Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol – Blu-ray Review

With  Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Tom Cruise and his IMF buddies amp up the action and suspense to give the audience the best film in the franchise so far. The film kicks off with a massive action sequence and keeps you on the edge of your seat until the final credits roll.

In his first live-action feature film, director Brad Bird (The Incredibles and The Iron Giant) keeps the film’s pace wound tight and blends the action with a light sense of humor – which gives the audience a chance to breathe between Cruise’s many death-defying stunts.

The film was written by André Nemec and Josh Appelbaum (who are both handling writing chores on Jonathan Liebesman’s Ninja Turtle reboot). Along with Cruise, the film stars Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Michael Nyqvist, Vladimir Mashkov, Samuli Edelmann, Ivan Shvedoff, Anil Kapoor, Léa Seydoux, Josh Holloway, and Tom Wilkinson.

Ghost Protocol opens with an IMF assignment going wrong and resulting in the death of agent Trevor Hanaway (Holloway) and Russian nuclear launch codes getting into the hands of the bad guys. The death leads IMF tech agent Benji Dunn (Pegg) and agent Jane Carter (Patton) to break Ethan Hunt (Cruise) out of the Russian prison he has been vacationing in for a while. The escape basically causes a riot to cover Hunts tracks, and plans get a little screwy when Hunt demands to take fellow prisoner Bogdan (Miraj Grbic) along for the ride.

Once free, Hunt isn’t given a chance to rest before being tasked with a mission to break into the Kremlin and obtain information on a man known as Cobalt – who has plans to detonate a nuclear bomb. The break-in sequence is top-notch and features the kind of gadgets you expect from a Mission Impossible film. It also goes incredibly wrong and ends up forcing the entire IMF agency to be disavowed (an order known as Ghost Protocol).

On the run with fellow agents Dunn, Carter and IMF intelligence analyst William Brandt (Renner), Hunt takes on the task of tracking down Cobalt, retrieving the launch codes, and saving the planet once again.

With the plot firmly established, Bird shifts the film neatly from action sequence to action sequence with Pegg providing great comedy support to keep the audience from feeling overloaded or exhausted from the film’s epic scope and twisting plot.

The film’s biggest action sequence sees Hunt crawling along the outside of the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world) in Dubai. The team is hoping to switch the codes with fake ones and to track the case back to Cobalt. Although Benji has the tech stuff to handle the job, Hunt has to go for a little stroll outside the building to get into the security office.

With some special gloves (remember Blue is Glue and Red is Dead), Hunt crawls up the building like a spider, and the audience literally holds their breath the entire sequence. This one sequence is probably one of the best scenes of the entire franchise – possibly any action/spy film. Once again, Hunt is thrown a curveball and forced to chase down Cobalt during a sandstorm giving the audience yet another thrilling action sequence where cars are flying everywhere.

The film then transitions smoothly to the final action sequence where Hunt and his team do their best to stop Cobalt from launching his missile, and Bird and company show they have even more incredible stunt work for Cruise to thrill the audience with (the fight sequence in the parking garage is brutal and seems to have even more tension than Cruise’s climb outside of Burj Khalifa).

Mission Impossible is a franchise that just seems to be getting stronger with each entry. Bird does an excellent job in the director’s chair and keeps the tone and look from director J.J. Abrams’ (who served as a producer for Ghost Protocol) third outing. Although this is still very much a Tom Cruise film, the movie has an ensemble feel with each of the team members being as important as Cruise.

Cruise owns the Hunt character and has managed to keep the character developing with each film. His character seems a little tired of saving the world this time, but is willing to once again put his life on the line to save the day. The audience also gets to see the toil saving the world time and time again has taken on Hunt – thanks mostly to a side story about Hunt’s wife Julia Mead (Michelle Monaghan).

Pegg is extremely good in the film and manages to steal almost every scene he is in. His character was a great addition in the third film, and given him an expanded role for this movie was a brilliant idea. His eagerness to be a field agent (not to mention wear a mask) is a great foil for Hunt’s many tired expressions.

Jeremy Renner (whose character has his own mysterious backstory) and Paula Patton (who quickly shows she is more than just a pretty face) add to the team elements, but could have been further developed in the film.  The film’s ending set up better things to come in the next installment and I hope all the actors manage to make their way back for another mission.

The film looks incredible on Blu-ray and its massive action sequences belong on this kind of high definition. It also comes with more than two hours of bonus material that take a look at the making of the film; how they shot the action sequences; an alternate opening; and deleted scenes.

In my opinion, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is the best film in the franchise. Bird and company have crafted a film that runs at a rocket pace; keeps the audience on the edge of their seat from the opening moments; and ends with you wanting more (and feeling completely exhausted from all of action caught on the screen). This is a movie that is easy to highly recommend.

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