Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

JAMES Bond and Jason Bourne need to take a look over their shoulder as Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt returns for a fourth time in Mission Impossible-Ghost Protocol, certificate 12A.

The best thing to happen with the Mission Impossible series has been the recent involvement of JJ Abrams. The American directed the previous instalment, improving greatly upon John Woo’s underwhelming second entry.

The self-confessed fan boy has only a producer credit this time around but his involvement has brought a welcome sense of fun and a polished visual style back to the franchise.

The feature is directed by Brad Bird, who makes the jump from animation to working with live actors. His notable work to date includes Pixar’s, Ratatouille and The Incredibles. Surprisingly he makes the switch to live action with a confident swagger.

Tom Cruise returned to the Mission Impossible franchise in desperate need of some cinematic success. His career recently has been rather hit and miss. His previous feature, Knight and Day received largely poor reviews and under performed at the box office. But the actor received considerable praise for his barely recognisable, cameo performance as Hollywood producer, Les Grossman in the 2008 comedy, Tropic Thunder.

The film’s cast also includes, Simon Pegg. The British actor gets much more screen-time in this feature, after making his debut in the previous instalment. His character, Benji Dunn, offers some welcome comic release and takes over from Ving Rhames as Ethan’s primary sidekick. American actress,Paula Patton also features as IMF team member, Jane Carter.

Jeremy Renner’s character, William Brandt makes a competent debut within the franchise. His character has a mysterious connection with Ethan Hunt. His secret holds the explanation to the whereabouts of Ethan’s wife, Julia. Her character, played by Michelle Monaghan, was introduced in Mission Impossible 3, is mysteriously absent in this feature.

The plot sees the IMF team shut down after they are implicated in an attack on Russia’s Kremlin. Ethan and his colleagues are forced to go rogue and attempt to clear their name and capture the dangerous terrorist Hendricks, who they believe is behind the atrocity.

The feature boasts enough gadgets to make even James Bond jealous and has several breath-taking action sequences to rival any current action movie within the genre.

From its jail breaking opening sequence in a Moscow prison to the tense infiltration of the Kremlin. The film has a frantic pace, and zips along nicely. Considering its two-hour runtime the feature rarely drags. The film’s highlight is unquestionably the vertigo inducing set piece on the outside of Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai. The sequence shot using an IMAX camera will be hard to watch for anyone with even the slightest fear of heights.

Overall Mission Impossible, Ghost Protocol is well worth a watch, it may lack a great villain like Philip Seymour Hoffman’s, Owen Davian, seen in previous film. But nevertheless it’s still a solid entry within the franchise and an enjoyable watch. Viewers who haven’t seen the previous films should not be put off as it’s a great stand-alone action movie on its own merit.

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