MISSION ACCOMPLISHED BRAD BIRD… FOR THE MOST PART
J.J. Abrams‘ Mission Impossible 3 is by far my favorite in the series but I had high hopes that Ghost Protocol would raise the bar even higher for the franchise. The truth is, this new installment does raises the bar on multiple levels but it also falls short in a pretty major way…
When Ethan Hunt says ‘Light the fuse’ and we are treated to a gorgeous opening sequence. I was thrilled. Brad Bird is an amazing director and you can tell immediately that he is right at home in a live action world. From there we get tons of awesome action sequences and stunts that make this series great. The entire sequence in Dubai is absolutely remarkable and especially brilliant on the IMAX screen. When Ethan steps out to scale a giant skyscraper, you definitely feel like you’re over 100 stories in the air. It’s pretty cool.
And then to follow it up with a sweet car chase in the middle of a vicious sand storm? Not too mention a great prison escape in the opening act. Well done Mr. Bird.
The rest of the film is full of action and a couple twists I highly enjoyed. Everyone on Hunt’s team fits in although I did miss Luther’s humor. Thankfully, the film more than makes up it with Simon Pegg’s Benji who is in fine form once again here. The big addition to the franchise is Jeremy Renner. I thought they did an amazing job incorporating him into the story and making his character more than just a member of the team.
What I really loved about Ghost Protocol were the constant glitches in the team’s plan. Literally, nothing goes right and they are constantly forced to improvise with the threat of nuclear war imminent. In the past, Ethan would outline an impossible stunt involving an aerial leap of some kind and then we would watch it play out. That worked in the previous 3 films but this time they are out of their element with no support. It makes sense that their plans would be flawed. I thought it was a great way to introduce the different stunts.
GREAT ACTION. GREAT LAUGHS… BUT…
What I did NOT love about the film was the villain. Part 3 brought us Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s brilliant Owen Davian. Mr. Davian was ruthless and his battle with Ethan Hunt was as personal as it gets.
‘What’s his name?’ from this new movie is barely involved in the film. He rarely speaks and is disconnected from the tale. While his plot to start a war between the U.S and Russia is believable, movies like this are only as strong as the villain. That is where Ghost Protocol fell short for me.
Perhaps I put too much pressure on the film to surpass moments when Davian screamed;
“You don’t think I’ll do it?!”
There is nothing like that in M:I4. Nothing except a random middle aged man with superior fighting skills and ONE henchman who has little to do. It’s sad but it doesn’t completely break the movie. I just think it would have been better if I cared about the villain instead of trying to remember what his name was. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is a worthy addition to the franchise and a fun action movie. It rarely slows down and looks gorgeous on the big screen.