Bottom Line: Often deserves a title similar to Worst Case Scenario: The Movie. Lots of “impossible” fun.
Directed by: Brad Bird
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise returns as Agent Ethan Hunt for this fourth cinematic outing, a mind-blowing roller coaster ride. Set in Russia and India, this entry follows the shutdown of the IMF after a bombing at the Kremlin. All that remains of the IMF are Agents Ethan Hunt, William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), and Jane Carter (Paula Patton). Without a backup plan of any kind, Hunt must serve as the team’s leader for their next mission: to track down a terrorist known as “Cobalt” (Michael Nyqvist).
The best feature this action-thriller has to offer is the ingenious suspense, which director Brad Bird lays out carefully and terrifically. In one sequence, two of our secret agents set up a holographic wall in the office of someone who could possibly work for “Cobalt”, in hopes of gaining files that will identify the terrorist. Though the only true sound we hear throughout the entire scene, which lasts for at least five minutes, is a water-dripping sound one of the agents uses as a device for distraction, the viewer’s heart races just as loudly and quickly as it does during any loud sequence. In another scene, Ethan Hunt is sent to go up multiple floors on a skyscraper by climbing its windows using special gloves. Though the reference to the lights that show how well the gloves are sticking (“Blue is glue…red is dead”) at first seems a joke, it will lurch the stomachs of acrophobes and thrill anybody else when Cruise’s character is seen going to hell in a handbasket: one of his gloves stops working, the glass seems impossible to break through, etc.
What grips a viewer into wanting to stay, even after the first puzzling five minutes, is the title sequence. After an IMF agent lights a fuse, the classic theme begins to play and the titles begin to roll in. The titles don’t roll in just any way, though. As the camera is following the fuse that is primed to explode, the titles run along the fuse. Though somewhat predictable, it is most rewarding to see the explosion at the end of the title sequence, timed perfectly with the final note of the instrumental theme.
Even having only seen the very first MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE film, I found it quite simple to understand GHOST PROTOCOL. Like the first film, it had the mentality of a spy film, but it was more of a group of spies than just a James Bond or Jason Bourne flick. The visuals, plot, and audio was thrilling like nothing anyone has ever seen before. Forgive me if I sound crazy for saying this: you’ll have the most fun in the first row of the theater.