Thursday, June 27, 2013

Movie Review: Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Plenty of fun heart pumping action held together by a decent plot
Cons: Limited character development
The Bottom Line
Another wild ride
With action almost from start
Strap in for the fun

"Boy That was Hard, but I Got it Done."

Yes, there is a place in this world for mindless action flicks.  No, I don't think they deserve to win awards, but they can be lots of fun.  While I've felt the Mission: Impossible movies didn't start out well, I enjoyed the last one and knew I had to see Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol.  It might be my favorite one yet.

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team of Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Jane Carter (Paula Patton) have been tasked with stopping a rogue man who wants to start a nuclear war betweenRussiaand theUS.  But when their first attempts at gathering info ends in disaster, the entire IMF is shut down and they must strike out on their own to stop the villain and clear themselves and their agency.  Can they do it?

Look, if you are coming to this movie expecting anything other than intense action scenes, don't even bother.  The plot is just an excuse for the action.  Now don't misunderstand, the plot actually does hold together reasonably well.  There seemed to be a plot hole in a part or two, but they were small enough that it really wasn't an issue for me at all.  Every so often, the logical part of my brain would chime in with, "This could never happen," but I'd quickly shut it up.

And why is that?  Because I was having so much fun.  The action scenes are frequent and really get your blood bumping.  And they keep throwing things in the hero's path that make it that much more fun.  I'm sure there were lots of special effects involved in the stunts and gun fights, but I couldn't tell.  All I knew was my hands and feet were getting sweaty way too often wondering how the characters would survive.  And I was loving every second of it.

The characters?  Well, besides Ethan, Benji was around for at least the last movie.  Ethan seems to know Jane and some other people we run into, but I sure didn't remember them.  Frankly, that doesn't matter because this is a movie about the action and the characters are just there to do the impossible.  Yes, there are some attempts at characters development, and it worked enough to make me care about the outcome, but really they could be anyone.

Which means that the big thing the actors had to do was action (if they didn't pass it off to stunt doubles) and deliver bits of exposition convincingly.  Now if this sounds like I am knocking the actors, I'm not.  But let's be honest, the demands on them wasn't that big.  The entire cast delivers what the script calls for, and I wasn't bothered by a minute of the acting.

I realize this review sounds like I am criticizing the film, when that's not true.  I loved it.  I'm just being realistic about it.  Most of my critics would apply any film of the action genre.  The genre only has one purpose - suspenseful actions scenes, and I think you'll find some of the best here.

So if you want an adrenalin boost, go see Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol.  It's not great cinema, but it's a heart pumping good time.

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