Sunday, December 25, 2011

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

No fourth installment of a movie franchise ever arrives without the question, "Why does this exist?" So it is with Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol; can Tom Cruise really need a hit this much? Cruise is a producer of Ghost Protocol as well as his upcoming One Shot, based on the Lee Child novel. He has become the Oprah of movie stars, increasingly unwilling to present himself in a way he doesn't control. That aside, what's on screen in Ghost Protocol is mostly good fun. I'm not sure why Oscar-winning animation director Brad Bird was brought on board, but he adds just enough; there's a chase through a sandstorm that's all movement and muted colors, and a sense of not taking things too seriously that helps the plot go down smoothly. I judge movies like Ghost Protocol in part by how silly their villains' objectives are, and here a rogue Russian physicist (Michael Nyqvist) wants to set off a nuclear war in the hopes that afterwards human society will just start over. (Nuclear war as cleansing agent is second only to harnessing the power of the sun on my list of favorite crazy action movie plots.) Ghost Protocol turns into a race, as Cruise's Ethan Hunt and his team globe-trot  through Russia, Dubai, and India in pursuit of stolen launch codes. Paula Patton and especially Simon Pegg provide able support, and the presence of Jeremy Renner as a former IMF agent with a link to Hunt adds some welcome gravity as the movie stops to consider the costs of living an agent's life. It's telling how close the movie gets to a passing-the-torch moment between Hunt and Renner's Agent Brandt before stepping around it; Cruise is keeping this franchise in his back pocket.

When Robert Towne was brought on board (after numerous failed scripts by others) to write the second Mission: Impossible, he was presented with action sequences already worked out by director John Woo and instructed to write a script that connected them. I don't know if the same task was presented to Ghost Protocol writers Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec, but the big action set pieces here are ingenious and have a welcome dash of comedy. A bit involving the use of a projection screen inside the Kremlin is a little long, but the scene involving Hunt on the side of a Dubai skyscraper is superb. The recurring theme of the IMF not being able to rely on its technology gives the movie an almost old-fashioned feel at times, as the agents have to rely on bluster and brawn at key moments. Ghost Protocol is diverting enough to be a worthwhile holiday pleasure; it's also proof that Cruise is still canny enough to know what audiences want. That knowledge may be the greatest gift that our favorite Scientologist receives this Christmas.

8 comments:

Amir said...

"He has become the Oprah of movie stars, increasingly unwilling to present himself in a way he doesn't control."

Very true! Do you think it's because he lost control of his image so badly after the couch incident and scientology rants that he's trying to over-compensate for it?
I've never been much of a Cruise fan but weirdly enough the success of this film is kinda exciting to me. I wonder if he'll gain back his status as a legitimate film star after this or if it doesn't mean anything outside the MI brand.

Tom Cruise Leather Jacket said...

The first time I find you site I immediately liked this movie because it is full of thrill

flynn tron jacket said...

Hey, I just forwarded this to some friends, loving it!Interesting. Do you will have any sources where we can get some extra info?

benjamin button jacket said...

Great information and really did help. Thanks for sharing it. Have a great day!

tony stark' leather jacket said...

The post is written in a very good manner and entail many useful information. Great job.

layer cake blazer said...

Hey, I just forwarded this to some friends, loving it!Interesting. Do you will have any sources where we can get some extra info?

i robot jacket said...

I recently came across your blog and . I thought I would leave my first comment. I do not know what to say except that I have enjoyed this web. Nice web. I will keep visiting.

happy days leather jacket said...

Well,OK.I have to say,what a wonderful blog it is.thank you for your sharing so good posts in the website.I like it very much.