Monday, January 2, 2012

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011)

 Attention all you Tom Cruise haters!  Set aside your harsh feelings for the couch-jumping Scientologist, and treat yourself to one of the biggest surprises of this movie-going season. 

Not that the first three movies in this franchise were chopped liver.  They were pretty darned good.  Cruise has always played a solid role as Agent Ethan Hunt, with perfect timing, performing his own stunts, wielding some really cool gadgets, masks and his well-toned middle-aged pecs.  Remember that famous scene from the first movie when he is suspended from the ceiling by wires while doing some computer hackery?  The movies are the essence of coolness.  Perfect for a weekend watch-a-thon.

But the fourth installment is by far the coolest,  most adrenaline-pumped, most toe-curling. 

In the opening sequence, Ethan is busted out of a Russian prison (why is he in there?  we will find out later) to be given a special mission...retrieve nuclear launch codes that have been stolen by a doomsday wack-job (played by Michael Nyqvist of the Swedish Girl With the Dragon Tattoo).  Only before said codes are safely in the hands of the good guys, the Kremlin is blown to pieces and Ethan's band of agents, the IMF, is blamed.  The President of the US invokes Ghost Protocol, and the IMF is disavowed, leaving Ethan's team high and dry.  On their own, they must restore their good name and prevent a nuclear holocaust.

Not only does Cruise entertain, but he has a strong cast to back him up.  Strangely, Nyqvist makes a pretty decent evil dude.  He has transformed his gentle and womanizing nature in Tattoo to a facade of ice and derangement.  Cruise's IMF team is made up of Jeremy Rinner (The Hurt Locker) and the sexy badass Paula Patton (Hitch), as well as Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead) for humor relief. 

The action never stops.  We're not just talking fast car chases and shooting and running around, but hovering body suits, nuclear missles hurtling towards San Francisco, an exploding Kremlin and the one that I witnessed peeking through my fingers...climbing up the outside of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world that resides in Dubai.  On the 130th floor.  With these (unreliable) little sticky gloves.  Mother Mary, it made me nauseous.  

 

It is notable that this movie was directed by Brad Bird (Ratatouille, The Incredibles, Up), and this was his first non-animated gig.  I think he has proven himself with this endeavor.     

My only complaint was that the ending was a wee bit too happy and cheesy, with everyone joking and feeling good about life.  Still, it is a good thing that Bird kept morale high.  We want these guys to choose to accept another mission.

16 comments:

bermudaonion said...

Carl, Vance, and Adam went to see this one, but I opted to stay home. I saw the first one and was confused the whole time, so I figure I'm not smart enough for this series of movies.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I want to see this but we keep forgetting to go to the movies!

Brooke said...

I totally agree with all you've said! I am not a Tom Cruise fan, but thought this movie was excellently made. The Dubai scenes with the faulty gloves and 130 stories of glass building - so intense and nerve-wracking. I even spotted my husband grimacing!

Zibilee said...

Can you believe that I have never seen any of these movies before? I am thinking that I now need to go out and rent the first 3, and then run out and see this one. I am not a huge fan of Cruise, but I would still like to see this one!

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

I wish we had chosen to see this last week (instead of We Bought a Zoo). Well, it's likely to wait for us until it's out on DVD/streaming.

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softdrink said...

Why yes, I am a Tom Cruise hater. And since I haven't seen any of the other movies in this series, you can't make me start now!

Kathleen said...

I definitely want to see this one. I've heard that this film is a bit of a comeback for Cruise after all of his bad press a few years ago. Who can resist and fast-paced story, like this one?

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

You mean I have to sit through 3 of his films to get to this one? Sandy, you're killing me here. :p

Trisha said...

I've heard this one is super fun, so I'll definitely be watching it at some point.

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

Swore off Tom Cruise after he hated on Brooke Shields and PPD/medication. I've never seen these movies either.

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I can't wait to see this one! I've heard Jeremy Renner is going to now assume the Mission Impossible movie franchise as the starring role and I hope so! He was absolutely perfect in The Hurt Locker, such a good actor.

victoriacorby said...

My children have renamed this series Mission Really-Quite-Possible as on the fourth outing they reckon Tom Cruise ought to know that the chances are he's going to suceed.

Jenners said...

I keep hearing how great this is … I'm going to have to check it out!!!!

Literary Feline said...

Despite my lack of appreciation for Tom Cruise, I do enjoy the Mission Impossible movies and am looking forward to seeing this one--likely not until it comes out on DVD--but someday. I am glad you enjoyed it, Sandy!

Alyce said...

I wouldn't consider myself a Tom Cruise hater, but nevertheless I have a difficult time separating the mental images of his public life from his persona onscreen when I watch any of his movies. I'll probably see this one once it releases on dvd.