Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching!  This disclaimer will self-destruct in 10 seconds...nah.  Or will it?  No, it won't.

Mission:  Impossible – Ghost Protocol – 4 out of 5

We’re moving right along here with the Mission:  Impossible franchise and we’re now to the fourth film:  Ghost Protocol—which, is just an awesome eff-ing name for a film.  It kinda sounds like a really cool name for a progressive metal band that deals in concept albums, deep lyrics and visceral rocking tunes…I also clearly looked way too deep into its title.  So, anyway, enough with my nonsense and let’s get on with the review.

How does Cruise get his hair so damn luxurious?

After an IMF agent is assassinated by an unknown assailant, Agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) must head to the Kremlin in order to access their archives but, during the mission, the building is absolutely obliterated and made to look like the IMF was involved.  This forces the President to enact the “Ghost Protocol,” something that completely disavows all of the IMF.  With blame sitting on their shoulders, Ethan gathers a team; Jane Carter (Paula Patton), Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and intelligent analyst William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), and they set out to clear the organization’s name and bring down the man behind the set-up.  Oh, and did I mention that this individual is also out to start a nuclear war?  Yeah, Hunt has his work cut out for him.  That’s why these missions are impossible.

Quick, activate Cruise sprinting mode!

If I were to quantify this film by placing it in an order of Favorite to Least Favorite, this one would definitely be ahead of the first two but behind the third (which, I mentioned in my review, is my favorite in the series).  Where does it stand when compared to the latest film?  Eh, I’m not telling you here because you’ll have to find that information out when I review Rogue Nation…which will be right after this review.

No looking ahead, Pegg!  (He totally reads my reviews...the fact I typed that
and secretly hope he does is pretty sad.)

One thing that kinda bummed me out about Ghost Protocol was the lack of Luther in the film.  Ving Rhames’ character is definitely one of my favorites in the films and the fun chemistry that he and Cruise have in the series is an extremely amusing characteristic that has been established since the franchise began.  Luckily, he does show up at the end to make a cameo and it is definitely a welcomed sight but it still would have been cool to see him the entire film.  Additionally, my desire to have Luther in more of the film also stems from my feeling that Simon Pegg was laying it on a bit thick and came off like he was trying too hard to be the “funny/silly” one in the group.  Don’t get me wrong, I am still a fan of the actor and I still enjoyed him in the film but there were definitely times I wanted to see him pull it back a little bit.

I know I've already said it but I love Luther!  He's so cool!

I really dug the story to this addition but, I have to say, there were definitely moments that it dragged for me.  Unlike the previous film where J. J. Abrams delivered a film that flowed extremely well and kept a great pace, this one has a moment or two where it slows down too much or feels like the brakes were put on.  Having an antagonist who isn’t shown very often in the story wasn’t helping the story either because this hurt the threat level of the film’s conflict but, when he is around, he’s pretty cool.  Still, it would have made for a stronger story if he was around more and might have added a little more importance to the story and created a greater sense of urgency.  It’s a bit strange that a film that has the threat of nuclear war hanging over the heads of the protagonists could somehow not feel too threatening or important.

Anyone else remember when he was in National Lampoon's Senior Trip?
Damn, that movie is one of my guilty pleasures.

These minor issues I had with the story aren’t helped by the fact that this one is a bit light on the action.  Granted, the first film wasn’t anywhere near as action-packed as what the franchise would end up becoming but this felt more like it was about delivering fewer action set pieces that are more extended and drawn out than what we’ve seen in other films.

Yep.  You would never, EVER, get me to do something even remotely similar
to this.

Even though the action pieces feel a lot fewer than what we saw in the last film or even the second one, this is, in no way, a disparaging remark on the action because these sequences are tight, exciting and well-executed.  Hell, the car chase and fight sequence during the sand storm and seeing Ethan climb the building Dubai is absolutely bananas and easily worth the price of admission for the film—or price of rental or price of streaming or price of pirating (I don’t know how you watch your movies).

ARGH!!!  This giant Pegg will devour us all!

With my minor complaints to Mission:  Impossible – Ghost Protocol, I still really enjoyed the film because the story still works with its flaws, the action is still cool as hell, it offers up some genuinely funny moments and the cast is all really, really good.  Overall, this film is just another great addition to a terrifically produced and endlessly solid franchise.

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