Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (3 stars)

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

Solid crowd pleaser despite disappointing villain and some dodgy CGI

(12A, 132mins)

Pixar director Brad Bird makes the leap from animation to live action in spectacular fashion with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, a frequently awe-inspiring entry into the franchise. As he did with The Incredibles and Ratatouille, Bird marries audacious action sequences with subtle, situation-appropriate humour while finding new ways to breathe fresh life into a fairly routine premise.

In plot terms, Ghost Protocol is merely a chase movie as Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt and his new team of IMF comrades (Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton and Simon Pegg) find themselves blamed and disavowed for an explosion at The Kremlin and subsequently racing against time to prevent a terrorist (Michael Nyqvist) from starting nuclear war.

But the film’s big action moments strike genre gold. An early prison break, set largely to Dean Martin’s Ain’t That A Kick In The Head, sets the template for the recurring combination of bruising fights with assured comic timing, set against pin-drop silent moments of tension.

Bird’s direction is so consistently thrilling it almost hides the movie’s flaws, which lie in the main characters’ lack of emotional complexity – the dark past between Cruise’s Hunt and Renner’s under-used Brandt, for example, is only lightly explored. A disappointing villain in Nyqvist and some dodgy CGI are the only two other negatives in what is otherwise a solid crowd pleaser.

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol Feature Trailer

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

  • 3 stars
  • 2011
  • US
  • 2h 13min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Brad Bird
  • Written by: André Nemec, Josh Appelbaum
  • Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton
  • UK release: 26 December 2011

Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his team (Renner, Patton, Pegg) are disowned after an explosion at the Kremlin, and have to race to prevent nuclear war. Director Bird marries audacious action sequences with subtle humour. The main characters lack complexity and the villain disappoints, but otherwise a solid crowd-pleaser.

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