Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

If you've lived with and liked the franchise since the 1970's TV offering then this will push your buttons big-time! It's very much more of the same - with extra bells and whistles. Cruise is at last beginning to look his age but that doesn't stop him from winning every fight, running for miles at top speed, getting blown up, scaling the world's tallest building and driving several BMW's to destruction. This fourth in the film series is by far the best MI to date. Set in Moscow, Dubai and Mumbai it breathlessly jerks around the globe as too many naughty people slip over international frontiers without triggering any alarm. The technology and the CGI are great - except perhaps for the exploding Kremlin which looks a little too unreal.

The plot is simple enough but what makes the difference this time is that through a set-up the whole organisation is dis-avowed and disbanded. Their only hope is this one last off-the-record mission which must succeed - even if it isn't resourced in the usual way. Time after time series of coincidences happen with split second precision which enable the story to move forward. Simon Pegg has a much larger role this time and I occasionally felt his jocular and very British way of delivering humour clashed stridently with the all-American cast. Come on, Simon Pegg co-starring with Tom Cruise in an action movie! I was initially encouraged to see Michael Nyqvist (Millennium Trilogy - Swedish edition) in the cast but his character is disappointingly very two-dimensional.

There are three action sequences that are up there with the best of them:

  • The escape from the Russian gaol;
  • The scaling of the Burj Khalifa;
  • The final sequence in the automated car park in Mumbai.
If for nothing else the film will be enjoyed for these - but the story does keep moving along at an even pace - how ever far fetched the story is! There isn't a lot to engage with here - this is a sit back and enjoy film - particularly if you enjoy Tom Cruise or allow Paula Patton to grow on you as the film moves towards its climax! The morality and ethical dimensions find one spot of light relief when a Russian arms dealer puts saving the world from nuclear annihilation above profit and gives the plot its one and only twist - except perhaps for the very ending which I won't spoil.

As I said, if you like action movies, you'll love this one. It is destined to be the most profitable I'm sure - so far. I'll give it 8/10.

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