MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL
( in IMAX)
Directed by: Brad Bird
Running time: 133 min.
Release date: December 16, 2011
Genre: Action/Adventure, Drama, Thriller and Adaptation
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Tom Cruise returns in the starring role as Ethan Hunt the team leader of IMPOSSIBLE MISSIONS FORCE (IMF). This franchise is based on and originated as an American CBS network television series created by Bruce Geller and starring Steven Hill, from 1966 to 1973. It returned to television for two seasons on ABC, from 1988 to 1990 retaining Peter Graves as lead agent. The lead agent(s) would receive their instructions on a recording that then self-destructs, followed by the iconic theme music composed by Lalo Schifrin.
The popular series later inspired the now celebrated theatrical motion pictures of Mission: Impossible (1996), Mission: Impossible II (2000), Mission: Impossible III (2006), and the present Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011). In a recent interview, it was revealed that Tom Cruise and director Brad Bird are returning for a fifth movie which Paramount Pictures is interested in fast-tracking due to the success of the present fourth installment.
In this installment, a terrorist bombing destroys the Kremlin while IMF agent Ethan Hunt is carrying out an undercover operation in Moscow. The Russian government categorizes the attack as an undeclared act of war, prompting the United States government to initiate a 'black operation' known as "ghost protocol", disavowing the entire IMF. Tom Wilkinson portrays the IMF Secretary from Washington D. C., and the team led by Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) consists of Jeremy Renner as William Brandt, Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn, and Paula Patton as Jane Carter. The plot also renders a revenge theme as IMF agent Jane Carter is on a personal mission to kill a female Russian assassin known as Sabine Moreau (Lea Seydoux) who killed Carter's IMF partner/lover Trevor Hanaway (Josh Holloway) in Moscow.
The film was partially shot with IMAX cameras, which made up approximately 30 minutes of the film's runtime. Director Brad Bird insisted that the film was to be shot in IMAX, as opposed to 3D, as he felt that the IMAX format offered the viewer more immersion due its brighter quality image projected on a larger screen without the need for special glasses. In my opinion, the IMAX format brings back a level of showmanship to the presentation of Hollywood films, which the industry has lost due to its emphasis on screening films in multiplexes, as opposed to grand theaters, and vetoing "first runs" in favor of wider initial releases.
The action of this movie is 'wow'. It's high-energy, big-budget, physical stunts and chases with rescues, battles, fights, escapes, destructive crisis (explosions), non-stop motion, spectacular rhythm and pacing, and adventurous scenes are all designed for pure 'eye candy' for the audience. The intense character development and interaction adds the dramatic element needed to grab the full attention of the viewer. The detective/mystery theme is unique in a spy type of story that focuses on the unsolved crime (murder and disappearances of characters). It's a hard-boiled story and it challenges the audiences appetite for adventure. The methodic pursuit of the 'bad guys' and the solution to the crimes is suspenseful. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol is a work of high cinematic artistry.
Tom Cruise and cast members trained vigorously to approach their characters. For example, the cast followed Cruise's work ethic and the desire for a realistic experience for the audience, performing many of their own stunts as well, particularly in the fight arena. The special effects and action is incredible. Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol offers up the kind of entertainment experience action fans crave. To quote Tom Cruise, "it's the epitome of what a popcorn movie is". I agree and wish to add that this film is fueled with 'pure high-octane energy' and is sure to keep your adrenaline in overdrive.
FILM RATING (A)