Posted on 8/30/12 03:51 PM
Ghost Protocol is not the kind of movie that spends much time on set up. Nor does it go to any great lengths to develop the characters, or the plot, which is really just an excuse for the action scenes. And the heroes of this movie regularly take actions so dangerous, so risky, so insane as to make James Bond look like a realistic treatment of intelligence work. And that's what makes it so much fun.
Barely has the film started when the first of many punches is thrown. And from there it's a practically nonstop series of shoot-outs, chases, explosions, and narrow escapes. Because the whole point of a movie like this is to get the adrenaline pumping and keep the action coming. You know you you're not coming to see mind bending storytelling, Oscar worthy dramatic performances, or deep meditations on the state of international politics or the morality of espionage. You've come to see the big dumb action movie at its very finest, with lots of high tech gadgets and exotic locales thrown in.
And Ghost Protocol delivers. Not only is the action nearly constant, but it's as perfectly choreographed and photographed as anything coming out of Hollywood these days. The scene in which Cruise climbs the Burg Kalif in Dubai is absolutely stunning, and even more impressive for the fact that it was done on location, with no green screen. And speaking of impressive, the sandstorm sequence is incredible. I don't know how they created such conditions, or how they could possibly shoot under them. The action is also varied enough to keep things fresh, alternating heart pounding shootouts and chases with tense rendezvous and infiltrations.
Of course this can be said for a lot of action movies of late. What separates Ghost Protocol from the works of certain other directors *coughMichelBaycough* is that even though the plot is secondary, there's still enough of one that we usually know and care why this building is blowing up or this person is impersonating that one. And even though no real spy would ever do the things that Ethan and his companions do, their actions make sense within the context of the film. If real world spies had the kind of tech and combat training that Impossible Missions did, and if they'd been disavowed and cut off from all support, who knows, maybe they'd act this way to.
Plus there's real acting. Tom Cruise may not be the most versatile actor, but he knows this role, and he makes one hell of a spy. Jeremy Renner also gives an interesting and fairly complex performance as Agent Brant, an analyst who may know more than he's letting on. And Simon Pegg (best known for his independent comedies) adds some excellent comic relief as Benji, the team's techie. This leads to another strong point, which is that Ghost Protocol never takes itself too seriously. It finds ways to slip humor into even the most serious scenes, whether by playing up the characters' idiosyncrasies or adding a little bit of slapstick to the fight. And then there are scenes like the seduction of the Indian telecom mogul, which are outright hilarious.
Bottom line, Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol is a fun movie. It's got action, adventure, suspense, and a fair amount of laughs. The acting is good, the scenery gorgeous, and the thrills nonstop. If you want excitement and entertainment, look no further.