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Cruise, Action & Failing Gadgetry
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (DVD)
Member Name: cazkins
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (DVD)
Date: 28/07/12, updated on 28/07/12 (73 review reads)
Advantages: Lots of action and high tech geekiness, enjoyable good guy / bad guy romp that's easy to watch
Disadvantages: Nothing too new, parts of the plot are quite weak
This was directed by Brad Bird, who has worked on a few films such as The Incredibles and Ratatouille, so he has some experience in the film industry (though arguably less in the real action genre). Ghost Protocol is actually the fourth instalment in the MI series, though I don't think that having watched the prequels really makes much of a difference to how well you understand the characters / set up of this one. We're introduced to Ethan Hunt, the renowned agent issued with the almost-but-not-quite impossible task of tracking down a terrorist. Hunt needs to stop said terrorist, Hendricks, before the Russian nuclear weapons start making their way towards the USA. Someone has hold of the codes to make this destruction possible, but now that they're in the wrong hands it's a race against time to stop the mission of destruction.
Hunt finds himself with a team consisting of Benji Dunn, a techie whizz, and William Brandt, an agent and 'helper'. They track Hendricks down and use some half stupid, half genius plan to stop him at the Kremlin, but that just ends in more explosions and disaster. Their team, IMF, get a bad name after this and are 'disavowed', basically meaning they're now on their own. They should have given up and aborted the mission, but they stick together like troopers and march ahead. They then go to Dubai and all over the shop to hunt him down, all the while trying to do good by the IMF company name. The question is, can the team bring their name back up to form and stop the ultimate disaster of a nuclear launch?
I won't say any more on the premise except to say that it's very much a cat and mouse type ploy, chasing the bad guys and trying to find the codes like a wild goose chase, so to speak. In doing this, every bit of technology that they can think of is employed, and I remember seeing a few Apple and other branded products along the way.
One of the taglines for this film is, 'The mission has never been more real, more dangerous or more impossible'. I can't really comment on how this compares to previous films because even though I know I've watched at least 2 of the 3 flicks before this, if not all 3, I can't remember all that much about them. I find them to be quite samey, and so unfortunately this one didn't really stand out that much to be either. The premise for this is very simple when you break it down: 3 guys chasing some launch codes to stop a nuclear disaster. It's nothing new that hasn't been done before, and so instead the film seems to focus on fancy technology, effects and action. There were some interesting twists and elements to the storyline so it wasn't boring, in the sense that we were kept hanging on to find out what would happen next, but it didn't really strike me as being that intriguing.
The cast includes Tom Cruise (Ethan Hunt), Simon Pegg (Benji Dunn, the tech whizz), Jeremy Renner (William Brandt, agent and 'helper' for Ethan's mission), and Josh Holloway (a small part played for the deceased Trevor Hanaway) amongst others. Holloway, aka Sawyer from Lost, did only have a small role, which was a shame because quite like him, but it was still nice to see another familiar face. I wasn't convinced at first by Pegg's part in this flick but I was pleasantly surprised to find he was fairly amusing rather than not fitting in and simply being irritating. I'll admit it still seemed odd him being there, but it was a nice juxtaposition to Cruse and Renner, adding something a little lighter and more down to earth to the mix. Cruse was as I had expected pretty much, considering I'm not a huge fan. I find him watchable but nothing special, but in this he actually seemed to add to the sense of being more 'down to earth' (sorry to have to use that phrase again) that the film seemed to be trying to create an edge for. Renner was interesting to watch and I thought he was quite realistic and entertaining in his role as the guy that got caught up in something he wasn't too enthused to be doing. Hey, rather you than me!
The 'down to earth' thing refers to how the technology they used more often than not seemed to fail. We all know how temperamental tech can be so it was actually nice to see that it doesn't all work perfectly for these guys either. There some cases of futuristic technology, like the gloves that are seen on the posters for the film as Cruise sticks himself to the outside of a building whilst he climbs up it like Spiderman. It was interesting to see the different tech and their various uses, and the fact that there were so many glitches with it actually helped to make the unrealistic that bit more realistic.
There was plenty of action to keep action fans happy, but I didn't think all of the scenes packed the kind of punch they could have. Overall really, I found the film to be lacking somewhat. I also found a few elements were a bit wishy-washy, not really being clear on how people got to different places and having seemingly unexplained jumps like that can be irritating. It distracts from the reality of it, which only makes believing it and the sense of atmosphere harder to create. It also had that clichéd feel to it in parts, which again, I think I half expected what with it being MI. There are certain elements to the films that tie them together and give them a similar feel, and I'd say this film did that fairly well.
Ghost Protocol felt like a fairly well-rounded, good quality flick overall, and you could tell that a lot of time and money went in to its production. The effects, the action, the scenes and various locations and the cast all made this quite a mainstream, made-for-cinema movie (though I watched it on DVD and still enjoyed the action, just on a smaller screen and less people talking around me whilst chowing down on popcorn!).
Overall, I'd say this is a film for those that want lots of action, explosions, chases and some techie wizardry. But don't expect too much in the way of newness or awe; it was easy enough to watch and mostly entertaining, however it just had that 'could have been better' feel to it for me.
DVD released 2012, rated Certificate 12, running time 133 minutes.
Selling on Amazon for £12.97.
Summary: Nothing special, but easy to watch if you're in the mood for action (and/or Jeremy Renner)