REVIEW: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Just when we all assumed that the Mission: Impossible franchise had been put on the shelf after the trilogy concluded with the third installment of the series released in 2006, the announcement of an unexpected fourth film in the series bought forth great risk but at the same time a lot of excitement and anticipation. The three previous films gave us all the explosive action and intense adventures that was required of them and have cherished the pleasure of watching them over the past 15 years. As you watch the Mission: Impossible films, what you see is what you get and as a result, Ghost Protocol is a fresh fourth instalment that sticks to the exciting and exhilarating experience of its predecessors but at the same time creates something that is almost one on its own and it could become the start of something new.

As we have previously learned from long-awaited fourth instalments in a franchise, each have added a more up-to-date outlook of the series and is perhaps pushed away and becomes one on its own. However, in the case ofMission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, it is a renovation to the series that perhaps wasn’t essentially needed but added even more excitement, popularity and positive criticism as it’s nothing that’s your typical Hollywood film. It’s just a nice and simple action film with a dialogue that’s not too complex. Plus, having altered the title from “Mission Impossible IV” to Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, it adds a difference in that sense as well as within the film as a whole. Surprisingly, Ghost Protocol actually shows that, unlike many franchises, you don’t exactly have to watch the predecessors before watching the latest installment.

For the fourth consecutive time now, Tom Cruise reprises his role as IMF agent Ethan Hunt working alongside four different directors as part of the series. However, his performance in Ghost Protocol is perhaps a rather altered change to the character as we see a more light-hearted and slightly funnier Ethan in this one than we saw in the previous films. Ethan is really not a James Bond-like spy, but due to the inventive and fictional tools and the humorous gags, Ethan’s personality is less serious but perhaps more intense to watch on-screen. Cruise is a symbol of Hollywood in the action genre and yet standing at almost 50 years old, he still has it in him to blow us all away with his exciting action adventures. After his Oscar nominated performances in Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker and Ben Affleck’s The Town, Jeremy Renner is the latest recruit in the team as he portrays the IMF technical field agent, William Brandt. After previously battling against Chris Pine and Tom Hardy for the role of Brandt, Renner goes from war, to crime and now to action and suspense and becomes a solid partner alongside Tom Cruise although Brandt was originally going to take over Ethan as the new protagonist of the franchise! Although Renner was decent enough to watch, replacing what Cruise has bought to the series here, nobody can ever live it to that or surpass it.

British actor Simon Pegg reprises his role from the third instalment as Benji Dunn, and what a splendid return it was! Pegg has frequently played these nerdy, no-mans-land characters in films such as Star Trek as Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, and was the one handling the gags and comedy that continued to keep the audience keen and managed to do so successfully. With Renner and Cruise for the action and Pegg for the comedy, Paula Patton was the easiest on the eyes as she is a typical female accomplice aiming to engage in strong chemistry with the characters and to add some spice into the film which she also successfully pulls off. After his leading role in the Swedish Millenniumtrilogy, Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist makes his first crucial Hollywood debut in the English language as antagonist Kurt Hendricks, so this could be the start of something new for him. Ving Rhames, one of two actors to have appeared in all four instalments (of course, other being Tom Cruise), makes a solid cameo appearance in this film too and made his presence known.

After receiving so much criticism when selected as director, Brad Bird has truly surprised us all and has provided us with a film that has bought something out in him that has taken far too long to see. So, who would’ve thought that Brad Bird, a director who’s directorial filmography consists of animated family films (Pixar Animation Studios films The Incredibles and Ratatouille and The Iron Giant), could have pulled off an intense and exhilarating action espionage film so amazingly? Bird has had appearance as part of the action genre like we witnessed in The Incredibles back in 2004 so you can identify familiar characteristics from that within Ghost Protocol, but going from an entirely style of filming so successfully is beyond belief! So, Bird is a completely different director here as he mixes a straightforward espionage story with intense action and on-running gags that enlightens the audience. As well as making more with Pixar, he simply must continue to blow us all away with these live-action films!

Overall, Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol became a huge surprise and is a fantastic action film that is quite possibly the best critically received film of the series, and is my personal favourite. As unnecessary as the film perhaps was to begin with before watching it, the most unexpected outcome Ghost Protocol leaves you with is that it sways you by demanding more, it expresses that the series hasn’t been put to sleep just yet and that we could be seeing a fifth film in a few years to come.

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~ by SJMJ91 on 15/05/2012.

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