Mission: ImpossibleGhost Protocol

Tom Cruise’s rogue super-spy returns for more of the same

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

(C) 2011 PARAMOUNT PICTURES. All Rights Reserved.

Directors: Brad Bird
Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton
Time Out rating:

When it was announced that Brad Bird, director of The Iron Giant, The Incredibles and Ratatouille, would make his live action debut with this fourth installment in the blockbusting spy caper franchise, expectations were high. Could Bird build on the solid foundations laid by previous M:I installments to create the series’s first all-round triumph, a film which offered not just the spectacular gadget-fuelled action audiences expect, but a real sense of character and heart?

The answer is a disappointing no, but that doesn’t mean Ghost Protocol is a flop. It’s just another enjoyable, unambitious action movie, sure to satisfy fans of the first three, but unlikely to convert those for whom the prospect of Tom Cruise climbing things and shooting people is of scant interest.

We find rogue American spy and rhyming slang victim Ethan Hunt (Cruise) languishing in a Moscow jail. The reasons for his incarceration remain obscure but irrelevant, as it’s not long before he’s busted out by his IMF cohorts, who include a peppy Simon Pegg, a surly Jeremy Renner and a rather inconsequential Paula Patton, and tears off on on the trail of yet another madman bent on nuclear war (Michael Nyqvist).

Ghost Protocol plays it strictly by the book: the characters are bland, the plot is overfamiliar and the action sequences are resolutely old school. But Bird relishes the chance to play with real people – the central suspense sequence, in which Hunt scales Dubai’s Burj Khalifa one-handed, is dizzyingly effective, particularly in IMAX – and the pace rarely slows.

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol opens nationwide on December 16. IMAX screenings at United Cinemas Toshimaen, 109 Cinemas Kiba and 109 Cinemas Grandberry Mall, Minami-Machida

By Tom Huddleston
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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