Bob and Justin's Mad Movie Blog

My name is Bob. My friend Justin and I are aspiring filmmakers and we have pretty similar tastes in movies. This will include our take on what's going on in film and television today as well as updating you on the status of our own work.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

A fourth "Mission: Impossible?" Seriously? The first three movies (directed by Brian De Palma, John Woo, and J.J. Abrams respectively) were all fairly entertaining with some nice sequences but I wouldn't deem any of them as actually being...good. For this newest entry, "Incredibles" and Ratatouille" director Brad Bird was given the reigns for his first live-action film. With a massive budget and arguably Paramount's biggest current franchise on the line, it was a gamble to be sure. So how well did it pay off?
As in the previous films, IMF agent Ethan Hunt has chosen to accept a mission that one might describe as being...exceedingly difficult. His new team consists of Jane (Paula Patton) and former tech geek turned field agent Benji (Simon Pegg). While performing this mission at the Kremlin the building is bombed, Hunt and his fellow team members barely escaping with their lives. Russia sees this as an uprovoked act of war perpetrated by the IMF. With the team on the run they gain another member, an analyst named William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) whose past and motives are called into question.
There's not much point into getting into the details of the plot or just why the U.S. and Russia are on the brink of war in 2011. The script by Andre Nemec and Josh Applebaum doesn't always make sense and with the wrong director the movie could have easily gone off the rails. Bird however, handles the material beautifully. He shoots big action sequences shot with IMAX cameras with such confidence and flair that you'd think he'd been doing it all his filmmaking life.
The sequences, particularly one shot at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, are an absolute blast to watch whether you're just a regular Joe or a film buff. The execution is impeccable which allows us to accept most of the incredibly far fetched moments along the way. The film's sense of humor is strong as well. Most movies of this nature throw out several ham fisted attempts at comedy but Bird's comic sensibilities are strong and having Simon Pegg in such a large role certainly doesn't hurt.
There's not much else to say about "M:I - GP" other than it's just a whole lot of fun and it's the first movie of the series I would actually officially declare as good.
I have a final comment though about the movie's final scene. Without getting too spoilery I'll just say that it takes place in Seattle. There's no action here to speak of. It features characters sitting at a table and talking, wrapping things up. It was clear from the slightly out of focus buildings in the background that once again Vancouver, B.C. was playing the role of Seattle. So Paramount and Tom Cruise were welcome in Moscow, Dubai, and Mumbai to film incredible action sequences involving dangerous stunts and large explosions but for a scene involving drinking some coffee at a table... Seattle just wasn't having it. I really hope that everyone responsible running the film industry out of Seattle sees this movie and is horribly embarrassed and ashamed of themselves. It's absolutely pathetic. 7.5/10.

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