You may find this surprising but here’s the truth: I’ve never seen a Mission: Impossible film. Given my fondness for cool spy thrillers it’s hard to believe albeit true.
Mission: Impossible, Ghost Protocol (2011) Film Review
Working as one of IMF’s top agents is a way of life for the Secretary of State’s best “man” until five years ago. This is when Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) walked away from it all for the right girl. Or so he thinks. What he didn’t anticipate is his former enemies pursuit of him. Now for his troubles, he sits in a Moscow prison. Rumors abound as to the “why” he’s here. Some say Julia left him, others assume he’s a lost cause in the aftermath of his beloved wife’s death.
Cunning field agent, Jane Carter (Paula Patton) and the techie-turned-field-agent, Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) need Ethan’s skills. He may be a bit off in his game… but they need him. So, naturally, they break him out of prison. As they set up shop, they’re in a race against time to stop a deadly attack on U.S. soil. A terrorist named Hendricks has nuclear launch codes. This, after an IMF mission goes array, a mission led by Jane, who is now out for redemption.
Following the assassination of the Secretary leaves the team out in the cold. Without IMF’s support, the President initiates “Ghost Protocol.” This leaves the newly-formed trio to their own devices. Along the way, they acquire the assistance of an analyst named William Brandt (Jeremy Renner). With little time to get done the impossible done, Ethan sets out to stop Hendricks as they jet set across the world.
For some reason I’ve never much cared for Tom Cruise. Admittedly, this isn’t fair given that I’ve not seen him in many production. Putting this out there as fact, I do think Cruise is the “face” of this franchise. (I’ll try to put aside all thoughts of him needing a haircut and just go with it. Really, I am trying.) Without his name front and center, there would be no more Mission: Impossible thrillers. Let me tell you, and what a sad thought.The world again needs Ethan Hunt. This time he teams up with some new friends. 'Mission: Impossible, Ghost Protocol' is another Exciting Adventure! Click To Tweet
Most thrillers have trapdoors they fall into. In many spheres they may not even realize it because film-makers are caught up in crafting the next “perfect,” million-dollar blockbuster but it’s an accurate and fair assessment. MI:4 fits this when it comes to the action sequences but it shies away from a lot of the typical ones, and I appreciate this. Despite being a romance, in particular I like that MI:4 doesn’t push any of the potential romantic tensions. This almost always gets “messy.” The beautiful locales certainly could easily play to romance, but even this doesn’t sway writers.
All of the characters suffer from a tragic back-story. Ethan and Jane suffer the loss of the people they thought were their “life loves.” I think this makes both of them cautious. In a few instances, the film gets caught up in tedious scenes and subplots. Plus, it falters here and there without excitement, and leaves a viewer wishing to speed up the timeline. Most are here to further the suspense, still, they could have been written or filmed differently but then the action sequences more than compensate us, considering they are not just high-octane but also insanely impossible. They are each situations that we groan and say, “only in the movies…”
In the end, I do thoroughly enjoy this (my) first “mission.” It isn’t exactly what I expect (it doesn’t surpass my all-time favorite thriller trio) but it’s good. The cast list is nothing to sneeze at, and there is some really great humor (mainly at Benji’s expense). Oh, and if anyone is curious, Tom owns this role. It’s also grand to see Jeremy in something prior to his highly-anticipated action flick this summer (it will be interesting now to discover what he does as he steps into a leading hero role). Initially I didn’t think I’d like to, but someday I man see myself renting the first three films. But should there be a fifth (which is more likely with each entertainment news cycle), I’m ready to see more of Ethan’s adventures.
Though I didn’t see the prior films, I don’t feel lost in this story, but I am also willing to concede that some references are likely lost on me. So, the real question is: Will this be something I’ll choose to “accept” a second viewing of? You bet.
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Content: ‘Ghost Protocol’ is PG13 for of lots of accidents and hand-to-hand combat. Several main characters receive beatings or gunshot wounds [some blood]. There are two “epic” action scenes [a car chase and scaling a building]. One woman falls to her death off a top-story window [off-screen], a man is shot dead and his family threatened. There is a few minor sexual innuendos; Jane must seduce a target [she wears a low-cut, high-slit gown]. Elsewhere there are few profanities but it is very infrequent.