Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol

3 01 2012

There are a lot of bad action movies out there, and there are a few good ones.

Fortunately, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is one of the good ones

Featuring Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, it has just the right blend of ridiculous action and gripping drama to keep audiences on the edge of their seats, but manages to retain its unique Mission Impossible identity and humour along the way.

The storyline, at first, seems just as silly as other Mission Impossible movies. Ethan’s primary target is an individual named Cobalt, whose goal is to antagonize Russia and the United States into global nuclear warfare.

This plotline has already been played out in video games like Call of Duty, but fortunately, Ghost Protocol introduces its own twists and turns into the mix.

mission impossible ghost protocol review

Ultimately, what starts off as an average action movie turns into a surprising international thriller that keeps audiences guessing throughout. The storyline picks up steam along the way, and the plot meanders – in an easily understandable way – to its exciting conclusion.

After a bomb goes off in the Kremlin, the President of the United States initiates ‘Ghost Protocol’, which pins the bombing on Ethan and his team, who must then escape from the elite special forces teams of both Russia and the United States (among other interested parties).

This mission takes them to a number of remarkable locales, including the Kremlin and the United Arab Emirates. These locations help keep the action fresh throughout the movie, and feature some particularly scene-stealing moments along the way.

Tom Cruise, who performed many of his own stunts in the film, is seen at one point leaping from the tallest building in the world, the Burj-al-Khalifa in Dubai. Since the camera follows his character, Ethan, while he is attached with only a terrifyingly small rope, scenes like this help to put the audience in the midst of the action.

Of course, what would a Mission Impossible movie be without a few devices to guide the team along its way? To make the job easier, the team is equipped with tools that seem to do everything. From turning off cameras to hacking into complex government databases, there is no job that these magical devices cannot do.

But in that respect, I suppose Ghost Protocol is simply continuing a legacy left by the three Mission Impossible movies before it: using insanely advanced technology to beguile every enemy that stands in Ethan’s way.

Fortunately, this technology makes for some pretty cool scenes, like the one where Ethan uses an iPad to automatically film the surrounding environment, displaying it on a portable screen that fills up a hallway in order to mask his presence. Sure, it may be overt product placement, but it’s entertaining nonetheless.

Interspersed within these moments are scenes with complete self-realization: the creators of the Mission Impossible franchise know exactly what people like about their movies, and they use that knowledge to their full advantage.

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In one scene, for example, Ethan is considering whether or not to jump forty feet into a pile of garbage. The person chasing him – an evil Russian – comically waggles his eyebrows suggesting he do it. Instead, Ethan takes off his belt, latches it onto a conveniently placed wire, and slides down onto the top of a van before tumbling off awkwardly onto the concrete.

Moments like this separate Mission Impossible from other movies of its ilk. Instead of taking itself too seriously, Ghost Protocol provides that silly action that keeps movie audiences entertained, while still retaining those compelling plot pieces that prevent us from completely dismissing its storyline.

You may not always know what he’s doing, but Ethan Hunt and his team rarely fail to entertain. Whether you see the film for its crazy stunts or the exotic locales, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is certainly an action movie to remember.

4 stars out of 5