Impossible series. It was preceded by Mission: Impossible III and followed by Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation.
"23 minutes till door knock."-William Brandt
After a terrorist attack on the Kremlin is blamed on Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, they must go off the grid and initiate "ghost protocol", meaning that the IMF is now extinct and they have no backup or resources. With a team of disavowed IMF agents, Ethan must clear their name and stop a man known only as Cobalt from launching a nuclear attack on the world.
The first thing is the scene on the Burj Khalifa. That was one of the coolest action sequences that I have ever watched in my entire life. It was so intense and so thrilling to watch. It was masterfully shot by Brad Bird, because it makes you feel like you are on a roller coaster that could fall down at any moment. It gives you the stomach feeling that you get when you have a long, steep drop on a ride at Cedar Point or Six Flags. The whole time it builds this tension, as a sandstorm starts approaching, as the mask has trouble getting made, and as Ethan loses one of his gloves. Even after he's done climbing the towering building, the bad guys start arriving ahead of schedule. It's a scene that is so much fun and intense to watch and takes the top the list for action scenes in the Mission: Impossible series.
The action is very fun. Most of the other sequences are overshadowed by the Burj Khalifa scene, but it is really cool. The settings for the action are great. They have one in a prison, one in a sandstorm and one in a circular parking garage. I thought that the settings were very creative and actually affected the outcome of the fight or thing going on.
The acting, for the most part, is very good. I thought that Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, and Simon Pegg were all very good. Tom Cruise is pretty much always good in these movies, and it doesn't really change here. He is likable, very devoted to the mission, and still has that old charm. Jeremy Renner was a nice addition to the IMF. He brings some of his Hawkeye-ness into Mission: Impossible and he was a nice foil to Ethan, acting as one of his equals. I thought that the small twist that they did with him was great, and I really liked his character. Simon Pegg is absolutely hilarious and works well as comic relief while also being a very likable, fun genius that we need more of in Mission: Impossible.
This shouldn't really be a positive, but for Mission: Impossible it is. They finally brought some characters from the previous film back that weren't Luther or Ethan. Woo-hoo. As much as it was a relief this time, they really need to be more consistent with that throughout the series.
The story was pretty good. Ethan Hunt has faced being framed, a deadly virus, and a personal vendetta, but he hasn't faced a nuclear threat yet. I think that they really needed to bring some catastrophic into this series, and this is pretty catastrophic. I think that some of the little details that were added were pretty great, too.
I think that these characters are much better than the forgettable side characters that have been in the first three films. They all have personality, their own little arcs, and it is fun to get to know them throughout the film instead of them just being these stupid side agents that just listen to whatever Ethan says.
There are two big problems I have with this movie. First off, I don't think that the villain scheme and actual villain himself was very good. The motive didn't seem very well explained to me, and you didn't get to know Kurt Hendricks/Cobalt. He had a lot of henchmen, so it was hard to tell who was who and what they all were doing.
Secondly, Paula Patton is not good. She is very comical and over portrays all of her lines as though they are the most important things that'll be said in the movie. Her facial expressions are very weird, and she does a ton of grunting when she is fighting. Like, way too much. She takes you out of the scene and it is very, very annoying.
This is a smaller nitpick, but I thought that the entire subplot with Anatoly Sidorov was kind of confusing. They tried too hard to get another subplot and they made it feel very forced. I didn't really know if Sidorov was good or bad, I didn't really know his purpose, and it made the whole thing very unnecessary.
Finally, as good as the acting and story are, this script feels like the worst of the bunch. The dialogue is very wrong and doesn't sound believable at all. It makes the characters worse and the actors worse, and, like Paula Patton's performance, really removes you from the scene. There are some good lines and conversations, but, for the most part, the writing is not that good.
Despite a bad actress, some weird dialogue, and a lowly villain, this movie wins over with good acting, a good story, and some of the best action in the series.
I will give it a Savory rating. Age range is 9+.
SWEET N' SOUR SCALE
"Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol"
Directed by Brad Bird
Released on December 21, 2011
Rated PG-13 for moderate violence and action, sexual content, thematic elements
2 hours and 12 minutes
Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt
Jeremy Renner as William Brandt
Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn
Paula Patton as Jane Carter
Michael Nyqvist as Kurt Hendricks
Leá Seydoux as Sabine Moreau