Tom Cruise is coming on to 50 and the title role Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible is one which he first began 15 years ago. So you do start to wonder, can Tom Cruise possibly keep up with the pace of action roles?
Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol sees Ethan Hunt (Cruise) return to action with a new team. The IMF (Impossible Missions Force) are framed in a global bombing plot. Disavowed by the US government and branded as terrorists, they must go in to hiding whilst trying to uncover who is behind this.
The plot follows the line of usual megalomaniacs who are hell bent on destroying the world. In this respect the director, Brad Bird, accepts that it is to be expected and wastes no time in set up or much in the way of back plot for his villain. But, the attention is focused on what you would expect from a Mission: Impossible film; action and cool gadgetry.
The action is on an even bigger scale than before, parts of the film have been shot on IMAX cameras and really lends itself to capture the scope of the stunts; In particular a sequence in Dubai, where Ethan Hunt must climb up the largest tower in the world (Burj Khalifa) with modern tech – suction cups. As the camera looks down the side of the building you get a real sense of vertigo and awe, which helps to add greater tension and a new found appreciation for Tom Cruise’s cojones. Cruise still manages to maintain his action hero status. Visibly he has aged, but he is still able to pull of his action run (knees up, arms swung back and forth as much as possible) and stunts with ease. His compatriots on this mission likewise are able to hold their own; Jane (Paula Patton) is a femme fatale who is also a strong team leader, only 2nd to Ethan Hunt, whilst Brandt (Jeremy Renner) likewise is able to hold his own. What Brad Bird implants in to the IMF blueprint is that each of the agents is fully capable on their own. It is only the out of the box thinking that makes Ethan Hunt differ.
The tech is still fresh with new gadgets; such as a holographic projector capable of remapping environments to become seemingly invisible and the reinvention of the infamous, dangling from the ceiling scene, using a magnetic levitation device. The classic face mask is still ever present, but Brad Bird not letting the film take the easy way out uses it sparingly.
Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol is a success as an action film with the adrenaline rushing and the doomsday clock ticking down. Its only fault is with the generic bad guy who is trying to destroy the world; In this sense there is nothing new to take away even though it hits the right marks, plot wise it is something we have seen again and again. The plot is a 3/5 but the direction and action is a 4/5. I would recommend watching it in IMAX if possible as those extra shots are definitely worth it.
Reviewer: Dexter Kong
Rating: 12a (UK)
Release Date: 30/12/2011
Directed by: Brad Bird
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg