Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)

Seen: In IMAX at the AMC/Loews at Boston Common.

Hey you guys! Talented animation director Brad Bird directed a live-action movie, isn't that exciting? It's got, like, Tom Cruise, and there are spies, or something. Ok so I haven't seen any of the previous M:I movies, so I didn't particularly care that there was a new one coming out. Especially since I'm not a big fan of Tom Cruise. But I was so curious about Bird's live-action debut, and the supporting cast is so good, that it wasn't hard to convince me to see Ghost Protocol. Legendary secret agent Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is rescued from a Russian prison by agents Benji (Simon Pegg) and Jane (Paula Patton) so that he can help catch a terrorist with stolen nuclear activation codes. Eventually joining up with Brandt (Jeremy Renner), logistics analyst or something to the Secretary (of what, I'm not sure. Defense? State?), the team travels from Russia to Dubai to India, all without official aid from the American government after a bombing of the Kremlin sets the nations up for possible all-out war.

With a number of nail-biter action sequences, some well-employed IMAX visuals, and a general sense of fun, Ghost Protocol is quite simply a good time. I loved the wacky spy technology (that hallway video thing? Magic magnet suits?) and weirdly antiquated concepts (is Russia really considered a big movie villain again?) and exquisite locations (Ahh! The Burj Khalifa is SO TALL!). I dug the silly jokes from Simon Pegg- always a welcome addition to any movie- and Renner's general badassery as he prepares to take the reins from Cruise. As usual with most ladies in action movies, Paula Patton has to be "the sexy one" in most of their plans, but she gets some butt-kicking in along the way. And thank god we only had to see Tom Cruise with his shirt off for one or two scenes. I'm not saying the guy's not in shape, but there is some weird shit going on with his upper body and it makes me nervous to look at it.

ANYWAY turns out Brad Bird is an awesome director no matter the medium. There are so many thrilling action scenes and exciting chases, and it seems his experience in animation has allowed him to exaggerate reality a little bit in some of the shots. The story itself takes a back seat to the action, which is pretty normal for movies like this. I didn't really care about the threat of nuclear war here, to be honest. I just wanted to see them catch the bad guy, I mean jeez Michael Nyqvist is surprisingly spry!

Good times, movie. I was impressed.

4/5

Pair This Movie With: Presumably one of the other Mission: Impossible movies? I've heard the third one is cool.

9 comments:

  1. Wow, looks like this is the one to see! I'll be checking this one out tomorrow, expect a review sometime next week, but it looks like Im in for a good time at the movies.

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  2. Good to know Bird won over some moviegoers who weren't already fans of the series. He certainly gave a lulling franchise a kick in the pants!

    As watchable as it is, and it is, I just can't get past the feeling "Ghost Protocol" could have been that much better had there been some plot involved.

    Having only seen this entry (or any of the sequels, for that matter) you might be surprised by the first picture if you sat down for it.

    De Palma's opening act is not one of his finest works; if you're looking for "Scarface" or "Untouchables," you'll be let down. If you're expecting an endless chase scene, filled with explosions, it might just catch you off your guard.

    Wait, we're supposed to be talking "Ghost Protocol"?

    Going back beyond "III" you'll be sorely missing Simon Pegg as Benji. Emilio Estevez is really no substitute.

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  3. ahaha tom cruise's six pack isn't as smooth as i remember it being but i loved this movie. really cool!

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  4. There are a handful of really, really enticing action sequences in the film that are quite impressive. If only they cut out Pegg's character and thought of something a bit better than Russian nukes for a nemsis.

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  5. Loved this! Glad you pointed out the importance of the Imax sequences, they really do feel a lot bigger.

    I have to see it again, because I never trust myself when I walk out a theater with superlatives running through my head ("BEST ACTION MOVIE OF THE DECADE!" "I'M BLINDED BY ITS RAYS OF GENIUS!"). Even if I cool down on the rewatch, I still think I'll like it plenty.

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  6. Oh, come on, Luke. Pegg keeps lively what could have been an action snoozer .

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  7. Stuart: Well I can't lie, I do love me some Emilio so maybe the earlier ones will do it for me too!

    Candice: Hey, I can't fault Tom for losing some of his build, he is getting old. It's not that he's not in shape, it looks more like his body is lumpy in places because of too much exercise? Stallone had a similar thing going on in THE EXPENDABLES.

    Luke: I agree with Stuart, not sure what's so negative about Pegg's character? Although I guess if you don't like Pegg in general he wouldn't be a welcome addition.

    Adam: Your comment made me giggle, so thanks for that.

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  8. I found this to be about 2/3 of a good film. I was pleasantly surprised by the stunts, set pieces, action and the comedic stylings of Simon Pegg. What I did not care for was any attempt this film made at drama. These feeble attempts took away from the story as a whole.

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  9. Fun popcorn pulp, not ashamed to be ridiculous if it leads to a suspenseful sequence. Who knew motorists in Dubai kept driving at full highway speeds during zero-visibility sandstorms?

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