The movie world over the last few years has seen its fair share of action movies that have starred the movie legend Tom Cruise. One of the more popular movies that has become a Hollywood staple is the Mission Impossible franchise.
This time the directing reigns are handed over from J.J. Abrams, to live action new boy Brad Bird, who directed movies like The Incredibles and The Iron Giant. The cast sees the addition of Jeremy Renner (The Town, The Hurt Locker, The Avengers) and Paula Patton (Deja Vu) to the returning cast of Tom Cruise (Top Gun, War of the Worlds, Minority Report), Ethan Hunt, and Simon Pegg (Paul, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) as the newly promoted agent Benji Dunn.
As action movie plots go, this one follows a very standard idea in which the world needs saving from a terrorist who has managed to acquire some nuclear weapons and their counterpart launch codes. What isn’t so much a very standard idea is the way that Bird goes about pulling this movie off.
To begin with, we find that the IMF (Impossible Mission Force) has messed up an operation losing a high value document to the enemy. At the same time, former agent Hunt is locked away in a Russian prison. Cue the breakout sequence and explanation of why Hunt was in prison over the next 2 hours or so and add in a few explosions to get your action movie foundations. Beyond this, it is very difficult to describe the rest of the movie plot details and not give away key points of information of how the movie will play out.
Throughout the movie, you can tell that Bird is used to being limited by the real world as he likes to see his ideas come to life on the screen exactly as you would see them in your imagination. This can, at times with things like gadgets, feel a little unreal as what you get on screen is something that captures your imagination and looks to take your breath away.
There is no finer example of this than the Dubai sequence in which we see Tom Cruise himself perform a jaw dropping sequence which is shot using an IMAX camera. Here, Cruise climbs out of the window of the 136th floor at the Burj Khalifa to scale the building and enter a server room from the outside without the use of ropes or harnesses (although in real life I imagine this to be false). Yet, this is not the end of the sequence, as within the background you can see an oncoming sandstorm which will hit the hotel within the hour and throughout the sequence we are reminded by Renner’s character of the imminent timescales for this plan to work.
Moving away from the look of the movie, the acting has a very much more comical feel to it as the movie adopts more of a team dynamic than the previous three movies, in which it has been Ethan Hunt vs. the world. This new dynamic mainly comes from the light humour that Pegg brings to the movie, offering very simple comments about their situation, or how simple (and incredibly technical) things can be. For example, we see Renner’s character being asked to don a set of chainmail, jump 25 ft down a computer ventilation shaft, “hope” that the magnetic rover will stop him from falling into the high speed fan, and then have Pegg levitate Renner through the increasingly warm server room.
Ghost Protocol is an enjoyable movie, but it is also a very easily forgettable movie at the same time. Tom Cruise is now beginning to look more like his age within this movie, and the movie as a whole feels very much like three very cool chapters of an action script glued together to create a movie that follows a set idea with some form of plot added in for good measure.
As a whole, Ghost Protocol is very easily watchable by any audience looking for a good movie to enjoy. Just don’t expect to walk out of the movie theatre with anything more than your left over popcorn, drinks, and perhaps an IMAX image or two from the movie.