|A successful transition|
An explosion in the kremlin, people hanging off tall buildings and a car chase in the middle of a sand storm, that’s what Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is all about: intense and incredible action sequences. Brad Bird’s almost poetic approach to these scenes and the amazing choreography is what makes them work so well, it also helps that the story itself is more than an excuse to get to these moments, it’s actually a fantastic thriller that while it can get pretty ludicrous at times, it never stops being fun.
Every Mission: Impossible movie has a movie-defining sequence, whether it’s Tom Cruise’s character Ethan Hunt hanging from a cable dangerously close to a pressure-sensitive floor in the first one or a slow-motion mid-air shoot out after jumping out of a motorcycle in M:I 2. It’s hard to choose a best one from all the incredible action sequences in Ghost Protocol, but the most memorable sees Cruise hanging on the side of the world’s tallest building in Dubai, which is absolutely one of the most impressive and exciting scenes in modern action cinema and it’s all the more impressive knowing that it was done with little CGI and without stunt doubles. This scene kept me at the edge of my seat; I can’t express well enough just how incredible it is.
And that’s the thing that makes this film great, even though there are a lot of special effects, there are also many realistic stunts that are way more creative and exciting than most of the stuff we usually see in movies right now. They never give in to the chaotic, 1-second cuts style popularized by Michael Bay and Jason Statham. Everything is wonderfully choreographed, photographed and edited which makes them understandable and truly exciting.
That’s not to say that the film is entirely realistic, there are some truly ridiculous things in it, the prime example being a robot-controlled floating suit. But they are done so casually that it works, most of them are very funny too and yet they never lose the high tension that the film carries all the way through its 135 minute running time.
At times, the movie feels like a combination of all the best elements from the previous three films, but director Brad Bird makes it much more than that. The way he frames every shot and builds up every moment takes it to highs the series has never been even close to reach and the script by Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemic that sees the proceedings getting more and more complicated in ways the viewer never expects is, while not unique in the genre, one of the most inventive.
Of the newly added elements to the series, Jeremy Renner who plays former agent-turned analyst Brandt is the best of them. He adds a level of charisma to the character that even Cruise with all his enthusiasm fails to reach. That’s not saying Cruise is not good in the role though, in fact he is pretty effective and believable in his stunts, he still has the physicality and charm to play the lead character a movie like this needs. The rest of the cast also get their own chance to shine, Simon Pegg is the funny man and gets all the best lines and some hilarious moments. Meanwhile Paula Patton, while not great in the more emotional scenes does a pretty good job in her role.
The only thing Ghost Protocol lacks is an engaging villain, which sometimes is a necessity in a film like this, but that doesn’t make it any less of an exciting action thriller. Brad Bird’s first live action movie is certainly the best in the series and one of the best action movies in the last few years. Let’s hope that whatever the future holds for this series, which usually sees directors changing from film to film, lives up to what Bird’s excellent installment.
Here's What You Missed: Mission Impossible
Here's a recap of the first three Mission Impossible movies, if you choose to accept it.
Trailer 3: Mission Impossible: Ghost Impossible
Renner! Cruise! Dubai! Catch the fever!
Trailer: Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol
Brad Bird's live-action directorial debut looks...pretty damn cool, actually.
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