"Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
I'm sure fans and moviegoers would agree with the statement that the Mission: Impossible franchise truly started with the fourth film in the series, "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol". While the first three films gave a sort of basis for what the films would be, it wasn't until Brad Bird's 2011 film that they started to figure out what this franchise was missing and how to turn it into a global superpower. The film is action-packed, beautifully-shot, has a greatly written story, and shows what the true definition of a spy thriller should be.
It has been around five years since audiences have seen Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) after the events of "Mission: Impossible III", where we last saw him riding off into the sunset with his wife, Julia (Michelle Monaghan). However, now Ethan is in a Moscow prison, killing numerous Serbian soldiers as revenge on the hit of a loved one. Breaking him out, the IMF, who sent him a team consisting of Jane Carter (Paula Patton), Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), and William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), the agency hopes he can lead the new band of agents to pull of a top secret mission.
The mission, if they choose to accept it, is to infiltrate the Kremlin to find information on a nuclear launch code buyer, who is nicknamed "Cobalt". However, they play into the enemy's hands, barely escaping the explosion set off at the Kremlin. Now disavowed by the IMF when it is believed they are the ones who set the attack on the Kremlin, the whole team must go off the grid, hoping they can stop Cobalt and his team from attacking another major monument and killing millions.
Paramount waited five years to release another "Mission: Impossible" film, which I'm sure was to air out all the differences between the studio and Tom Cruise, as well as trying to find a way to get the franchise back on track. Thankfully, this was definitely the right choice because this is easily the best "Mission: Impossible" film they have released at the time it came out. Almost everything about it was perfectly-done, and gave the audiences exactly what they were looking for when it comes to a film like this.
Personally, one of my favorite aspects of this movie is making it a team-up movie, forcing a team who are sort of at odds with one another to work together to stop global annihilation. Because of that, we receive a lot of team action throughout the movie, which is both awesome to watch and hilarious at the same time. Consider the scene where Benji and Ethan have to make an apparition in the hallway to pass safely. This is Benji's first time in the field, and he is awkward and rough around the edges. Because of this, Ethan gets considerably frustrated with Benji, forcing him to try and complete the task himself. Their on-screen chemistry is hilarious and the whole scene is just very well-done.
I mentioned in my review for the third entry in this series that the movie seems too much like an action film rather than a spy thriller, and this movie is able to expertly combine both. We have greta action sequences and stuns, such as when Ethan is forced to scale Burj Khalifa, a giant skyscraper, by just using electronically sticky gloves and shoes; this is easily one of the most famous and badass stunts Tom Cruise has ever done. Then, we also get a fantastic spy thriller story that keeps audiences guessing and on the edge of their seat throughout the entire runtime. Bird knew how to make a film like this, and I'm genuinely glad we are able to see him take on this movie.
However, there are some minor flaws present in terms of the story and characters. A major glaring absence from this movie is Ving Rhames' beloved character, Luther. He has appeared in the first three films, and only appears as a brief cameo here. When watching through the films that come after this one, it is obvious Luther could have Mae a valuable asset to this film, and it's unfortunate we don't get to see him team up with Ethan and this new team in this installment. Also, at the same time, the movie's plot feels a little unnecessarily convoluted and complicated at times, forcing many viewers to sort of muddle their way through the plot until they can fully understand what is going on towards the end of the movie. This was a problem they had in the first film as well, and I think they could have benefited from the making the plot a tad simpler.
Overall, this movie is pretty much what made the series successful, showing the world what these movies could easily become. Tom Cruise and Brad Bird really give it their all, and show how a successful spy thriller should be made. While the first three movies sort of gave this series the start they needed to get to this point, this installment is what really made the franchise successful, spawning great sequels that will just continue to prove this is a successful and fun franchise.