Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol Review

It’s fair to say that 2011 hasn’t been a vintage year for action with the strongest efforts coming from the arguably unexpected sources of Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and Fast & Furious 5; thankfully, Ethan Hunt and the IMF have come along to redress the balance. Zipping along at a frantic pace that belies its two-hour running time, Mission:Impossible – Ghost Protocol is the finest M:I film of the series and, while it suffers some last-act drag, is consistently thrilling and entertaining, making it perfect family fare for a Christmas trip to the cinema.

Starting with Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) breaking out of a Moscow jail, Ghost Protocol swiftly moves into action as the IMF are implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin. As a result, Hunt – along with team members Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Jane Carter (Paula Patton) – is forced to go rogue to clear the IMF’s name and stop the nuclear apocalypse that the mysterious Cobalt (Michael Nyqvist) is intent on starting.

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Containing all the conventions we’ve come to know and love from the M:I franchise over the years – “Your mission, should you choose to accept it…”, impressive gadgetry etc – the fourth instalment is helped by the comfortable, warm feel of inviting back old friends and it’s also helped by a middle section set in Dubai that is – and this is no exaggeration – perfect. Comprised of three extended sequences – a breathtaking ascent up Burj Khalifa, a nail bitingly tense double-bluff and a thrilling sandstorm chase – it’s an astonishing piece of cinema and, with the added impact of IMAX scenes, it simply has to be seen on the biggest screen possible; Hunt’s climb up the Khalifa, in particular, is awe-inspiring, and vertigo inducing, given the sublime sweeping cinematography employed.

That the Dubai segment is not the climax means that the Mumbai-based third act is somewhat disappointing by comparison. It still has its moments, a brilliantly smarmy cameo from Anil Kapoor especially, but even when the climactic battle is an inventive mano-a-mano combat set in a revolving car park, it just feels a bit flat and an anti-climax. Still, it’s slickly produced enough to ensure it’s far from dull and even overcomes the fact that Nyqvist’s baddie is probably one of the least threatening villains of recent years – quite a triumph when you consider he’s provoking a nuclear holocaust.

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Performances, otherwise, are solid across the board with Pegg excellent as the comic relief who doesn’t just become a disposable character there for the laughs, while Cruise is as chiselled and charismatic as ever. Brad Bird, in his first live action directorial effort, is a touch clunky on the emotional scenes but we’re not here for that, and when it comes to the action and spy games, he nails it with a real sense of energy permeating every sequence, especially in the pulsating prison break that opens the film with a bang.

Most pleasingly of all is how the world of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is so straightforward. None of the twists and double crosses that have blighted recent blockbusters – hello, Pirates – and, as a result, it’s a film where good and bad is very black and white. It’s delightfully old-fashioned in that sense and the result is a film that is pacy, thrilling and is out to do just one thing: entertain. It does this in spades and even if the climax can’t quite live up to the brilliance of what’s come before, it’s still more than worth the ride.

Overall

7

out of 10

Last updated: 18/04/2018 10:07:30

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