I Saw A Film Today… Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Without trying too sound entirely redundant or using a somewhat clichéd saying, but Tom Cruise is Tom Cruise. You either like the guy’s films or you don’t. That was something I really came to learn the week Ghost Protocol came out. When I asked a few of the regulars who come into the theater if they were seeing said film, some said “nah, not a Cruise fan.” Is he that polarizing of an actor? Let me know in the comments section.

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IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is currently serving a prison sentence in Moscow. But what’s going on outside of the prison is the real action. Agents Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Jane Carter (Paula Patton) are starting a riot in the jail in order to extract Ethan, whose help they need. They believe that someone codenamed ‘Cobalt’ plans to steal codes to nuclear warheads to exterminate the human race (I’m beginning to wonder if this script was written in the 80’s).

As it has become a popular location for Hollywood action films in the last few years, the place to get this information is in Russia. Inside the Kremlin to be exact. And in typical M.I. fashion, Hunt dons a mask and with the help of Benji infiltrates the Russian headquarters. But Cobalt, whose real name is Kurt Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist), is already covering his tracks and detonates a bomb at the Kremlin.

With the blame falling heavy on the IMF, it is in the end disavowed. That is, not without one last secret mission. Ethan and his teams mission, if they choose to accept it, is to stop Hendricks. With an analyst named Brandt (Jeremy Renner) joining in, the team makes trips to multiple locations around the world trying to hunt down Hendricks before he can do the unthinkable.

Ghost Protocol is probably on one of the best popcorn flicks I’ve seen since Super 8. It has everything you want out of a Mission Impossible film and even more. I was really interested to see what Brad Byrd did with this film. For those who don’t know who Brad Byrd is, he is the man who has made such animated films as The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille. A pretty great resume. But I really didn’t know how he would do with a live action film. I’m happy to report he does extremely well.

One of the most exhilarating scenes in the film is when Tom Cruise, in order to gain access of the servers of the Mumbai hotel Burj Khalifa, must climb outside the building 100’s of stories off the ground with only a pair of gloves that stick to the windows. It is one of most thrilling scenes I saw in 2011.

But it also has one of the most ridiculous scenes of the year as well. The idea of Jeremy Renner floating about in a hot ventilation shaft using nothing more than a steel mesh bodysuit and a remote-controlled magnet is just unbelievable, even for the Mission Impossible series.

Tom Cruise is at home in this film. This is what he does best. His ability to thrill is the reason people come out to see his films. He has a pretty great cast as well. As always, Simon Pegg shines brilliantly. He provides the films more comedic events and it does it with his own unique brand. Michael Nyqvist could have been a spectacular villain but all we get here is your standard baddie. Such a shame. Paula has a strong character and is done strongly but is ultimately forgettable. As is Jeremy Renner. But as both will return in the next MI film, I guess they’re not that forgettable.

Ghost Protocol is a great popcorn film to be seen in theaters. Any fan of the film series, or the action genre, will enjoy this one.

Verdict: SEE IT!

* Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence

** Poster by Matt Owen

*** A special thanks to my good friend Aubrianna Wallace for sharing this cinematic adventure with me.

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