Mission: Impossible - films and tv series

edited September 2023 in General Movies & TV Posts: 11,119
I think I am getting very very excited now after reading the first English review of 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol'. The first ratings on IMDB.com come in and the movie kicks of with a solid 7.8. Then I read this review on www.worldofkj.com and I suddenly can't wait to see the premiere of the new MI-film next Friday (December 16th) here in Barcelona (I am Dutch, but I work here now ;)). Enjoy the review and to prepare for the upcoming action flicks, like 'The Dark Knight Rises', 'The Bourne Legacy' and 'Skyfall', I recommend everyone to see next week's premiere of 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol'. Enjoy this 133 min. action ride ;)!:
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)

It has been 15 years now that the first big screen adaptation of Mission: Impossible hit the theatres. The Brian De Palma film was greeted with mostly mixed reviews which applauded the film’s style and its star, Tom Cruise, but lamented the overly convoluted plot. Nevertheless, the film became a huge success and four years later John Woo brought another Mission: Impossible film to life which dismissed the thriller and conspiracy aspects of the first film and replaced them with an action spectacle just as one would expect of Woo. Once again, the reviewers were less than kind to the film, this time taking issue with the truly generic plot and gaping holes in logic. Yet the film became a huge success once again and still stands as the series’ highest grosser. It took another six years for Mission: Impossible to return to theatres as JJ Abrams crossed over from TV (where he has created hit shows like Alias and Lost) to movies and made Mission: Impossible 3 his first feature film. The fast-paced actioner which returned to the TV show’s roots by emphasizing the team efforts of the IMF instead of being a Cruise one-man-show garnered the series’ best reviews. Unfortunately it also became a financial disappointment in its domestic run, making significantly less than both of its predecessors. The film’s underperformance which was partly attributed to Cruise’s real life antics even led to a breakup between Paramount and Tom Cruise’s Cruise/Wagner production company after a 14 year business relationship. Many thought this to be the end of the successful franchise

Now, five years later, we’re just a week away from the release of the newest entry in the spy action series. Successful cash cows don’t die in Hollywood and one disappointment is certainly not enough to prevent the studios from trying again. Good critical reception and solid overseas numbers for the last film certainly facilitated the new one coming to fruition. Cruise wasn’t ready to give up on his “baby”. Besides, after recent box-office disappointments like Knight and Day or Lions for Lambs he really needed another sure-fire hit. He hasn’t had a $100+ million grosser since the release of Mission: Impossible III. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is certain to change that. Aside from being a sure way to grab a lot of cash, it is also a damn good movie too!

Unlike with the previous Mission: Impossible films, this one doesn’t come along with an entirely new cast and crew. JJ Abrams didn’t return as the director, but he stayed on board as a producer and his influence is still felt in the film. Prime examples of that are the strong female character of Jane Carter as played by Paula Patton and the villainous Moreau, portrayed by Léa Seydoux – the franchise’s first major female antagonist. Moreover, while M:I-regular Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) is reduced to a tiny cameo in this film, Simon Pegg’s Benji returns from Mission: Impossible III in a role that essentially fills Rhames’. His screen time has been vastly expanded from the third film too. On top of that, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is the first Mission: Impossible film not to completely ignore the previous film’s plot, but actually brings in some continuity in the proceedings, such as explaining the absence of Ethan Hunt’s wife, Julia, in the fourth movie.

After a cold opening showing an IMF mission gone wrong in Budapest, new film kicks off with a spectacular breakout from a Russian prison as orchestrated by the IMF agents Jane Carter (Paula Patton) and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg). The person they are breaking out – Ethan Hunt. Shortly after the successful escape, the team receives a new mission – to retrieve an important file on a potential nuclear terrorist. The catch – those files are located in the heart of the Kremlin. But the mission isn’t called “impossible” for nothing, is it? Even though Hunt manages to infiltrate the Kremlin, the whole operation turns out to be a set-up leading to a giant explosion demolishing the Kremlin and the blame being put on the operating IMF team. That leads the US president to initiating Ghost Protocol – disavowing the entire IMF and branding the team in Moscow as terrorists. Just after the Secretary of the IMF (Tom Wilkinson) and his chief analyst Brandt (Jeremy Renner) deliver this message to Hunt (who managed to escape the Russian custody), the three are attacked by Russian forces. Realizing that there’s more behind the whole thing and that a Swedish madman scientist/ex-special forces member Kurt Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist in his second villainous role this year after the one in Abduction) is about to get his hands on the launch codes for Russian nuclear missiles Hunt, Carter, Dunn and Brandt become the world’s last stand between the terrorist and a nuclear war. Their hunt after Hendricks leads them first to Dubai and then, for the film’s spectacular finale, to Mumbai.

The greatest trick the fourth Mission: Impossible film somehow manages is to feel fresh. Don’t expect to see a lot of originality here or anything resembling any realism or inherent logic. The film embraces its over-the-top silliness and plays with it well. Despite that, however, it still feels like a fresh start and a way to possibly establish a consistent Mission: Impossible franchise in which, unlike in most Bond films, the previous adventures aren’t completely ignored and the cast and crew aren’t always completely replaced. Mission: Impossible III has already managed to stress the team efforts on a mission, even though it still put Ethan Hunt very much in the spotlight. Ghost Protocol takes this even a little further by giving all tram members significant portions of each operation to accomplish and gives them all their own action scenes too. For the first time, all the IMF accomplishments truly feel like a team effort. Cruise is still the clear leading man here and he is, as usual, perfect in the role of Hunt. He handles the action scenes terrifically well (you can see that he did most of his stunts himself) and is still effortlessly cool (again sporting a longer haircut as he did in M:I-2).

The rest of the cast is definitely worth mentioning too. Paula Patton essentially took over Maggie Q’s role from the third film, but added more emotional layers and substance to it. She is great in action sequences as well as in the film’s (few) quieter moments. Simon Pegg works very well as Benji and helps to make this the franchise’s funniest entry by a mile. But it’s Jeremy Renner as Brandt who really makes an impression here. Brought to the movie as a potential replacement for Cruise in the future instalments he handles the role splendidly. A great presence in the action scenes (though you can see his lack of experience as compared to Cruise’s Hunt), Renner also displays more layers than you’d expect of a character like this. Moreover, his interactions with Pegg are quite funny too. But more important than these actors’ individual efforts is the fact that the four just work exceptionally well as a team.

As for the rest of the cast, Nyqvist does his job just fine, even though he’s character is pretty much a generic madman. That’s also a diversion from the usual formula. In the past movies the villains were usually after something specific, be it money or some secret weapon. This time around, the IMF is simply dealing with an insane fanatic who thinks that a nuclear war is just the thing that our planet earth needs to start anew. As mentioned above, Léa Seydoux stone-cold angel-faced assassin also makes an impression, while the appearances by Josh Holloway and Anil Kapoor are nothing more than glorified cameos, though the latter’s character is quite amusing.

With Brad Bird the most unusual director to date has been chosen for a Mission: Impossible movie. Brad who has directed critical hits Ratatouille, The Incredibles and The Iron Giant hasn’t made a single live action movie before. Turns out he was just the perfect choice as he can direct action better than most experienced action directors nowadays. Michael Bay really should take a look at this before making his next movie. Bird brings his sensibility for characters and situational humor to this movie while never forgetting what this franchise is about: elaborate action sequences (usually involving scary heights), fast cars and crazy gadgets. All of these and more are present. Bird has delivered the distinctly best action movie of the year with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Starting with the film’s opening scene in Budapest, this globe-trotting adventure never slows down, delivering several huge action set pieces. The Dubai sandstorm chase and the final showdown in Mumbai being the major standouts, the film is just filled with imaginative non-stop action that delivers all the thrills one would hope to see in a film like this. Unlike a movie like Quantum of Solace, Ghost Protocol actually manages to make its action very engaging, always keeping the viewer on the edge of the seat, even though they know that the good guys will win and the bad guys will be defeated. That’s truly successful filmmaking.

Of course it is possible to complain about issues with logic, apparent immortality and invulnerability of some main characters or the ridiculous gadgets. But frankly, a movie that barely gives you a moment to catch your breath (and that despite a 2+ hours running time) and has your eyes glued to the screen doesn’t give you much of an opportunity to think about its flaws. It’s a high octane thrill ride that is the definition of a great summer popcorn movie – except that it is not released in the summer.


  • Posts: 12,506
    should be interesting to go and see
  • Posts: 9,788
    i was interested in it for a while I might have to wait till after the new year to see it but I will see it.
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 3,169
  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    Posts: 13,351
    Oh, wow. This is great news. Finally a good film, the first since the original.
  • Posts: 3,169
    Nah... the 3rd was the best :-)
  • Posts: 12,506
    yeah i enjoyed the 1st and 3rd. felt that woo's style just didn't seem right for the MI films. The slow motion thing did my head in! Works in sci fy like the Matrix....etc. but not inespionage films for me.

    I will go see this one as well as it sounds great and as the reviews say? Its more of a team again
  • Looking forward to this, and I do like all three previous films as each is so different from the others. Having said that, I think that the third was the most well-made and my favourite so I'm looking for to this one as it will likely continue the style and direction of the previous film.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,650
    I'm so looking forward to this film, especially because, as thelordflasheart already explained, each film is so different from the other ones.

    I liked the first M:I but I wasn't terribly excited by it. M:I 2 is my guilty pleasure film in the series. It takes a lot of heat but I like Woo's ballet action style for the film. M:I 3 so far is my favourite film of the bunch. I'm a J.J. Abrams fan and I love what he did with M:I. So, if GP works as well as I can read in this thread, DD will be a happy boy when he's seen the film. :P
  • Posts: 5,745
    The first is my favorite. It shows class and intelligence in its plot, how an espionage film should. Its directed perfectly, and all the twists and turns are a joy to drive through.

    The second is a pretty movie. I like the cut-backs, where the camera angle changes and takes you back 2 seconds before the first (the bike-car chase sequence). I believe its the only film to have done it, and I love it. I think they took the masks a little too far. Why on Earth would Ethan Hunt have a mask for that guys security guard or whoever, let alone a mask of Ethan Hunt to put on the security guard -_-

    The third is the second best. I usually hate 'coming out of retirement' films, but this one is alright. I loose interest more and more on repeated viewings, unfortunately, because of the rather simple plot. As Abram's first feature, he did an amazing job. I love where he's taken the franchise, and the third delivers more action than plot, similar to QoS. They're both very good for a Saturday night action flick, but not for a house party of film critics :P

    The fourth I'm sure I will love, however its bittersweet to see Tom Cruise leave the franchise. I hate the long hair is back, and they seemingly forget about his wife, but hey, that's probably a good thing. I'll be viewing this in IMAX on the day of release to experience the action as real as possible (as well as see my 6 minutes of TDKR).
  • It is actually not true. In M:I 4 you will find out why Tom Cruise's wife is not in the movie. It is explained. Do not worry.
  • Posts: 5,745
    Yes, but they spent so long involving her in the III to just sign her off in the fourth -_-
  • Artemis81Artemis81 In Christmas Land
    Posts: 543
    Pretty excited about this one. I have only seen first and second movie so I'm hoping to see the third one some time this week.
  • Posts: 12,506
    you will enjoy it Artemis81, its a very good movie!
  • Is the plot actually realistic this time? Do we care about the story?
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    I am glad to see positive reviews but I have gripes. I am worried there is no Julia and no Luther. A reduced budget apparently endangered Ving Rhames's return in MI4 and since It has been done filming for months now and since we haven't heard any news about any of it I don't think Luther is in the film. Same thing with the beautiful Michelle Monaghan. Did the same thing happen to her or are both Julia and Luther not in there for a reason?? But the trailers only show 3% of content to a 2-2 1/2 hour film so Julia and Luther's roles in the film could have been kept under wraps. My only hope is that is if Luther doesn't appear that they don't hock up a story that he died in action or something. And no divorce scenario for Julia and Ethan ok?! Fingers crossed!
    Posts: 107
    Thought the first Mission Impossible was a damn good watch.

    Though MI2 and MI3 were especially poor quality (because they became less serious and more commercial).

    I believe that MI4 is reboot to franchise (similiar to Casino Royale); and following decent reviews - might be worth watching.
  • talos7talos7 New Orleans
    Posts: 8,026
    Brad Bird has been My number one on my list to direct a Bond film for some time. Animation or live action, Bird knows how to tell a story and present well developed characters and he also is a master of action.
  • Posts: 2,107
    I can't understand this. Last time we had a world wide release dates with MI-3 and now we have to wait until february to see it.
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 12,837
    I think they should've got a new actor in to replace cruise, he still looks young but he's getting old and I never found him that convincing in the MI films. But on topic, I think right now the 3rd is the best but I'll have to go and see this one
  • In this scene however, he actually acts and looks like James Bond!:

  • Posts: 12,506
    i think ving rhaimes only has a tiny cameo in it as simon peggs charactor kind of fulfills that role that he did? But i may be wrong?
  • bloody hell. Look at this fight scene. It's like Rosa Klebb all over again :P. I loveeee catfights. Please put one of those in 'Skyfall':

  • Posts: 1,894
    Did the same thing happen to her or are both Julia and Luther not in there for a reason??
    GHOST PROTOCOL is believed to be a reboot of the series for a reason: Tom Cruise is apparently leaving the franchise, and Jeremy Renner is taking over. GHOST PROTOCOL is said to be a way of handing the series over to Renner.
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 114
    Every scene I've seen (sorry), has been fantastic, not taking itself too seriously, and the best part is how all the characters seem to banter amongst each other. Have a good feeling about this.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    Did the same thing happen to her or are both Julia and Luther not in there for a reason??
    GHOST PROTOCOL is believed to be a reboot of the series for a reason: Tom Cruise is apparently leaving the franchise, and Jeremy Renner is taking over. GHOST PROTOCOL is said to be a way of handing the series over to Renner.

    Tom, Simon and Brad are already in talks to do another film so I don't know how true the whole reboot story is.
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 4,619
    GHOST PROTOCOL is believed to be a reboot of the series for a reason: Tom Cruise is apparently leaving the franchise, and Jeremy Renner is taking over. GHOST PROTOCOL is said to be a way of handing the series over to Renner.

    Ghost Protocol is not a reboot. Although a new adventure, it clearly follows Mission: Impossible III. Ethan Hunt is back, Simon Pegg's character Benji Dunn is back and they explain what happened with Ethan's wife.

    Oh and Jeremy Renner is not taking over. People who have already seen the movie said that it's clear from the story that the whole "handing the series over to Renner" was nothing more than deception on Paramount's part
  • Althought Im sure the reviews on RT and IMDB will go down over the next few weeks, as with all new releases, Im still excited to see this. Not half as excited as Skyfall but this will have to be my spy fix for the next 11 months.
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    Posts: 15,695
    Just came back from a showing of 'Ghost Protocol' !
    Ving Rhames and Michelle Williams have cameos in the film.

    Very good film. Stellar cast, breathtaking action (especially the Dubai section). The plot may be a bit simple, but all in all a perfect action film with lots of entertainement, excitement, escapism and humour (Simon Pegg is just so funny in the film) !!
  • how are some able to see before the release date? Advance showing?
  • edited December 2011 Posts: 9,788
    Just came back from a showing of 'Ghost Protocol' !
    Ving Rhames and Michelle Williams have cameos in the film.

    Very good film. Stellar cast, breathtaking action (especially the Dubai section). The plot may be a bit simple, but all in all a perfect action film with lots of entertainement, excitement, escapism and humour (Simon Pegg is just so funny in the film) !!

    Awesome glad you enjoyed DC. I've been hooked GP since i first saw the title can't wait to see the film but I'll see it most likely the week after Christmas.

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