Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol (2011) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol (2011)

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One thing that always annoys me is how some can be dismissive of genre movies and have to qualify it as a good movie, but only in that genre.  A good sci-fi movie might be that but it is also just a good MOVIE.  I bring this up because I want to say that Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol isn’t just the best Mission: Impossible movie in the series, it isn’t just a really good action film, it's an undeniably good film PERIOD.

While watching the film I thought to myself many times, “that is how you direct a scene.” This makes a good action film, but what set the stakes even higher than that were the filmmaker's ability to make the audience care about the characters.

Like the other Mission: Impossible films the plot is a melting pot of McGuffins, shadowy organizations and a lot of people peeling masks from their faces.  This particular film revolves around Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist), a mad man who is in control of Russian Nuclear codes that he plans to use against America.  He is not doing this for money or power but because he is insane and believes the world will emerge stronger from near total destruction.

When Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team try to stop him at the Kremlin, Hendricks and his team successfully get away and pin a horrific bombing of the Kremlin on Hunt and the IMF.  Disavowed by his own country and hunted by the Russians, the Impossible Mission Force are on their own to stop nuclear war.

This scene gave me a bit of vertigo

This movie was walking a tightrope from the very beginning and the producers were very gutsy with some of their choices, the first one being the hiring of director Brad Bird.  Bird is a wonderful writer/director who had made the animated gems The Iron Giant and The Incredibles had never made a live action film before and could not rely on the director’s name to sell tickets.

This would not been a concern 10 years ago when Mission: Impossible 2 was released and Tom Cruise was the biggest star in the world.  The last few years has not been as kind to Cruise and he has seen his star power take a severe hit and the highly enjoyable Mission: Impossible III had underperformed with just Cruise being a draw.  To say that this movie had the chance to crash and burn is an understatement.  With a star in a freefall, a first time action director and a script from a team that had only done TV, the film was taking big risk after big risk.

All the risks paid off because Tom Cruise again shows why he is so good in these roles, the script kept the action moving without insulting the intelligence of the audience and Brad Bird shook off the title of animated director and because an all around great director.  This movie was shot out of a canon and never stopped moving from beginning to end.  Like I stated earlier, I watched much of the film with a silly grin on my face because I was seeing a perfect realization of what an action movie could be.

If there are explosions, it must be a Ryan movie.

The centerpiece skyscraper scene actually gave me a bit of vertigo and couldn’t relax until they were out of that building it was done so well.  Yet, that wasn’t the only great scene in the film.  I also really enjoyed the Kremlin break-in, the dust storm scene and the climatic battle in the automated parking garage.  Yes, these scenes were great and it would have made a great action film, but the characters and the chemistry is what made it an all around great film.

For the first time, I felt like the film was a team-based movie fully using the IMF agents instead of it being “Ethan Hunt: Superagent”.  The gadgets were fun and the use of them made sense in the story and his team was there for more than just backup.

I was really impressed with Paula Patton in the film.  This actress had been in films I had seen before but never made an impression on me before.  With her role as Jane, she was not just a pretty face and a crucial part of the team.

Another surprising performance was Jeremy Renner.  Most known for darker, heavier roles, Hollywood has really been pushing for him to be a new action star.  In the next year, he will have a big role in The Avengers and take over for Matt Damon in the Bourne series and this was his first test, could he be a commanding presence?  The answer is yes, he can.  While he might have had a heavier subplot, most of his role was built on looking good kicking ass and being charismatic and he did both with no problems, I don’t see him having any problems with attaining stardom in 2012.

Jeremy Renner- Sexy Spy

Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol follows Fast Five as action movies in 2011 that surpassed any other films in the series and are just so much damn fun.  While I love Fast Five, I must admit that M:I 4 is a better film with no down moments.  This movie might usher in a renaissance for Tom Cruise help Renner jump up a notch on the Hollywood ladder and usher in a new action/big budget director that is as good as moviegoers would hope.

I left the film saying to my father who has seen most action movies with me made in the last 20 years that it was a hell of an action film with which he quickly agreed.  If a film can meet both of our approvals that soon after the end of the film, it is just a great action film, it must be a superb film overall.

Posted by Ryan

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