79/100 (2011, 133 min)
Plot: The IMF is shut down when it's implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organization's name.
Director: Brad Bird
Writers: Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner and Simon Pegg
I'm not a fan of "Mission Impossible" movies. Not that they are not entertaining and the visual effects aren't stunning, but for some reason they aren't particularly memorable. With James Bond series I remember a lot from the movies - icy Rosamund Pike in "Die Another Day", funny geek from "Goldeneye", The scene where Sophie Marceau tortures Pierce Brosman in "The World is not Enough" and Sean Connery, lots of him, because he is well, Sean Connery. With "Mission Impossible" series apart from the famous scene from the first movie where Tom Cruise hangs from the ceiling and the fact how shocked I was Philip Seymour Hoffman appeared in 3rd one, I don't remember that much. But "Ghost Protocol" is a well made movie with fun characters and for me, the best one in the series.
The film opens with impressive sequence where a man (Josh Holloway) runs out with a bag on his shoulder, escaping two guys chasing him. Then a delicate looking woman (Lea Seydoux) appears in front of him, on the empty street and mercilessly shoots him. As he falls on his knees, the woman embraces him and takes the bag. After that she walks away and leaves him there to die.
Then the things only get more interesting - we find out Ethan Hunt is a prisoner in Russia and agent Jane Carter and goofy computer expert Benji help him escape. The escape sequence is brilliant because not only is it ingenious mix of the fight sequences and clever uses of technology, but also it's entertaining and doesn't take itself too seriously - as Tom Cruise is running around punching guys twice as big as he is, Frank Sinatra's "Ain't that a kick in the head" plays in the background.
That's the beauty of the movie - it knows it's not supposed to be taken seriously. I remember thinking previous instalments didn't have enough of Simon Pegg - he is such a funny guy and provides a much needed comic relief to the movies dealing with the threat of war, apocalypse, explosions. He finally gets his chance to shine here, as unlike in the previous three movies there are really four key players not just Ethan Hunt. Since Hunt has never been a complex character that's a very good move.
The cast is very impressive - Tom Cruise continues to be good as Ethan Hunt but as I watched Josh Holloway in his brief appearance as agent Hanaway I couldn't help but think how much better would the movie be if he was playing the main hero. Cruise is doing very nicely as an action star but often times he just has this insanely annoying, constipated look on his face, whereas Holloway in few minutes he is on screen is filled with energy, wit and charisma.
Then we have antagonists. The primary one is played by Michael Nyqvist who made absolutely no impression on me when he played the protagonist in Swedish "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and here not only that, he was the synonym for the bland villain character, sunken with stereotypes and just destined to lose in the end. I thought to myself how much better the movie would be if the main villain was Lea Seydoux's character, assassin for hire, Sabine Moreau. She is just captivating, menacing, icy and fascinating here. Seydoux frequently steals focus - she did so in "Robin Hood" and "Midnight in Paris". The best part is that you don't really know how she does it, but for whatever reason you can't take your eyes off her.
And then, there is the ending. I don't usually use spoilers in my reviews but I have now, as I'm astonished SPOILERS The whole big mystery with Brandt is that he was sent to protect Ethan and his wife Julia and he fails - Julia's body is found in pieces. Now, when we found this out I thought "Finally, some depth, some horror!". But no! In the ending we find out that it was all fake - Ethan and Julia staged the whole thing and she is alive. Wait it gets worse - in the ending scene Ethan is looking at at woman passing by in the distance. It's Julia (Michelle Monagham in a silent cameo) who then notices him and waves. They smile and it's all very lovely. But i don't understand. What the hell? They are married yet all they have is gazing, waving and smiling? And is it really smart of Hunt to stand there stupefied as he stared at her? If somebody would want them dead he could probably do so with a single bullet, going through both of them. END OF SPOILERS
That's not the only cool scene in the film,there are many of those including an explosion I had no idea will happen as I have not read the plot summaries for the movie prior to watching it. There is also a lot of great gadgets, which are not only brilliant but also very memorable, especially the screen because of which Benji and Hunt are able to access archive room in Kremlin. I have no idea whether most of these gadgets is just a science fiction or whether or not they actually exist. The point is, when you watch the movie you don't question the reality of it, you are just having fun.