Just when fans think they don’t want to see another Mission: Impossible movie, director Brad Bird comes along to rev up the fun and action with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. The action starts immediately when the Kremlin gets blown up and IMF operative Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) must dislocate himself from the area.
Because Hunt’s agency has been blamed for the incident, he receives the assignment to clear the organization’s name. Unlike other M:I movies where Hunt acts as a lone ranger/superman type agent, this script by Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec appears more inventive. This time, since the President has ordered “Ghost Protocol” – a complete dissemination of the agency, the team must work together. That means anyone’s action handled wrongly could have deadly consequences.
Paula Patton & Tom Cruise
Joining Hunt in this mission is a rarely seen character in M:I films, a female agent. Jane Carter (Paula Patton), who seems tough as nails and ready for any assignment, gets plenty of them in this thriller. Completing the team are Brandt (Jeremy Renner), an analyst who has to stay one step ahead of an enemy action, and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), a high–tech wizard who must come up with amazing contraptions, weapons or tools to either save the team’s butts or give them the upper hand in combat.
Tom Cruise, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner
The film swiftly moves from one scenario to another, involving everything from trying to stop the enemy launch of nuclear weapons and a phony prison break to an anxiety-ridden quarter-hour in the new (very) high hotel in Dubai. The tricky plot and scenes during this portion of the movie are fun and inventive, but when Hunt ends up running up the side of the hotel or barely hanging on from one of the windows near the top, it’s pure tension.
And what would a good M:I movie be without a mandatory car chase scene? This one comes across as quite inventive, even though it goes on for far too long, especially when the car Hunt is driving – and Kurt Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist) is following – becomes involved in a snarl of revolving floor paddles as the two agents tussle over a suitcase with the codes that will activate the nuclear weapon.
Like all M:I plots, this one boasts new high-tech gadgets and situations that appear unlikely for Hunt to survive. Once again Cruise steps up to the plate for the stunts. Climbing the Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world at 2,716.5 feet – took some real consideration. The filmmakers hoped to create a look-alike set, but Cruise wanted to climb the real building and spent months in training. When he did his four-story free fall,” said production designer Jim Bissell, “it was pretty astonishing watching him do it.”
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol has a lot going for it in other areas as well. Filming in Los Angeles, Moscow, Prague, Dubai, Mumbai, and Vancouver, cinematographer Robert Elswit (There Will Be Blood; Good Night, and Good Luck) once again creates realism in every shot. But it’s Cruise the audience’s eyes will be on throughout the film. “He’s made to order for this kind of movie,” Bird said.
Co-star Patton summed up the film nicely in her comments about Cruise. “It’s why he’s the perfect Ethan Hunt,” she said. “He’s fearless. He lives for danger and excitement and doing the impossible, which he’s done his whole career.”
Photo Credits: David James / Paramount Pictures