Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol

MPAA (PG-13)  CNS/USCCB (A-III) Roger Ebert (3 1/2 Stars) Fr. Dennis (3 1/2 Stars)

IMDb listing -
CNS/USCCB review -
Roger Ebert's review - review -  (Russian Orig.) / (Eng. Trans.) review -
Times of India review -

As a well crafted, well acted and at times light-hearted action thriller, Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol (directed by Brad Bird, screenplay by Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec based on Bruce Gellar's television series Mission Impossible) the fourth in the current movie franchise does not disappoint.

With a well-crafted team centered around IMF agent Ethan Hunt (played once more by Tom Cruise) with tech-wiz Benji (played by Simon Pegg) as well as newcomer Jane (played by Paula Patton) the story centers around stopping a rogue scientist, Kurt Hendricks (played by Michael Nyqvist) also goes by the sinister name "Cobalt" from plunging the world into a nuclear war.  Hendricks/Cobalt, apparently has become convinced that such pruning would actually "help" the process of evolution...

When an "impossible" mission given to Hunt and his team to steal a copy of Russia's nuclear codes from the Kremlin before Hendrick's/Cobalt's men can get to them goes horribly awry with half the Kremlin being blow-up (not by Hunt and his team but by Hendrick's/Cobalt's men), the IMF's "Secretary" invokes "ghost protocol" and as has been threatened in every Mission Impossible episode ever made "disavows any knowledge of the mission" (and indeed of the whole IMF).  So Ethan Hunt and his team are left-out to dry, but worse, if Hendricks did actually get his hands on the Russian nuclear codes (and then acquired a means of communicating them to Russia's nuclear commanders) he really could start World War III.

So the rest of the movie involves trying to stop Hendricks/Cobalt from blowing up the world.  And this requires Ethan's team of three as well as an addition of a fourth in the person of "analyst" Brandt (played by Jeremy Renner) to travel to Dubai and later Mumbai, India to try to break-up the plot, all the while protecting themselves from both Hendricks'/Cobalt's people as well as a team of Russian intelligence agents led by Sidirov (played by Vladimir Mashkov) who had been given orders to apprehend Hunt and his team for blowing-up the Kremlin which is, after all, the seat of the Russian government.

Much ensues.  The true "death defying" sequences on Dubai's Burj Khalifa (currently the world's tallest building) as well as the sequences at Mumbai telecom magnate Brij Nath's (played by famed Indian Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor) party are magnificent, indeed often "(action) poetry in motion". Of course, it all ends well.

The international nature of a movie like this fascinates me as well.  And thanks to the Internet, one _can_ check what critics / viewers from (in this case) India and Russia think of this movie.  To my happy surprise, Russian critics/viewers on the forum (orig. Russian / Eng transl. through generally liked the film (some noting that the film was made "from an American point of view).  And readers at the Times of India, gave the movie 4 out of 5 stars as well.  [Note, I did try to check what the English Language service of Aljazeera had to say about the film, and as of the present (Dec 22, 2011), I could not find anything].  So it would seem that this film has succeeded by and large even in respecting the various countries (and their people) where the film was made.  Congratulations!

All in all, I found Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol to be all that one would hope for in a movie like this (and perhaps some more).  If you like these kind of action/spy thrillers then I am more or less certain that you'll enjoy this one.

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