Franchises these days tend to be squeezed to their last drops, a lot of people blame this on either the studio’s greediness or a lack of creativity and courage to try and create a new concept and new characters to love. This is Mission Impossible’s fourth run at the silver screen, and while it has never been hailed as the most influential or thoughtful film, it is known for the great blend of action, suspense and just enough effort to make it seem legit (something infamously missing from Michael Bay flicks).
So does Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol deliver once again? Or has the amount of volumes in the series left us with a washed out version of the franchise?
Initially they were tossing up between ditching the ‘Mission: Impossible’ part of the title, its pretty obvious even in the way that they’ve styled the poster that they wanted to depart from the name. Personally, I think they should’ve just called it what it is: Tom Cruise doing awesome things, getting really beat up and saving the world.
The movie is like every male’s wet dream (not that type, the other type), being the stoic, strong hero who takes a beating, gets back up, and can coolly and calmly deal with insane situations that would make anyone else have a heart attack. Oh, and then there’s Jane Carter (Paula Patton).
Patton is just about the most gorgeous woman in the world, who can also kick some serious ass. She’s Mission: Impossible’s version of a Bond girl, but without the patriarchal values and with more combat skills. And, just in case you didn’t get it before, she is a looker. So I guess that just adds another reason for testosterone-fuelled individuals to watch this movie.
As we have come to expect from Mission: Impossible movies, there are some crazy stunts and some truly amazing scenes. One of the scenes from the movie is probably one of my favourite action, stunt scenes. And the fact that Tom Cruise did it without a stunt double (although plenty of wires) makes me have some extra respect for him. Or just some respect, since there wasn’t really much of a foundation to start with.
However, despite some awesome action sequences, I wasn’t that blown away. The fight scenes were average, the story was quite simple and there were a couple of plot holes here and there that a sarcastic person such as myself picked up. It definitely beats a Michael Bay movie, but not by a comfortable enough margin in my opinion. There was no interest in the storyline, nothing drew you in overall, just in scenes.
You don’t care a whole bunch for the characters, there is some backstory and a little depth but not enough to really drive it. The only character I really cared about was Benji (Simon Pegg). Pegg revitalized the movie a little and gave it another dimension, with his rambling comedy, and I doubt I would have enjoyed the film if it wasn’t for him. His timing is excellent, and he had great comedic chemistry with Brandt (Jeremy Renner).
In the two most suspenseful scenes in the movie, Pegg manages to make you laugh, which gives you this great sense of relief as the suspense cools off. Including him in the cast is a great move on the behalf of the franchise, it stops it getting dry and boring.
However, I wasn’t really expecting any of these things anyway. It’s a movie you see when you want to switch off, suspend your disbelief and have some fun. And that is more than okay.
The one glaring thing for me was the final scene. It feels so forced and has little to no purpose, and I wish that they hadn’t included it – even if it then left loose ends. It is just terribly awkward and elicited many a grimace.
If there is one thing that you can’t fault this movie on, it’s the graphics. The movie is partially shot with an IMAX camera, at director Brad Bird’s insistence. This provides a higher quality image, and in some scenes this pays off a lot. In one particular scene on the outside of an extremely tall building, you can almost feel the wind on your face as the camera pans down the side of the building. There is a lot more of a tactile feel visually than is usually experienced in 3D movies.
Apart from the superior equipment and style of filming, the shoot locations are also quite beautiful. They utilize the environments to the best of their ability, and the cinematography is quite excellent. Visually, it is amazing, so it is quite easy to glaze over the lackluster story line.
The soundtrack for the movie is what you’d expect from an action film, the whole sweeping, massive sound with the Mission: Impossible theme pops up a few times. The music, in itself, is good, however I have to say my favourite part in terms of sound is when there was no music and the tension was incredibly thick in the air. You’d be surprised how tense you get just from the sound of fabric brushing against each other. In that instance, the music playing gave you an out so that you could start to breathe again.
However, and yes I will bring this up again, the last scene was less than desirable. To accompany the forced dialogue, was heavy handed emotional music that just highlighted the jarring nature of the scene, both in terms of the chemistry between the actors, as well as the contrast between that scene and the rest of the movie.
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol gives you what you expect. It’s a action-packed flick with awesome stunts, great graphics, and the general Mission: Impossible theme. The plot has been spread thin over the movie and remains plainly simple. There is very little intrigue beyond the scene’s inherent suspense, so don’t concern yourself too much with paying long term attention.
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol delivers what is expected of it, and nothing more really. The highlight of the movie is Simon Pegg’s performance, and that’s mostly because it is so different from the rest of the film. It’s fun, explosive, and a perfect film to zone out to.