M:I III didn't perform quite as well as expected at the box office upon its release but is widely regarded by critics as the best of the bunch. Mr Bird: your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to do better.
This playful reference will auto-destruct in 5 seconds...
Well, mission pretty much accomplished profit-wise it seems. But how does the film fare in comparison to its predecessors?
In their own way, I've enjoyed every Mission Impossible film to date: the stylish and kinda boring one, the hilariously overblown one and... the smarter one. I'm happy to say that Ghost Protocol is no exception: this is one fun movie from start to finish and the closest the films have gotten to resembling the classic TV series since Brian De Palma's first effort. Finally, Hunt has another team to work with. No wires to cut or waxy masks but you can't have it all I guess...
The team in question, however, is hit and miss. You've got Simon Pegg as your stereotypical computer geek/comic relief character, think Marshall from Alias but not cute or really all that funny. Paula Patton brings the girl power and Jeremy Renner brings his Bourne training. It's a decent-enough team and you do end up caring about these guys but more charismatic choices could have really sealed the deal. I'm not saying bring back Jean Reno but, you know, cool people.
Nic Cage could play a computer nerd!
Ghost Protocol starts with a bang thanks to a thrilling prison break which ends with the line "light the fuse" and prompts Michael Giacchino's own version of the iconic Mission Impossible theme to kick in. It's a cunning build-up and if you can avoid comparing those opening titles to The Naked Gun ones (that piece of string gets EVERYWHERE!) it's a perfect start. Oh, and Sawyer from Lost cameos...
When I figure out why I'll keep you posted.
Alas, shit goes down which lands our team into the unknown with Tom Wilkinson's Secretary bowing out once and for all and leaving the IMF seemingly dead and buried. It'll be up to our gang of 4 to stop Michael Nyqvist's Russian extremist from starting a nuclear world war.
Think Tomorrow Never Dies if Jonathan Pryce was replaced by Vladimir Putin's ass.
The plot offers nothing new or particularly involving but the film delivers excellent action sequences regardless. The much-trailered Dubai building scene is even better than expected and I can't deny that by the time Cruise starts running around the building at a 45 degree angle I was too excited to even bite down on my popcorn. Man that whole sequence kicked ass. I miss the masks but hell, it won me over anyway.
Things start getting silly really soon after that, though. We get an unmotivated (and oddly unexpected) sand storm which engulfs the entire city The Mummy-style, a trip to India which sees Anil Kapoor's "playboy" millionaire (The Robot!) playing hide and seek with Patton's agent, a tiny remote-controlled magnet tank, a magic vest and... STILL NO MASKS!!! The action is still loads of fun but I would be lying if I said that I wasn't expecting shitloads of brain-numbing twists along the way not to mention a huge mega twist right at the end! Sadly, it all ends rather predictably.
This really is the biggest pain in my ass with this film.
You have the people behind Alias, Lost and M:I3 working on this crazy-big blockbuster and the biggest twists you choose to give us are: a) Renner's analyst was there when Hunt's wife was killed. b) Hunt's wife was never killed in the first place. And c) A dude takes off their mask to reveal... someone else we totally knew was behind it all anyway.
B to the O to the R to the I, N, G.
Seriously? No crazy mask reveals? No double agents? No time travel?
No smoke monsters?!
I'm being a bit harsh, this is one hell of an entertaining movie with some truly impressive moments and a lot of great stuff to offer but the lack of any boner-ific Earth-shattering twists or reveals in a film produced by the twist-master himself is a tad disappointing. Sure I'm happy the team members all get their own iPhones in the end but for crying out loud I was expecting Ethan Hunt to take off his mask and reveal, oh I don't know, Sawyer or something!
Picture it: They stop the missile. Pegg opens a secret door by mistake to find... the real Cruise all tied up, bald with wires going up his ass. He calls Renner to warn him. Renner notices a seam opening on fake Cruise's chin. Suddenly, he removes Hunt's mask to reveal... an ending way more freakin' awesome than whatever the hell we got!
Oh well, I think you can all gather from my complaints by now that Ghost Protocol isn't quite as good as JJ Abrams' previous effort. Don't get me wrong though, it's a really, ridiculously fun film and I had a dumbass smile on my face pretty much the entire time watching it. I was just personally expecting even more from the talent involved. It just wasn't clever or witty enough to really make me fall in love with it. That said, there are enough brilliantly silly gadgets, shots of Cruise running really fast and altogether action to keep even the most demanding critic satisfied.
Sadly not the best in the series, Ghost Protocol won't rock your world the whole way through but you won't be bored for a second and you'll find yourself leaping out of tall buildings at the drop of a hat!
Get magical battery-operated gloves first.
Seriously though, check it out.