207 of 250 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2011
I won't be cliche and tell you that your mission, should you choose to accept it... You know the rest.
Without a doubt, this is the best of all the Mission Impossible movies, including the original. Over the years, the MI franchise had become something of a cartoon of itself. So, it seemed appropriate that Brad Bird should be chosen to helm MI4 Ghost Protocol. As the Oscar winning director of the Incredibles, he made animated cartoons seem very real. Now, he's made Mission Impossible real again. He's injected a fresh breathe of confidence, humor and camaraderie into a series that sorely needed it. He's not only re-invigorated the franchise, he's re-invigorated Tom Cruise's career as an action star. With this movie, Tom is back on top.
You'll notice that there is a lot of the Incredibles in MI4 Ghost Protocol. That's not only because of Brad Bird's influence, but because the Incredibles was a humorous homage to action films. You could say it's the IMF meets the Incredibles. That is not a deterrent. It's a tribute to a director who can think outside the proverbial action box. This isn't the same old, same old. The movie is much more upbeat and doesn't take itself too seriously. Which works to its advantage.
Tom Cruise has never been better. This isn't the brooding Ethan Hunt of previous movies. He's a man on a mission. pardon the pun. To make a complicated story short, the IMF has been shut down and disavowed after a massive explosion at the Kremlin. That explosion is blamed on the IMF. But, it was nothing more than a diversion to steal a nuclear detonator by a terrorist hell bent on ensuring peace on Earth by starting a nuclear war between the super powers. It's up to Ethan, and his cobbled together disavowed team, to hunt down the nuclear terrorist and save the world. simple.
Once you have suspended disbelief, sit back and enjoy. The cast is uniformly excellent. Jeremy Renner plays an IMF analyst suit (with more than desk skills at his disposal) reluctantly recruited into the field. Paula Patton is the former team leader of a mission gone bad sent to rescue Hunt. Simon Pegg is back as Benji, the computer/technology genius. While it may seem like he's there just for comic relief, he is an integral part of the team. There are no dull moments. The movie has a quick pace, fun one liners and mind blowing special effects filmed in glorious IMAX. Paula Patton and Jeremy Renner both have sensational action sequences. Tom Cruise isn't the only actor who gets to jump off buildings. And if this movie is any indication, Jeremy Renner is going to make a fantastic Jason Bourne. This wasn't a vehicle for just Tom. Everyone gets a piece of the action. It's a true throw back to the original TV series.
and wait until you see the car. James Bond would trade in his Aston Martin for it.
125 of 162 people found the following review helpful
on April 22, 2012
I think there are several reviews already with the same complaints but I just thought I would add my voice to the chorus.
The Movie- 5 Stars
This movie has a ton of "hands-down" moments. Among them:
- Probably one of the best pure action movies I have ever seen. Yes, the plot is silly, but this is not a movie you walk into expecting it to change your perspective on life. It's just a fun and exciting movie which puts a very nice spin on the tired franchise with the Murphy's Law conundrums. Part of the fun is watching how Tom Cruise and team find their way around everything that the plot throws at them. One of my favorite sequences in MI3 was the Italy scenes where a daring heist is carried off flawlessly. In this movie, you have tons of heist scenes where absolutely nothing goes right and the movie still manages to find that tricky signature balance between action/plausibility/humor that carries the viewer from scene to scene with bated breath.
- Direction/editing was first-rate. Brad Bird really has the chops to carry this off and I look forward to his next big screen popcorn pleaser.
- Acting. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY runs like Tom Cruise. Despite his tarnished public image, Cruise proves once again why he is the king of action movies. His intensity and star mega power is on full display here and his physical investment is right up there on the screen. He is nicely matched with the supporting cast---Paula Patton is the feminine charm (and how nice it is to see an actress who is not a 20 year old stick and is believable being super sexy and kicking butt!), Simon Pegg is used in just the right amounts and Jeremy Renner is adequate in his role as well, though I am not sure if he can match Cruise on pure charisma if the plan is to have him take over the series someday. He does have amazing arm veins though.
- The Imax scenes in the theatre were jaw-dropping and perfectly blended into the regular scenes. And this leads me to my complaints.
The Blu-Ray Disc- 3 stars
I cannot emphasize how incredibly disappointed I was that these Imax scenes were not presented in the disc.
I have no idea why they skimped out on this, but those panoramic sweeping vista moments were a key highlight to this movie. The opening scenes in Prague set the stage, the Dubai scenes contributed to that sense of vertigo and epic stomach churning anxiety. Why would they not include these on the Blu Ray?
"The Dark Knight" Blu Ray, still my favorite disc, proved you can do this well for the home audience. When I ordered MI4, I was most looking forward to seeing those Imax scenes again and was extremely disappointed they were not included. And yes, that was enough to dock 2 stars for me, despite the movie's excellence.
Do I regret this purchase? Yeah, I kinda do. I am super picky with my Blu Ray purchases because I went a little nuts purchasing 100's of DVD's and promised myself only to buy Blu Rays which were superlative. I was really hoping this would be one of them and I feel a bit cheated because in my opinion, this was not the whole movie. Those Imax scenes were a labor of love to shoot and specifically part of Brad Bird's vision and it is a huge disservice to have not included them.
ETA: I actually did a little research as to why Brad Bird did not include the 16:9 aspect ratio to accommodate the Imax scenes...apparently, this was so that there would be no impact on people who have constant height projection systems. Again, this was Mr. Bird's choice and I guess I have to respect it.
One more thing I did want to add which I did not mention in my review---the Blu Ray itself *is* pretty incredible in both picture and sound. Really great quality. My only nitpick was the exclusion of 16:9 aspect Imax scenes, which even though there is now a real reason for it, I wish were still included as an extra.
53 of 69 people found the following review helpful
UPDATED FOR BLU-RAY:
A couple of things about the Blu-ray edition 1) Paramount has done a stunning transfer with nice depth, clarity and detail. Skin tones look quite nice as do textures. The audio is VERY active with a great losslss 7.1 mix.
Be aware however that the sequences shot in IMAX format are NOT presented in the wider aspect ratio for the film (unlike, say, "The Dark Knight"). Also this includes a code for a Ultraviolet "copy" which means you'll have to stream the film rather than upload it to your portable device. There's also a code for itunes as well if you go that route.
The special features are good for the two disc editions but I am a bit disappointed that we don't get a feature length commentary track from Brad Bird and tom Cruise but we do get Bird's commentary for the deleted scenes and alternate opening sequence for the film. We also get featurettes on the dust storm sequence (a truly amazing sequence in a film filled with them) as well as "Mission Accepted" with Cruise, J.J. Abrams and director Bird on set discussing the making of the film.
On the film:
When Tom Cruise lost it a couple of years back it impacted my ability to enjoy the films he was in and for a long while I avoided them. Having said that, I enjoyed "Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol" and found it to be the most consistently entertaining of the four films produced in the "MI" film series. Bringing director Brad Bird ("The Incredibles", "The Iron Giant")best known for his CGI films made with Pixar was a wise move--Bird proved that he had the ability to make an exceptional thriller with involving characters even when they were CG and now he had the chance to prove he could do the same with live action thrillers.
The convoluted plot boils down to this: Ethan Hunt has been disavowed due to an operation that went awry and he's forced to work with an mysterious analyst named Brandt(Jeremey Renner "The Hurt Locker" and forthcoming "Avengers"), Jane (Paula Patton "Jumping the Broom")and the only member of his team that he's worked with before Benji (Simon Pegg "Paul", "Star Trek") now a field operative. Hunt's team can't rely on anybody within IMF because the organization is being blamed for the destruction of a military facility in the Kremlin. Hunt discovers that Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist of the original "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo")a dangerous terrorist has active launch codes for a Russian nuclear device and plans on using it to start a nuclear war.
END OF SPOILERS:
A well made thriller with some truly astonishing action set pieces including a scene where Hunt must scale the tallest building in the world in Dubai, "Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol" truly delivers on its promise and is, quite possibly, the best of the four films that Tom Cruise as starred in and co-produced. The writing by André Nemec and Josh Applebaum (both "Alias" alumni working with "Alias" creator J.J. Abrams as co-producer of the film)focuses on developing the plot not so much the characters in the film (although a cursory attempt is made with the IMF team)but then these type of films aren't about developing character as much as it is to create just enough to help the plot fly.
The action is nonstop in "M:IGP" and fans looking for a spectaular display of explosions/action sequences won't be disappointed. The main flaw of the film is the lack of character development and the use of familiar faces (Jeremey Renner, Josh Holloway in a cameo, Tom Wilkinson)to help flesh out characters that aren't given much screen time to develop but, as I mentioned earlier, that's really not the point of "M:IGP".
40 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2011
Ethan Hunt is forced to go underground with his team in order to prevent a Russian nuclear missile from striking the United States. Due to the sensitivity of Russian and American relations, he is performing his mission with only a wink-wink from his superiors. This one contains the requisite action and excitement and is the best film in this trilogy since the original. The storyline is not overly complex, and I found myself invested in the action, at times feeling the thrills of the onscreen excitement right there in my seat. This is a fun movie to watch.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Although Tom Cruise is a Mr Creeper Creeperson, Ive always enjoyed the MI series. This one is no different and one of the best in the series for sure.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
After reading the reviews of the others in this series on BluRay, I can only say it is a shame that they didn't put the effort into them that they did with Ghost Protocol.
I don't write critiques of acting and plot summary, just a review of the quality of the video and audio transfer itself. When I first got the set, I accidentally put in the Standard Def version and watched the whole thing, all while bitching that it sounded horrible and didn't look all that great. Not until it was over did I realize my mistake, so this review comes after a month or so of waiting to see the movie again properly this time. Never the less, it displays how incredibly different a film can look and sound on Blu Ray as compared to Standard Def when the transfer is done correctly.
The video transfer is exceptional in all areas. The skin tones are just perfect and there is no stair-stepping, aliasing or artifacts of any kind that I could see. No grain either producing some of the most excellent imaging you are likely to see on a Blu Ray DVD anywhere. There is great detail in the darker scenes and shadows and a perfectly clear transfer. The video is definitely DEMO worthy and I don't say that about too many BluRay DVDs.
The Audio, a lossless Dolby HD 7.1, which I listened to on a fairly esoteric 5.1 audio system, can easily be recommended to use as a DEMO disc to show off your system. The use of the discreet channels is marvelous with exceptional panning from the front to the rears and visa versa as well as many, many examples of discreet channel usage for both the front and rears. If I had to nit pick, I might say that the soundtrack itself, not the Foley FX, was sometimes a touch too loud, but this was surely the producers/editors intention. Obviously, in a movie like this, your sub LFE channel will get a workout as well.
It would be hard to declare a complete winner between the audio and video as they both are the stars so let's just call it an exceptional draw.
Again, a shame that I can't upgrade my standard def DVDs of Mission Impossible 2 & 3 to Blu Ray as they don't make the mark. However, Ghost Protocol certainly does and I highly recommend it for those wanted a superb quality transfer.
All my movie reviews are of this nature and focus only on the quality of the transfer to BluRay so check them and see if they are of help as well.
Hopefully, this review has been of some help to you in determining your purchase, hope I am on the correct path with a review of the transfer quality as opposed to providing plot summaries.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2011
To me it has always been the theme song. I could watch just about anything to that sound track and think it was great. Fortunately we had a great film that explodes on the big screen. The gadgets were extremely high tech and I seriously doubt many of them really exist. Face scanner in a contact lens?
The opening scene of Cruise in a Serbian high security prison being broken out, was superb. It becomes a mystery that plays constantly in the back of your mind during the film. Who was the man he took with him when escaped? Where is he now? It engages you and puts your mind into the proper framework. Tom Cruise is later written off along with the IMF and must operate rouge to save the US from terrorist named Hendricks who has the Russian launch codes and plans to use them against the US. Cruise's team are the guys that just happened to be with him at the moment...with no masks! Great Stuff.
This is a good old fashion break out the tub of popcorn and enjoy the feature action-comedy-thriller. I didn't see it in IMAX, but clearly that is the way to go considering how the scenes were shot. After seeing it once, I want to see it again on the really big screen. And of course every "impossible" scene is made more complex, complicated, or twisted. Humorous and heart stopping action all in the same moment. Can you say Oscar?
No f-bombs, sex, or nudity.
15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2012
Dormant since the third entry in the series arrived in 2006 - that one helmed by J.J. Abrams garnered good audience and critical response - Mission: Impossible returns and with rookie live-action director Brad Bird of Pixar fame. What materializes is arguably the best of the franchise delivering some tremendous action sequences coupled with a credible story that elevates it beyond just being a series of incredibly impressive set pieces.
When IMF is framed for the bombing of the Kremlin - four agents including Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) must go underground to stop a plot to beget nuclear war while also clearing their names. Hunt is joined by the returning Benji (Simon Pegg) and newcomers Jane (Paula Patton) and Brandt (Jeremy Renner).
Bird shows incredible skill at framing fight scenes and providing some beautiful shots of locales. Being set in Russia, Dubai, and India allowed for plenty of opportunity to capture some great looking footage. The scenes with Hunt on the outside of the Burj Khalifa building were so anxiety-ridden that I almost got uncomfortable watching. That might be partially due to knowing that Cruise was actually hanging out there doing his own stunts and that it wasn't CGI - regardless it goes to show just how much impact the film had in delivering an intense experience through its action and sense of suspense which carried through to the other scenes as well.
Ghost Protocol leans heavily on Cruise who delivers an outstanding performance - an example of his undeniably strong screen presence that shines through more here than maybe ever before. The others do well also in their roles - Patton in particular was subdued in a way that typically isn't reserved for the "sexy" lead female.
If there is any area that falls somewhat flat it is some of the attempts at humor - which are handled in a subtle enough manner that any misses didn't hurt the film. What the lighter dialogue did do was provide some levity and a chance to breathe in what was practically non-stop adrenaline pumping action from start to finish. There is also a human touch to the story and the relationships between the characters. I particularly liked the ending - which wrapped things up in a very satisfying fashion that went beyond what one would expect out of a typical action movie.
Several scenes were shot with IMAX cameras - for those who have a (real) IMAX theater nearby it's definitely worth paying extra for. The visceral nature of those scenes are amplified greatly.
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol is one of the best action films in recent years. The combination of spectacular action, great performances, expert direction, and a competent story driving the events has become a rarity and Ghost Protocol delivers in every way.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2012
Of course the characters defy physics plenty of time and never seem to suffer serious injury, but so what? The fun of this movie is taking a break from reality. It begins with a great prison break and never lets up til the very interesting ending, which I did not see coming. It has the truly dizzying scene of Ethan scaling up the tallest building in the world and doing it very convincingly. I have heard Cruise was there doing it. Couldn't pay me enough.
It doesn't have the charm of the first movie but it is much more energetic, and is certainly better than the prior two films, though they were entertaining in their own ways.
If you are looking for breathless first rate action/adventure, this film does it as well as any film.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2012
I'm not a Mission Impossible girl; never watched the other 3 - heard yays and nays about them and I can't tell you why this one got my attention. I don't trust previews as a rule. Sometimes there's no more action than what you've just seen. In Ghost Protocol that's impossible! I watched the video on my laptop but I was in the movie. I kept leaning toward the screen, motioning with my hands, reacting, reacting, reacting so involved my legs didn't have time to turn to jelly as I was running down the side of the tallest building in the world in Dubai with Tom Cruise. He was exhausted, he kept going; I couldn't let exhaustion get the better of me, I had to keep watching. His team weren't supermen, excuse me, superpersons - there was one female but they did incredible things almost leaping tall buildings at a single bound. They dodged bullets, got hit, winged it on their own just like any of us would do faced with a crisis that had to work out. I sat in that chair facing the assassin, staying calm, hoping...
It was the combination of absolutely shocking scenes, the Kremlin blown to bits erupting under Ethan Hunt's feet - I didn't expect that, the Secretary getting shot - who's left on their side now - that can't be fixed, together with "you bet your ass captain" Simon Pegg, not to mention the female of the team who is alluring yet as tough as her male counterparts, and the late addition analyst as the 4th member - the boy next door and full of surprises. I hear Tom Cruise is 50. That's just a number, let me tell you. I can't remember the last time I felt exhilarated after watching a film. Don't worry, I didn't go downtown and try to run down the side of a building - in the mid-west they're lower to the ground - but I knew I could if I tried.
I just bought a copy. Why are you sitting there reading?