Wow what a week. Jack and Jill have been non stop crapping their guts out as they both are suffering from the flu. I’ve been taking care of them. What? I can be maternal. Anyway, I finally got out of the apartment for non work related crap (since Jill’s calling out, I had to cover her shifts) and I saw a movie last night. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.
Yes Ethan Hunt is back in another spy action thriller. Is it a run of the mill sequel or does it do the impossible? (i.e. bring something new to the action table.) In short, the answer is the latter. Ghost Protocol is directed by Brad Bird, director of The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and episodes of The Simpsons. Not your run of the mill action director. Though, The Incredibles certainly had good action sequences. Mr. Bird manages to bring his sense of humor to the movie and it really makes the film enjoyable.
Jackie Chan is credited as saying about his choreography (and I’m paraphrasing) “You need to have hit, hit, joke. Hit, hit, joke.” And Ghost Protocol captures this philosophy. Too many times have I gone to action movies felt very blah during the fight scenes. Sure the guy just took down twelve henchmen. But there was nothing to savor. In Transformers, you can’t even tell what’s happening during the action sequences. So I am elated to report that by and large, Ghost Protocol get’s it right. You feel the hits, the fights are fun to watch, and there is a sense of danger and stakes in all the action. This is what an action movie needs to accomplish.
Another bit of fun is some of their gadgets. We all been watching Bond films for decades. We’ve all seen the exploding pen and the BMW with missile capabilities. Without giving anything away, there are some interesting and humorous sequences driven by the IMF tech. Definitely, some things that made me think, “that’s pretty clever.”
Now, if you’ve seen any trailers or poster at all, you’ve probably seen Tom Cruise climbing Burj Dubai building. The producers and marketing are apparently very proud of it. And they should be, because this whole section of the movie is its crowning achievement. If you are looking for a reason to see this movie on IMAX (other than the BATMAN prologue) this is the reason.
The supporting cast is solid. There’s enough characterization for Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton’s characters that you care about them. And Simon Pegg is who he always is. Granted he’s been funnier in other things, but he works. Even LOST alumn Josh Holloway makes an appearance.
My minor complaints are (1) the plot is what it is. Not as complex as the first Mission: Impossible or a Nolan film. About on par with an average Bond film. No big plot twists or double crosses. Does this make the movie bad? No. Does it stop it from being memorable? Yes. And (2) the aforementioned Dubai scene is the film’s peak. After that there’s nothing as cool. So the ending is a bit of a let down. Nothing silly or stupid or feels like a cop out. Just nowhere near as cool.
The movie does what it does well. It’s fun, fast, funny, and a perfect summer action blockbuster…in December!
– Big Mack Attack