Film Review: ‘Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol’ Rocks Your Holiday

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CHICAGO – Brad Bird proves that he can make the leap from Pixar to action with one of the best genre films of the year, the adrenalized “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.” Proving there is a way to make a big budget franchise installment that feels vibrant, alive, and like more than just a pathetic retread of what has come before (unlike this year’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Sherlock Holmes” entries), “Ghost Protocol” delivers with breakneck pace and stellar action choreography. This movie wastes little time – it’s a lean, mean, action machine.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

After a brief intro in which an IMF agent (Josh Holloway of “LOST”) is assassinated by a gorgeous killer (Lea Seydoux), Bird’s film starts its international adventure (nothing takes place stateside until the epilogue) in a Russian prison. While Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) lies in his bed, bouncing a rock against the wall, two agents are working to break him out. Technical master Benji (Simon Pegg) taps into the system and unlocks the prisoner’s doors, starting a riot. In a scene scored to Dean Martin’s “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head,” Hunt works through the fracas to find the prisoner who had fed him information and save him from the chaos as well, arriving at the extraction point moments before Jane (Paula Patton) makes the floor disappear.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” in our reviews section.

Hunt can barely catch his breath before he’s forced into another mission that he simply must choose to accept. It turns out that the blonde assassin got Russian nuclear launch codes in that prologue and now Hunt, Benji, and Jane have to break into the Kremlin in an attempt to get the other piece of the puzzle that could start WWIII in the wrong hands. The movie really starts when the nefarious Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist) piggy backs on Hunt’s mission, steals a nuclear device, and frames the IMF by blowing up the Kremlin. Completely disavowed, Hunt, Jane, and Benji are joined by a U.S. Agent named Brandt (Jeremy Renner) in their effort to avert nuclear war.

“Ghost Protocol” flies from Russia to Dubai to Mumbai in a series of increasingly-remarkable action sequences. What’s perhaps most enjoyable about “Protocol” is the on-the-ground (or in-the-sky) approach to action. What I mean by that is no one here has super powers. Every punch connects. Every kick shatters. Every jump, spin, turn – this is the kind of action choreography you don’t see that often any more in that one can tell that most of it is happening in the scene, not in post-production. It adds an undeniable visceral charge to the entire film, upping the stakes and getting the viewer to the edge of his seat.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” review.

“Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” stars Tom Cruise, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Michael Nyqvist, and Lea Seydoux. It was written by Josh Appelbaum & Andre Nemec and directed by Brad Bird. It is rated PG-13 and will be released at IMAX theaters on December 16th, 2011, followed by theaters everywhere on December 21st, 2011. See it in IMAX if you can.

Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol
Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol
Photo credit: Paramount Pictures

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