“We all have our secrets. Don't we, Ethan”
Director: Brad Bird
Actors: Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg & Jeremy Renner
Writer: Josh Appelbaum & Andre Nemec
I like the Mission Impossible movies, but I can’t say I go crazy for them. Maybe because there is an emphasis on Tom Cruise, instead of one on the team which MI movies should have front and centre. With the third movie there was a shift back to the team dynamic, but there was only so much that could be done with a story that focused on Tom Cruise’s character as well as his wife. Well this time we have Brad Bird stepping up to direct and he only happens to have directed The Incredibles, one of Pixar’s best movies as well as an excellent example of a team of super heroes.
Well first off it was nice to see Simon Pegg back for the sequel and actually given a fair bit to do. His character now being a field agent, he’s right in the thick of things, as well as bringing some nice comedic beats. Jeremy Renner is a welcome addition to the franchise and I hope he sticks around. Thankfully his character is given a nice arc. Paula Patton as the token female of the team is also given many things to do, as well as given some good character motivation. Finally this leads to Tom Cruise, who is still the uber spy, but this time he has to rely on his team more. The man still has his big set pieces but at least the movie duties are split, and as much as people don’t like Tom Cruise, he does suit the role of Ethan Hunt.
Action is the true heart of the mission impossible films. It’s all about the big set up, for the crazy action scenes. This movie doesn’t fail to deliver, as in a fair few scenes I was really getting into the action and even jumped out of my seat at some points. This movie revels in the action and makes sure to let audience soak in every minute. Brad Bird gives the movie such a great energetic feel; you can’t help but be drawn in. There was also a good sense of danger in the movie, with a constant feeling that the heroes were on the back foot from the beginning and not everything goes according to plan.
Probably the biggest problem with the movie would be the villains. Their plan is great, their reasons interesting, and yet they aren’t given that much movie time and are just simply there. It’s actually weird how much threat comes from the evil scheme and yet the villains are lifeless. There is a great final showdown between Ethan and Hendricks (the main villain) which gives Hendricks some bad ass points, but it’s a little late as the movie is wrapping up. Basically the movie tells us they are bad with most of their evil things happening off screen, and this breaks the rule of show don’t tell. At the end of the day however the movie still manages to tick along and works despite this flaw. I would also point out I think the fault lies with the script writer rather than the actors or director. Michael Nyqvist (Hendericks) makes the most of what he is given, while Brad Bird makes a thrilling movie despite the villains so I can only lay the blame on the script writers.
With Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol I got an excellent popcorn movie that wasn’t stupid. There was some great action that drew me, and other characters on the team were given a lot to do. Tom Cruise is still the centre of the series but this movie is probably the best in the franchise which bodes well for the direction this movie went. Sure this movie isn’t going to be award winning but it does what it does very well. Get out there and watch it people.