Studio: Paramount Pictures (133 mins)
Plot: The IMF is shut down when it's implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organization's name.
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg
Bottom Line: ***
By Jonathan McMillan
In recent years the James Bond franchise was rebooted, making it more contemporary. And for the better part of the last decade, Jason Bourne has pretty much dominated the spy movie genre with Hollywood’s rendition of The Bourne Trilogy.
“Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” the fourth installment in the Mission Impossible saga, was rumored to be a reboot due to the feeling from critics that the “franchise is played out and its star over-exposed” after “Mission Impossible III” was released.
Well, Tom Cruise is back as not only the star, but also a producer along with J.J. Abrams who also directed the last installment. With that being said, not much is different about "Ghost Protocol" (which obviously not a reboot) from the three previous films.
What it is, however, is a convincing testament to the capabilities of IMAX technology to capture breathtakingly beautiful landscapes and adrenaline pumping action sequences. Thankfully both director, Brad Bird (The Incredibles) and cinematographer Robert Elswit showcase how IMAX is a serious rival to the over-saturation of 3D movies that have flooded theaters in recent years.
As with any successful spy film, the script toes a fine line between being too complex and intricate for audiences to follow, and too simple and superficial to adequately motivate viewers into committing their time and money.
In this case Ethan Hunt (Cruise), and the entire Impossible Mission Force, have been disavowed by the US Government for alleged terrorists acts against the Russians. It is up to Hunt and his team to prove their innocence, while simultaneously saving the world from a mad man bent on starting a nuclear war.
Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) plays as IMF analyst who gets accidentally gets involved in the mayhem. Rounding out the team, is Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn, the teams technical analyst, a role he reprises from the last “Mission: Impossible III.” And although Ving Rhames has been mentioned as being the only other actor other than Cruise who has been in all four "Impossible" movies, I was very disappointed that he only has a minuscule cameo about the same length of Josh Holloway's (Lost) brief role.
Overall, “Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol” plays to its strengths; action, action and more action, but I cannot understate how much the IMAX experience really enhances the viewers immersion into the film. Not only visually, but the sounds of the film come across as another character.
If you're already a fan of Mission: Impossible franchise, go see this installment which is up to par with the others (and the other aforementioned action/spy movies). If you aren't however, don't be afraid to venture out and be amazed at the technology that elevates this movie to being the most memorable out of the Mission: Impossible movies.
This was printed in the January 1, 2012 - January 14, 2012 Edition