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Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Tom Cruise is a great movie star. There. I said it. After some thirty years in this business and about twenty-five of those years spent as a bona-fide star, he can still make it work. No matter what you may think of him personally, there is an effortless charm that he brings to almost all of his films. Lately, though, it's been a bit of a slog. With films like KNIGHT AND DAY, VALKYRIE and LIONS FOR LAMBS (Remember that film? Yeah, me neither), he hasn't been packing them in like he used to. Even M-I:3 was considered something of a failure, despite doing over $350 million worldwide. But that's Hollywood for ya: You jump on Oprah's couch and you claim that psychology is a scam, and people look at you differently, even when you're acting. I've loved Cruise's work for decades (except when he's in REALLY lousy films, like COCKTAIL or THE FIRM or VANILLA SKY), and I've admired him when he took risks (like MAGNOLIA and COLLATERAL, even if I don't care for those films). When I heard that he had gotten Brad Bird, the director of Pixar classics THE INCREDIBLES and RATATOUILLE and my favorite hand-drawn English animated film of all time, THE IRON GIANT, I was VERY excited. This is obviously someone who knows extremely creative storytelling, and really knows how to construct a scene. But it was also his first live-action film. But with Simon Pegg returning, and new additions like Jeremy Renner, Tom Wilkinson, and Josh Holloway (despite the latter two had nothing more than cameos, really), and with working again with J.J. Abrams who helped revitalize the series with the third film, I still had high hopes.

Then the reviews started pouring in.

WOW. People were LOVING this film. And by all accounts, they were exactly right to. The film is ear-to-ear grinning and wall-to-wall action. Not the pensive De Palma action of the first film, and not John Woo M:I-2 mega-ultra gunplay action, and not uncomfortably realistic J.J. Abrams action; but like a snowball rolling down a hill, once it starts, it just gets bigger and bigger and then you find yourself at the bottom of that hill and you await the bliss of the impact. Bird lays the hyper-dynamic (and dare I say cartoonish) set pieces piled one on top of another like the most delicious action-adventure cake you've tasted in years. The haters can keep hating on Cruise, but he really makes this film pop just as much as Bird does. His breezy wit and afore-mentioned effortless charm flow during some of the film, but he gets down to business in a big way. One complaint I keep seeing of this film is how unrealistic it is. Guess what? IT'S MISSION &#*%^@& IMPOSSIBLE!! If it were MISSION: POSSIBLE, then I could accept that criticism. This is not HILL STREET BLUES; It's MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE. It's not supposed to be realistic at all times.

This is by far the best of the M:I series, and I hope that Bird and Cruise team up again soon, because that would be another mission I would absolutely choose to accept.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2012
I love the Mission Impossible franchise! All of the movies, with the exception of the 2nd one, have been fantastic. Before I saw Ghost Protocol, my favorite was the first one (1996). Of course now I've decided that Ghost Protocol is my favorite.
I had heard prior to seeing the movie, that they were wanting to go back to a team-centric story that the original tv series had followed. This film certainly delivered in that area. The team was well-rounded and the writers/directors allowed you to get to know the team a bit better than in the previous films. They also were preparing Jeremy Renner (Brandt) to eventually take over the Mission Impossible for whenever Tom Cruise decides to leave the franchise. While I am partial to Tom Cruise, I have to admit that Jeremy Renner did a good job. He certainly looked as capable as Cruise in the fighting scenes, and I have a feeling that Ethan Hunt will impart some of his confidence and craziness to Brandt before retiring.
All that to say, if you haven't seen this movie yet then go see it. You don't want to miss out on this newest adventure with legendary spy, Ethan Hunt.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2012
I've watched this twice now, and enjoyed it both times (though I was surprised that I'd forgotten quite a bit from the first viewing). Long runs of solid Action/thrill, good acting, a few cool effects. Typical MI film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2012
I think this is the best Mission Impossible so for. Very entertaining. Great cast and plot. I'd highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2015
First, a technical gripe: The only English soundtrack on the Blu-ray disk is 7.1 true HD which our ten year old brilliant AV amp. could not interpret so it defaulted to ProLogic II - Grrr. Every other Blu-ray disk we've played has been decoded as DTS which is splendid so I sincerely hope that this is not a sign of things to come. This feature was so annoying that we watched the DVD version instead which gave us good old Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. UPDATE : Having encountered the same problem with another Blu-ray disk I tinkered about with the audio settings on the player (changing from `DTS re-encode' to `primary pass-through') whereupon the amp gave us DTS - Splendid! Apologies to Paramount...

Now, to the film. All of the MI films so far have been a more than a little tongue-in-cheek but they have delivered all-out action at a relentless pace within a taut plot; it doesn't usually do to think too much and the gadgets are universally silly but the films are always hugely entertaining. This film, however, despite the inclusion of J.J. Abrams in the production (but, significantly, not direction) credits is a serious let-down. There are lots of excellent action set-pieces and stunts/CGI (not that you can really tell the difference these days) but the plot is so linear and weak that it completely fails to provide the essential cohesion between the action sequences. The script is similarly lack-lustre, Tom looks tired & bored much of the time and Simon Pegg as the geeky side-kick is a total failure; he made a good `young Scotty' in the excellent Star Trek prequel but his brand of child-like pratishness is completely wrong for a major role in an action movie. These failings and the bizarre choice of a director best known for cartoons make for a sad & dismal end (hopefully) to the MI franchise.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I have not been a fan of the Mission: Impossible films starring Tom Cruise, it has nothing to do with Cruise, who is a fine movie star, but that the overbaked storielines and outlandish special effects have always made them seem more mission improbable to me. However, after sitting through three uneventful films, all from first rate directors who seemed to be following studio direction rather than their own exceptional creative skills, I was seriously surprised to actually enjoy the latest installment. It is every pit as preposterous as every other entry in the franchise, but this one has a sharper wit and brighter intellectual integrity. In no way due I mean that this is a brainy film, that just wouldn't work for this sort of series, but it doesn't insult the viewer's intelligence like some of the previous offenders in the ongoing movie franchise.

The set up is fast and exciting, with a more authentic feel to it, the first noticeable CGI effects don't rear there facial head until thirty minutes into the story. The set up is as a thriller, the pay off is an adventure. Globe trotting from the Kremlin to Dubai to Mumbai, with an amicable cast of colorful characters played by likable actors. Cruise, as I've already stated is a great movie star, his charisma and screen presance help to make him one of the last remaining classical film stars. The supporting cast is equally strong with The Hurt Locker star Jeremy Renner nearly stealing the film in a role that is said to be an enventural replacement for Cruise's Ethan Hunt. Simon Pegg is stronger in this entry than he was in the previous film, using a light comic touch, instead of his more broad approach. Sweedish actor Michael Nyquist, best known to American audiences as the original Mikael Blomkvist in Dragon Tattoo Trilogy: Extended Edition, makes a good villain, looking like a cross between Mitt Romney and Robert Vaughan. Tom Wilkinson has a rather pointless guest appearance, still he's the type of solid character actor that lends class and durability to anything, and it's good to see him.

Director Brad Bird, best known for his excellent work for Pixar, makes his live action directorial debut. He comes out with all the visual stops and delivers where previous directors (De Palma, Woo, Abrahms) failed in the past, stunts and action carry this picture, not computer graphics. Just look at the incredible, breathless thrills of Cruise climbing up the side of the Giorgio Armani Hotel Dubai, no stuntmen where used, no CGI cheats, that is Tom Cruise risking his life for the enjoyment of a paying audience. Electrifying editing by Paul Hirsch, who's credits include Star Wars Trilogy (A New Hope / The Empire Strikes Back / Return of the Jedi) (Widescreen Edition with Bonus Disc) and nearly all of Brian De Palma's films, and exhilarating cinematography from Robert Elswit keep the pace and visuals steadfast and exuberant.

I left this movie feeling joyed in the same way the best James Bond films or Indiana Jones adventures have left me feeling in the past. The only obvious fault I can find is that the plot is a tad bit overly familiar, but by being the fourth in a franchise it would seem only natural. This is a step up from the usual big budget blockbusters Hollywood dumps on the unsuspecting moviegoers around the holidays (it was originally released around Christmas). I saw this with my father and sister, which I have to be honest, they did not find it as stimulating as I did. While their reaction was positive, it wasn't as overtly enthusiastic as mine was. I will look forward to the next entry in the series, a first for me and like the recent Fast and the Furious movies and Resident Evil, maybe this franchise has found it's footing once more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2012
This review may contain some spoilers about the movie.

After a bombing of the Kremlin brands the IMF agency as terrorists, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team of operatives (Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, and Paula Patton)go on a secret mission to clear their agency's name, by attempting to thwart a plot to start a nuclear war. During the mission, Ethan will have to escape a prison, chase down a villain during a sandstorm, scale the Burj Khalifa, and fight a crazy Russian guy inside of an epic parking garage.

This is definitely my favorite MI movie. It's loaded with amazing action sequences, but still has a gripping story. The visuals will leave you breathless, I mean, the scene where Tom Cruise is climbing up the Burj Khalifa makes you feel like you are there. When the camera looks down, and you see how far up he is, you get butterflies in your stomach. I especially liked the fight in the parking garage; it was definitely a great location for an action flick like this.

Yet again, the cars are awesome. In Mission Impossible 3, it was the Lamborghini Gallardo, in this movie it's the 2014 BMW i8, which is insanely nice. There is also a good amount of comedy in this movie. Most of it provided by the always hilarious Simon Pegg. And as I mentioned before, even though there is a lot of action, it isn't mindless; there's a good story to it. It's thrilling and will have you at the edge of your seat the whole time. And if you thought they had forgotten all about Ethan Hunt's wife from the last movie, then you would be wrong, very wrong. They don't make up a stupid story to leave her out at all. Just watch :)

The only part I didn't really like because I guess it made no sense at all was when (WARNING MAJOR SPOILERS) the Russian guy jumps off of the ramp in the garage, smashes his face into the windshield of a car, and then proceeds to plummet like 30 feet into the ground. And he is still stinking alive! I know most of the things in this movie aren't things that would ever happen, but, come on. The guy would be almost dead after crashing into the windshield of a car that far up, and then when he reaches the point of hitting the ground he would REALLY be dead. (END OF MAJOR SPOILERS) That's obviously not plausible, but I'm willing to overlook it being that the rest of the movie was fantastic.

Now the DVD and case itself. The case is obviously just like any other Blu-ray cases. But the one I purchased comes with the Blu-ray version of the movie with special features, the regular DVD version, and a digital copy for download. Special features include some nice deleted scenes and an alternate opening. All of that is great and I suggest getting this version.

Overall, almost everything about this movie is awesome, and the two-disc Blu-ray version is the way to go. This is the best mission yet!

Pros: Great action, but not mindless. Good comedy, gripping story. Nice special features. Best MI ever.

Cons: An unrealistic scene that made no sense because of the outcome. That's just a personal gripe of mine that I'll overlook.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
MOVIE NOTE #19 MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL

Well it seems Brad Bird (`The Incredibles', `Ratatouie', `Toy Story 3', ) can not only direct action animated films, but also has a talent for live action. His live action directorial feature debut Is amazing. This movie has everything a good film should have. A great story you can't predict, characters you care about, action that doesn't leave you saying.....'these people are not human'....and the panorama of what a big screen film should have. Definitely a must see for good entertainment.

Headed by the Tom Cruise Productions and J.J., Abrams' Bad Robot Productions this film is exciting, funny and has a really complicated story that you follow until every twist is untwined. For as much flack as he receives, Tom Cruise does a damn good job in this film. Supported by some great team members including Simon Pegg (`Star Trek' 2009, `Paul', `Hot Fuzz') who provides incredible comic relieve with his techno-genius devices and an unsuspecting female who makes her first official IMF covert mission played by Paula Patton(`Deja Vu, `Precious').

Quite by chance the team turns from the usual three person to a four-person team with a not so honest performance by Jeremy Renner (`Hurt Locker', `The Town') as a desk-driven agent who has a deeper secret and more skills than Ethan Hunt (Cruise) was aware of.

It also has some great performance by an international cast of people we don't know- but the rest of the world does - including Swedish film star Michael Nyqvist, Russin born film star Vladimir Mashkov, Finnish film star Samuli Edelmann and Russian film star Ivan Shvedoff. I applaud Tom Cruise and J.J. Abrams for bringing some really great talent to the film - giving the Mission Impossible franchise a REAL international flavor. There's even a cameo (returning as his previous character from the last two films) of Academy Award winner Tom Wilkinson.

Great action sequences, lots of great cinematography and some breathtaking stunts that would be impossible without special effects and great stuntmen. They shoot an entire amazing sequence one of the largest free-standing buildings on the Asian continent. Burj Dubai, which was started in 2004, overtook Taiwan's Taipei 101 tower as the world's tallest building when it reached 512 metres (1,533 feet) in April 2007. It is amazing.

This is a great film with a great story and definitely something to see over the Holidays. I think the best of the FOUR MI films and I certainly hope Tom and J.J. make more MI Films!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2013
Bummer! I'd been looking forward to this movie (which was brought to me, happily, by the marriage of Amazon's Prime Instant Video and Roku, which totally rock as a duo), as I'd liked the first three. However, this was a dreadful disappointment. Perhaps I should have been forewarned by the fact that the "Incredibles" director, Brad Bird, was at the helm, but this was infantile. I can't count the number of silly things completely wrong with this film. Tom Cruise runs, as he always does. His co-stars' dialogue seems to be comprised of what you'd hear in a 6th, or maybe 8th-grade, classroom. There's lots of "interpersonal drama," as if we all care. The female costar, who is about Cruise-sized, so, 5'5" or so, kicks a big bad guy's ass, in hand-to-hand combat; utterly unbelievable. The only people who could find that scene believable are those who've never been hit. Simon Pegg is the best thing about the film, and the only remotely natural character. The other male lead, Jeremy Renner, is actually quite good and FAR more believable than Cruise at the tough-guy routine. The plot holes are so large you could drive the BMW prototype car that other reviews rave about through them.

I'm all for great, silly action films. I don't mind a lack of believability, generally, but I have to be able to suspend some level of disbelief. "Humorously" bickering co-agents on a critical mission? Puerile nonsense. 90lb. girl beating up a 220+ lb. guy? More nonsense. The method of breaking into the Kremlin was absurd; Cruise picks a set of handcuff locks with a paperclip (man, is anyone EVER going to get tired of that old cliched device, ever?) and escapes from Russian cops (while being considered a TERRORISM suspect that killed boatloads of people); Russian cops find the "Secretary's" car--now, we're talking about a Cabinet-level US Representative, here--and open fire, killing many of the occupants. Hunh? Does anyone think that would ever really happen? Renner's story as to why he's behind a desk is positively the stuff of silly soap operas, (think, "Twilight" type depth) and his purportedly heartbreaking "I could never work in a life-or-death situation again" should win a Razzie for worst dialogue. I won't even get into the ridiculous magic climbing gloves for the world's tallest building, or the equally magic physics-busting building entrance. OR the blown knee that works fine one scene later. Whoever wrote the "sandstorm" scenes has never been in a sandstorm, either (yes, I have). Overall, as I said, just...silliness personified. A cartoon with live-action figures, about as engrossing and believable for grown-ups as Wiley Coyote and the Roadrunner. All it needed was the ubiquitous falling Anvil, hitting Cruise on the head (I wish), so he could get up, unhurt. It would have been the perfect ending.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I gotta admit, after failing to mask my disappointment over the two preceding M:I sequels, I was one reluctant hombre to go see MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE--GHOST PROTOCOL. I mean, how many times can Cruise's Ethan Hunt have such a brooding, endless, pity party? Yet I'm happy to report this latest installment is grand fun, and in my humble opine is the best film in the franchise. Here Cruise ratchets down the gloom and doom and allows his fellow spies (Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, and a stunning Paula Patton) to play off his antics, as the IMF--ostensibly disavowed by the U.S. government--races furiously to prevent a demented terrorist from launching a global nuclear attack. From the Kremlin, to the Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai, to the streets of Mumbai, GHOST PROTOCOL is as fast and as furious as running across a blazing hot street barefoot. In other words, GHOST PROTOCOL gets up and moves.

Cruise is in stellar physical condition, and that's a good thing, because his Ethan Hunt is a whirlwind of kinetic energy; from jumping out of a third floor hospital room, to scaling the Khalifa Tower (more on that later), to driving a car off the top level of a parking garage, Cruise has to rely on his pecs. And the plot and pacing are just as frantic, making watching this installment a quick view. Director Brad Bird further enhances the action with eye-popping CGI effects and graphic visuals; this is one finely-crafted action thriller. The other major players are solid; Renner matches Cruise's physicality, Pegg provides comedy relief, and Patton packs volumes of eye candy. The rest of the cast is entertaining as well; look for the character actor Tom Wilkinson in a brief, uncredited role.

And with my acute acrophobia, naturally Agent Hunt will be forced to scale the outside of the Khalifa Tower to gain access to the building's nerve center--naturally his high-tech gizmo gloves (with the giant sucking sound) will malfunction while Hunt is more than a 1,000 feet in the desert air. Watching this (through half-closed eyes) I literally become a contortionist in my seat, twisting and squirming to relieve my discomfort. Normally in scenes such as this I fast forward through the mayhem, but not here; MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE--GHOST PROTOCOL is so darn fun I want to watch every blasted second.
--D. Mikels, Esq.
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