Movie Review: Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Movie Review: Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol


PG-13 for disturbing images, violence, sexuality,
partial nudity and some thematic elements.
Genre: Spy, action
Running Time: 2 hours 12 minutes

Academy Award-winning director Brad Bird of Ratatouille fame makes his live action feature directing debut with the fourth installment of the Mission Impossible franchise. This time around the Kremlin has been bombed and the blame has fallen on the IMF. As a result, the President initiates Ghost Protocol and accuses Ethan Hunt and his team of placing the bomb in an attempt to incite a global nuclear war.

In order to clear the IMF of terrorism charges Ethan assembles a new team to uncover the truth by using every high-tech trick in the book. But this time they are on their own. If they’re caught, the entire world could be plunged into a nightmare from which there is no waking up.

Did We Really Need Another One Of These?

Mission Impossible, Ghost Protocol, is the fourth movie in this series starring Tom Cruise as IMF spy Ethan Hunt. Assembling his own team to clear his agency’s name and prevent another attack not only is Hunt putting together the pieces of a complicated nuclear war plot, but he’s also trying to figure out the motives of his fellow IMF fugitives.

It’s amazing Tom Cruise found someone who would actually bank roll his Mission Impossible project considering the debacle following the 2009 release of Mission Impossible III. After that movie Cruise had an apparent meltdown and was dropped by the studio. He received bad press and the movie ended up being a box office flop, in spite of all the promotional hype surrounding the flick. With a production budget of $150 million dollars, Mission Impossible III lost approximately $16 million dollars. While it’s true very few movies actually make money, the ego-maniac Tom Cruise was crushed with this failure and seemingly disappeared from the Hollywood scene for awhile.

Fast forward to the year 2011 and we find a slightly smaller production budget of $145 million dollars for Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. We also discover not only top notch director J.J. Abrams involved, but also a cartoon director who won an academy award for the animated movie Ratatouille. Then toss into the mix the fact that Tom Cruise has his name all over the production of this movie too and it seems at times more like a crash scene of genres colliding than a spy movie full of intrigue and suspense. From time to time the stunts and film technique, while not in animated form, do look rather cartoonish and lack luster. Apparently those holding the purse strings held a tight reign on Cruise’s stunt and film production budget when it came to special effects.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol also suffers from a case of long-in-the-tooth syndrome. Clocking in at almost 2 hours 15 minutes there’s a good 30 to 35 minutes that could have been easily dropped from this movie. The set up is too long and by the middle of the movie it begins to drag some too. I did look at my watch with about 35 minutes left in the movie thinking to myself – “Are we done yet?”

A Few Notable Moments

After saying all of that I also want to point out that Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol isn’t a total loss. Simon Pegg returns reprising his role as Benji Dunn a computer spy whiz who loves the toys and likes to stay behind the scenes when fighting the bad guys. Pegg is simply an incredible actor and also adds a great comic-relief characteristic to this movie.

However, the most amazing aspect of this fourth Mission Impossible movie revolves around the fact that it appears as though Tom Cruise is more willing to not take himself too seriously. In preview movies from this franchise they seemed to be nothing more than vanity flicks for Cruise. It was all about Cruise showing off and doing the amazing stunts. But such is not the case for Ghost Protocol. If anything the character of Ethan Hunt is showing his age and wear and tear from all the years of catching the bad guys. Instead of pulling off all the movies with precision, the movie almost becomes a comedy of errors which somehow work.

When all is said and done, it is refreshing to see Cruise make fun of himself here. I went into the movie saying “Not another Cruise vanity film please”. I came out saying – “Okay, a little long but entertaining and a good movie to simply turn your mind off too”. There’s not a lot of substance here. It’s just an action movie which makes you say time and time again – “They could never do that!”

Enjoy the show!
Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.