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August 1, 2018

Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011) --- "No Plan. No Backup. No Choice."

Plot Summary
Blamed for a terrorist attack on the Kremlin, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and the entire IMF agency are disavowed by the U.S. government, while the president initiates the Ghost Protocol. Forced to go "off the grid" -- left without resources or backup -- Hunt must somehow clear the agency's name and prevent another attack. Complicating matters even more, Ethan must undertake the impossible mission with a group of fellow IMF fugitives whose actual motives are suspect. (1)

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     After the success left Brian De Palma(Mission Impossible), John Woo (Mission Impossible 2), and JJ Abrams (Mission Impossible 3), it is understandable to doubt the next director’s skill. Especially when said director’s previous film credits are animated family films and this is his live-action debut. However, director Brad Bird (The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille) does not disappoint and his ability to hold his own say something about the quality Bird brings to the table. In short, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011) is a great addition to a rare franchise that manages to get better with each new installment.

     Director Bird succeeds in giving audiences an impressive visual spectacle (cinematographer Robert ElswitThere Will Be Blood) that enhances the action sequence. The action sequences were comprised of ingenious mission tactics that demonstrate how the team creates diversions in the most unlikely of situations with a quick pace and increasing the suspense throughout the film. But like most Bird films Ghost Protocol is not only about the action sequences, instead, there is some care taken to ensure a great story and developed characters. The film’s scope is ambitious and the story spans across multiple countries, from Budapest to Russia and from Dubai to Mumbai. The script was written by Andre Nemec (Zoo, TV series) and Josh Appelbaum (Zoo, TV series) who gave the story a tighter feel that paid homage to the original film but respected the idea that teamwork is better than a one-man band. The narrative is infectious, the thrills are superb, and the humor between the characters was excellent, especially the lines given to Simon Pegg’s character. Michael Giacchino (Mission Impossible 3) returns as the film’s music composure, which worked great in many scenes.
     The acting was great. Once again Tom Cruise (Mission Impossible: Fallout) does a great job in his role as Ethan Hunt. Simon Pegg (Mission Impossible: Fallout) always gives great comic relief as Benji but this time his character is given more things to do and that is great to see. Jeremy Renner (Mission Impossible: Fallout) does a great job as the former IMF field agent, William Brandt, who is also harboring some secrets of his own. Paula Patton (Warcraft and Traffik) gives some great scenes as badass Jane Carter and her chemistry with the rest of the teams works well. Lea Seydoux (Spectre) as Sabine Moreau and Michael Nyqvist (John Wick) as Hendricks do great jobs as the villains despite being one-dimensional. However, we later learn that these two villains were just simple minions in a much larger game. Finally, Josh Holloway (Colony) leaves his mark in a great cameo.

     Overall, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011) is an excellent addition to the franchise. The film is directed by the Brad Bird who also did The Incredibles 1 & 2 and The Iron Giant, and that in itself shows his level of skill as a director. The film’s scope is ambitious, the visuals are spectacular, the comedy is appropriate, the action is ingenious, and the characters were great despite one-dimensional villains. All of these elements were balanced nicely and given their moment to shine effectively. If you are a fan of the previous films then I doubt you will be disappointed here as this film is worth watching and I highly recommend it.
"Mission Accomplished."
- Ethan Hunt

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  8 of 10 stars
Worth Buying:  8 of 10 stars

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