I’ve always enjoyed the Mission Impossible movies. No franchise does a better job of making you hide behind corners and roll behind bushes with a finger gun while humming the spy tune. Alone of course. Mission Impossible does a great job of making you want to be a spy. It seems cool. You get to bungie off of buildings, kiss pretty girls, infiltrate parties and wear cool disguises. It’s what we go to the movies for. GHOST PROTOCOL, the fourth entry in the franchise, does this very well and gives us one of the best Summer action movies in the Winter.
In this entry of the franchise, and possibly Tom Cruise’s last, the IMF has been shut down by the President and Ethan Hunt and his team of two (newcomer Paula Patton and Simon Pegg) are now rogue agents trying to stop a madman from setting off a nuclear war. With them is Jeremy Renner’s character who must work with them, and with him comes secrets. His character works well in this movie and by the time it’s over you can sense that Tom Cruise is handing off the reins to Renner. I’m not sure how future Mission Impossible movies will be without Cruise, but Renner proves himself worthy of a chance to take the lead with his performance in GHOST PROTOCOL.
Paula Patton does a good job in this film and she somehow gets sexier as the film progresses. She’s a woman who can kick your ass and that’s hot when you see it on screen. Simon Pegg’s character returns and he does a solid job as well. His character has now passed the field test so he’s no longer bound to computer behind a desk, and seeing him in the field is fun to watch as he provides some funny moments to give us a quick breather from the action.
Each Mission Impossible has a different feel to it. The first was a more spy thriller that introduced us to the characters. The second was a straight up action piece that many disliked, but was really enjoyable for what it was. The third was, in my opinion, the strongest entry of the franchise and gave us a strong character story dealing with Ethan Hunt and his wife, and it also gave us a villain you just absolutely despised. Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s performance in MI3 was sick. I haven’t wanted to hate a villain that much since possibly ever. He was awesome. GHOST PROTOCOL was more of a mix between MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2 and 3.
Brad Bird did a fantastic job dealing out the action in this one and dishing the characters’ story just enough to keep them interesting. Referencing Ethan Hunt’s wife at times throughout the film was a good choice, and the end of this film really pulls it all together well. Too often in these action franchises one movie will give us a happily ever after ending, only to have the next one pretend it never happened and we see the lead with a new hot squeeze. I like that the story uses Ethan Hunt’s relationship with his wife from J. J. Abram’s story from MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3 to continue the humanization of Ethan Hunt in this film.
Overall this movie is a fun ride you don’t want to miss with a good ending to cap it off. My only regret is that I didn’t see it in IMAX. Some scenes, the Dubia scene specifically, would have just blown my mind in IMAX. This is another strong Tom Cruise action flick and proves he’s still got it. You’d be nitpicking to really find something you didn’t like about this movie.
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol gets a 4 out of 5.