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MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL (2011)

 

Director: Brad Bird
Writers: Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec
Cast: Tom Cruise, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner and Josh Holloway
Studio: Paramount

The IMF is shut down when it’s implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organization’s name. The film’s biggest boon was choosing animation hero Brad Bird from ‘The Iron Giant’ and ‘Ratatouille’ to make his first live-action film. Bird is also of course the director of Pixar’s ‘The Incredibles’ and there is certainly the same pulsating energy running through every frame of ‘MI4’. From the very beginning, Bird places his definitive stamp on the series with a classy opening that sees IMF operative Ethan Hunt breaking out of a Russian prison. That sequence, which combines Dean Martin’s ‘Ain’t That A Kick in the Head’ with Steve McQueen’s ‘The Great Escape’, is carefully executed and fluidly filmed- and both are signature attributes of Bird’s style throughout the movie.

No ‘Mission Impossible’ film would be complete without the exotic locales, fancy gadgets and big explosions- but there is a certain finesse by which Bird assembles all these elements together into one package. So even as the setting moves from Russia to Dubai to Mumbai, even as the gadgets grow increasingly fanciful (one especially nifty device is a nifty retina-based mirror-like screen) and even as the explosions get more colossal, Bird never lets the adventure get frenetic, alternating confidently between quiet tension and full-blown action to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Riveted is what you’ll be as Hunt and his team infiltrates the Kremlin to steal some classified intel about the Russian extremist Kurt Hendricks (Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist from ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’), then hoodwinks two sets of bad guys just one floor apart atop the Burj Khalifa, and then races against time literally in the crowded streets of Mumbai to stop Hendricks from precipitating an all-out nuclear war between the United States and Russia. Each elaborate setpiece is in itself a spectacle, and watching them unfold one after another quite simply takes your breath away.
Tom Cruise enjoys his stunts, the cool cars and action in his career defining role as Ethan Hunt. Cruise doesn’t portray the character’s burden of loss as Daniel Craig successfully did as James Bond. That makes it difficult to get attached to Ethan Hunt even though he can scale the Burj Khalifa. There is a major element of imperfection about Hunt that will never make him a true hero. He will always be lost between being a Jason Bourne and James Bond.

RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!

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