Sunday, December 18, 2011

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

Movie Name: Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Year of Release: 2011
Director: Brad Bird
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg, Michael Nyqvist, Vladimir Mashkov, Samuli Edelmann, Anil Kapoor, Léa Seydoux, Josh Holloway, Ivan Shvedoff
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

Brad Bird made his name in animation, first connected with "The Simpsons" and afterwards directing "The Iron Giant", "The Incredibles" and "Ratatouille". "Mission:Impossible" is his live action feature debut. The film follows the usual Ethan Hunt, and his team at IMF who have been framed for a large crime they did not commit. The responsible is a criminal intent on starting a new world war, something that Ethan and his disavowed team have to battle and deploy in a very short amount of time.
The "Mission:Impossible" series started in 1996 with Brian DePalma, featuring a great cast and a great tone, one that the following films had a difficult time emulating. John Woo directed the following chapter to mediocre results and J.J. Abrams (who is a producer on this chapter) directed the third feature in the series. Brad Bird successfully recaptures the thrilling component of the first film, while maintaining the sense of impending menace and danger. Much like Brian DePalma, he focuses his attention on a small team that surrounds Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt character, and lets them have an opportunity to showcase their abilities. The action is non-stop, without being tiresome. The film smartly establishes an intelligent villain, one that relies on intelligence and devious abilities, as opposed to pure violence or destruction. It's an entertaining film, shot on different locations around the globe, allowing for some beautiful shots from the great cinematographer Robert Elswit (who won the Oscar for Paul Thomas Anderson's "There Will Be Blood"). An all around exciting and entertaining chapter in a irregular series.