I am not a fan of Tom Cruise, and I am usually not a fan of movie franchises extending for too long.
But it was hard to not be excited about Ghost Protocol, and harder to not enjoy watching it.
While not reaching the class of the first film (face it; it’d be hard to), this one makes a good effort standing on its own. The action scenes were great, if not innovative, and having Tom run around a Russian jail was a pretty awesome start to a movie. The film also sends us a welcome reminder that Ethan Hunt is still human, in the way he behaved on and after the window ledge when he escaped from hospital, in the underlying subplot involving his wife and in his sometimes reluctance of being the only alpha character in his team.
Speaking of his team, the supporting cast disappointed just a little; the unexciting Paula Patton made me miss Thandie Newton from Part 2 and I’m reluctant about Simon Pegg‘s comic relief, which could, along with the slight displays of Ethan Hunt humour, be a personal touch from director Brad Bird, whose previous directorial and screenwriting work has solely been the likes of Ratatouille and The Incredibles.
Picking up the slack, Tom defied his age and almost brought all the action on his own. I might add at this point that he opted to do away with a stunt double, even in scenes which involved the exterior of the current world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. I have to also add that those scenes were perhaps the most breathtaking and memorable ones from the movie (or even series). Rounding things out, Jeremy Renner‘s character added a good depth the team has not seen in the last two movies (because surely you didn’t think Tom could add it, could you?) but as much as I hope to see him in any potential sequels, I have a feeling he’s run his course in the IMF. Unless he becomes a villain, which I would actually love to see.
Michael Nyqvist as a main antagonist was sufficiently menacing, yet not nearly as memorable as Jean Reno, Jon Voight, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Dougray Scott were in previous instalments. His support in the form of Lea Seydoux and Samuli Edelmann was forgettable if not for Lea’s coldly beautiful countenance, even though they contributed greatly to the thrills of the sequences filmed in and around the Burj Khalifa.
The best efforts of Cruise, Renner, Nyqvist and Bird though, could not save the film from its own storyline: I found it exaggerated and silly at some points, and a touch too draggy. Shame.
Director: Brad Bird
Producers: Tom Cruise, J.J. Abrams & Bryan Burk
Screenwriters: Andre Nemec & Josh Applebaum
Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton