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Overall Rating

Awesome: 13.64%
Worth A Look61.36%
Average: 22.73%
Pretty Bad: 2.27%
Total Crap: 0%

4 reviews, 20 user ratings

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Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol
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by Daniel Kelly

"It's on cruise control"
3 stars

It’s been over 5 years since Tom Cruise last portrayed super-spy Ethan Hunt on the big screen, the actor having endured an ignoble recent session in the public eye despite several astute career choices. The last flick in the series, “Mission Impossible 3” was debatably the best, J.J Abrams stepping into the directorial breach, filling out that picture with terrific action, more emotion and an increased dosage of onscreen villainy. Abrams remains a producer on “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol”, handing the key creative role to Pixar maestro Brad Bird (“The Incredibles”, “Ratatouille”). Bird sustains the franchise’s reputation as action savvy entertainment, but his fourth entry ultimately flags in several of the same departments which afflicted parts one and two. The story feels creaky too regularly, a fault compounded by a ridiculous 133 minute runtime. There’s plenty to like about “Ghost Protocol”, but not enough for it to warrant consideration as anything other than fun yet forgettable holiday fare.

After an attempt to extract information from the Kremlin ends in explosive disaster, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and the rest of his IMF team are blamed. Disavowed and on the run, Hunt and his gang (including Simon Pegg as tech expert Benji and Paula Patton as resourceful field agent Jane) set their sights on a potential terrorist named Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist), confident that his well-documented thirst for global nuclear warfare might have something to do with the Kremlin incident. Their hunch takes them across the world and leaves them in the company of Hendricks’ numerous deadly associates. With the threat of nuclear war increasing, Ethan and company are forced to act quickly, but their progress feels oddly slowed by the addition of a mysterious analyst (Jeremy Renner) to their operation.

“Ghost Protocol” is technically marvellous, Bird offering some first-rate stunts and action throughout the picture. The film starts with a jailbreak and rarely halts on the set-piece front, tossing massive sequence after massive sequence at a presumably hungry audience. The highlight of the entire enterprise is the segment set in Dubai, during which Cruise’s character has to scale the Burj Khalifa, otherwise recognised as the tallest manmade structure in the world. It’s an incredible slice of bravado filmmaking; exciting, glossy and tense in all the right ways. The cinematography is also top notch, whilst the legendary musical theme is on hand to ratchet up the momentum wherever necessary.

“Ghost Protocol” takes the spotlight away from Cruise for the first time in the franchise, or at least it seeks to divide it more evenly amongst a nifty roster of protagonists. Paula Patton is ample as the token female squad member, imbued with a desire for vengeance that never quite fits, but admittedly effective during the action beats. Simon Pegg does very well with the broad humour on display, the Brit’s comedic chops elevating much of the obvious material he’s provided with. The standout is probably Renner, who oscillates between different sides of his character neatly, the actor managing to convince as a macho lead and nervous nerd during various (and separate) sections of the picture. As a group they feel natural and share an engaging chemistry, Cruise leading them with all the panache and style you’d expect. One gets the impression “Ghost Protocol” might represent the justifiable finish of Cruise as an action hero (he looks a little craggy in places), but as last hurrahs go this isn’t a bad effort.

A pity the same can’t be said for Michael Nyqvist as the movie’s bad guy. Hampered by half-baked writing and his own personal refusal to seem awake onscreen, Nyqvist robs “Ghost Protocol” of the nefarious villain it so desperately requires, blunting some of the edges that Philip Seymour Hoffman was so effortlessly able to integrate into part 3. The “Ghost Protocol” screenplay is an uneven piece of work as a general rule, fixating far too lengthily on certain chunks of the film (the Mumbai set-piece and its various components are incredibly overdone), whilst other facets (such as the antagonist) are left to waste away without the attention they deserve. Bird’s editing skills are obvious during the film’s major instances of carnage and espionage, but they haven’t translated quite as fabulously into his storytelling. At 133 minutes “Ghost Protocol” is an unnecessary behemoth, a baggy endeavour which sags more often than it should.

As pure soda swilling, popcorn munching confection “Ghost Protocol” is fine. It has been assembled professionally, delivering enough literal bang for your buck. However, what allowed “Mission Impossible 3” to surpass its predecessors (and now its immediate sequel) was the heightened emphasis on enjoyably tight plotting and the importance of a genuinely nasty villain, two things which “Ghost Protocol” overlooks too often. It’s an adequate blockbuster, but truth be told not much more.

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originally posted: 12/29/11 11:22:20
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User Comments

8/28/13 Jeff Wilder Definitely the best in the series so far. 4 stars
1/27/13 the truth paula patton. 'nuff said. and more famous cruise sprinting (even up skyscrapers)! awesome 5 stars
5/06/12 The Taitor Started good, the middle was decent but the ending was over the top, not better than #2or3 3 stars
4/14/12 action movie fanb very good action and story james bond like film 5 stars
4/01/12 sdxf Solid and entertaining 4 stars
3/09/12 G Scott Strangely boring for so much action, but looks gorgeous in IMAX 3 stars
1/24/12 Devin Sabas great action a must see in imax if you can 5 stars
1/13/12 Donald Hallett good action flick acting could have been better 3 stars
1/13/12 Isaac What a phenomenal action film. Brad Bird is a true auteur. 5 stars
1/07/12 mr.mike Best action film in 5 years. 5 stars
1/01/12 Koitus I liked it. Could have used more gun-play, though. Beautiful women & cars! 3 stars
12/30/11 R.W. Welch Floorboard actioner, but overlong and a shade gimmicky. B- 4 stars
12/30/11 SREEKIRAN MURALIDHARAN breathtaking stunts and excellent presentation 4 stars
12/27/11 KingNeutron Great action movie - Cruise redeemed himself with this one 4 stars
12/25/11 Flipsider Contains some incredible action sequences! Fantastic!!! 5 stars
12/22/11 davofern A white knuckle ride for most of the movie 4 stars
12/21/11 Stacie Clark not so great :( 2 stars
12/19/11 MC Thrilling. Definitely the best action film of the year! 4 stars
12/17/11 Ming Best action film of the Year. Great skyscraper stunt scene 4 stars
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  21-Dec-2011 (PG-13)
  DVD: 17-Apr-2012

  26-Dec-2011 (12A)

  15-Dec-2011 (M)
  DVD: 17-Apr-2012

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