Director: Brad Bird.
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, And Simon Pegg.
Tom Cruise once more stars in the Mission Impossible franchise with a film that chooses action over plot.
The entertaining plot of Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol is both quite complex and full of holes.
An IMF agent gets assassinated in Budapest while attempting to intercept information destined for someone codenamed ‘Cobalt’. IMF agent, Ethan Hunt, and his team are sent to the Kremlin archives to ascertain the identity of Cobalt. The operation goes terribly awry and a bomb goes off in the Kremlin with the Russians claiming the incident was an attack of war.
The IMF team are blamed and the entire IMF department are disavowed. To add further insult to injury the IMF Secretary is killed in front of Hunt’s eyes.
Finally, a deeply undercover IMF team discover the identity of Cobalt who turns out to be an insane Swedish born, Russian nuclear tactician. Armed with this information they set up to try and right a wrong and prevent what appears to be the eminent threat of an all-out nuclear war.
‘ many of the film’s set pieces reveal their implausibility.’
In order to fully enjoy Ghost Protocol, the thinking cap must be left behind. For with it on, many of the film’s set pieces reveal their implausibility. This is especially typified with several sequences none better than when a balloon conveniently finds its way to the exact spot appearing to be guided by little more than the wind.
This is somewhat disappointing since the transition the action genre in the film industry undertook with the introduction of the Jason Bourne films. This progress has meant that many action films have very solid realism underpinning them. Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol seems to have left all this progress behind. Instead we are treated to an action spectacle in which the plot only exists to further the action.
‘the visual experience of the film is its strongest attribute.’
Where the film excels at is giving the viewer a visceral experience. You are placed at the heart of the action. Shot on high-quality film and devoid of the sometimes unwelcome intrusion of 3-D, the film has some rather imaginative sequences that have never been presented on cinema screens in such fashion. With high-octane car chases and powerful sandstorms – the visual experience of the film is its strongest attribute.
Where Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol becomes a let-down is with its plot which is another tired nuclear threat romp. Surely there are easier ways to herald Armageddon than attempting to outwit major nations? There must be more imaginative ways for the meglomaniacally insane to bring about their vision.
Plot and script-issues aside, the film renders some fine acting from some of its cast.
Tom Cruise delivers a good performance as Ethan Hunt. Always a solid actor, Cruise supplements his performance with some impressive stunt work. No more so than hurling himself out the window of the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, in the desert of Dubai.
‘the script is highly predictably and the lines uttered by Dunn are also well covered by other films.’
Simon Pegg delivers a satisfactory performance as the mild-mannered, Benji Dunn. An under-experienced, somewhat nervous field agent, Dunn is supposed to provide comic relief amid the action sequences. The problem, which is not Pegg’s fault, is that the script is highly predictably and the lines uttered by Dunn are also well covered by other films. As it is, Pegg delivers a competent implementation of his character.
Jeremy Renner is disappointing as the analyst William Brandt. He is perfectly fine for much of the film but when tasked with delivering an emotion-laden scene he falls far short of the expected mark and remains unconvincing.
Vladimir Mashkov gives a good performance as the rather likeable Russian agent, Anatoly Sidorov. Always a little bit late to arrive on the scene he provides a wonderful comic foil amid the action sequences and affords the perfect opportunity for Tom Cruise’s hunt to express some wry comedy.
Whether or not you will like Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol will come down to one thing. If you can ignore the flaws in the plot then this film is for you. Full of marvellous action sequences and expensive special effects it is a visual treat. Just leave that thinking cap off before you sit down to watch it.