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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
on January 5, 2016
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is the forth film in the franchise and sees Tom Cruise(War Of The Worlds) reprising the leading role of the globe-trotting super spy Ethan Hunt. Throughout the series Hunt has evolved from team player to lone wolf and now in Ghost Protocol he must become a true leader of a team that, for the first time, he didn't choose.
The film blasts off into overdrive from the minute the gates open and rarely lets up, it's one hell of a ride and there's enough action and gadgets here to please any fan of the spy film genre. The plot is fairly straightforward; the bad guy obtains the key to the ultimate weapon and plans to destroy the world with it. Hunt and his team, working without the support of the IMF, must stop him at all costs. It has enough twists and turns to keep you engaged but it never gets so complicated that you risk getting lost while you're immersed in the mind- blowing stunt sequences. One thing fans of the series will probably notice this time around is that Hunt is more 'human' when it comes to the action than he has been in most of the previous outings. Not everything goes to plan and if he gets hit or falls down it hurts. Sure he's still a super spy and can do things most mortal men would never try in a million years but the added vulnerability and consequences of those actions gone wrong lifts the film to a new level.
but in Mission:Impossible-Ghost Protocol that level of personal rivalry between protagonist and antagonist was a bit lacking. It's not that Michael Nyqvist (Abuduction) didn't deliver a good performance in the few scenes where he interacts with Hunt, it's just that there are so few of these moments that he is, in many ways, almost like another one of his own henchmen and I mistook him for other characters on a few occasions.
Simon Pegg (Hot Fuzz) reprises his role as Benji Dunn from MI3, the computer whiz behind all the action. Dunn has now graduated from a 'behind the desk cameo' to a fully qualified field officer and as a result gets a much beefier role in this mission becoming one of Hunt's rogue team. Pegg's natural comedic timing and likable charm adds a much-needed element of lightheartedness to the franchise that could have easily backfired had this role been miscast.
Rounding out the new team are IMF agents Paula Patton(Precious) as Jane Carter and Oscar Nominee Jeremy Renner(The Town) as William Brandt, and both actors deliver solid performances. Carter is as sexy as she is deadly and Patton slips between these two persona's with ease while Brandt hides a secret past allowing Renner to show a vulnerability we're not used to seeing in the roles he normally plays.
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol delivers exactly the type of entertainment action fans crave and as a result it is perfect popcorn movie. If you don't enjoy this ride then entertaining you is a mission: impossible. Amazing music by Michael Giacchino (Lost), Costume Design By Michael Kaplan(Fight Club) and Direction By Brad Bird(The Incredibles)The Best The Mission Impossible of all time I doubt MI:5 Can Top it. 9/10
on February 25, 2015
We "streamed" this movie for our five grandsons to watch and they all enjoyed it. I personally didn't watch... not my type of movie and I've never been a big fan of Tom Cruise... but something that keeps the boys entertained was worth the rental fee :). My husband also seemed to enjoy it.
This PG-13 money-printing franchise is back again. Do you know why? Because Producers J.J. Abrams and Tom Cruise are two smart fellows with a lot of clout who look for: a great director; a great script; and a great cast.
The great director is Brad Bird ("The Incredibles") who is directing his first non-animated feature. The stunts are so hair raising it might have been easier on my nerves if they HAD been animated! Particularly scaling that skyscraper in Dubai... Whew!
The great script by television scriptwriters Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec, starts in Budapest where the IMF is implicated in a bombing. This means our doughty team must first clear their names. That takes them to Moscow where they learn there is also the threat of nuclear war.... So off to Mumbai... Oh, you know. Cruise is an international star and his movies always take us all over the world. That's part of the fun.
And here is a small part of that great cast:
* Tom Cruise ("Valkyrie") continues to be an enigma to me. For such a high-profile celebrity, I don't really know much about him. He gives each movie everything he's got and we always get our money's worth.
* Tom Wilkinson ("The Debt") is a highly capable actor who works all the time in a variety of accents. This is an A-List Actor (capital "A") who hasn't a shred of scandal associated with his name.
* Jeremy Renner ("The Hurt Locker") is a great example of an actor who conveys energy, intelligence and subtext. He ain't purdy, but he's effective. I hope he becomes a permanent member of the IMF team: he brings both gravitas and humanity.
* Paula Patton ("Precious") surprised me as an action star. Who knew?
* Simon Pegg ("Star Trek") is hilarious! He never disappoints me; he is so perfect here I hope to see him bring this character back a third time in the inevitable next episode.
* Ving Rhames ("Mission Impossible" franchise) made a cameo appearance and an affectionate murmur swept the audience.
* Anil Kapoor ("Slumdog Millionaire") can play smarmy very nicely. Remember him as the M.C. in Slumdog?
* Michael Nyqvist ("The Millennium Trilogy") is an experienced multi-lingual Swede who is equally comfortable in heroic or villainous roles.
You may have noticed I haven't discussed the role each actor plays in the plot. Come on... In a Tom Cruise movie is a plot important? As you might expect, there is never a dull moment. Fans know they can rely on a Cruise movie for non-stop action and breath-taking stunts. But a plot? Not so much. All I can say is that we had tons of fun watching this action fest and appreciated some poignant moments as well.
Gunshots, vehicular mayhem, brawls, riots, and blowie uppie stuff, no profanity and they all kept their clothes on. This one should be a big hit.