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Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

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  • babypook
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    #46351

    This is getting some good reviews and I suspect, good box office. It’s off to a good start.

    Here’s Roger Ebert’s take.

     

    Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol (PG-13) Ebert:     Users:     You: Rate this movie right now    

     

     

    Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol

     

     Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” is a terrific thriller with action sequences that function as a kind of action poetry. The best one has Tom Cruise hanging more than 100 stories up on the glass windows of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building. He has been equipped with gloves that cling when slammed against a surface and release when they are curled back.

    Tricky enough in concept alone. But it has been claimed that Cruise “insisted on doing his stunts himself.” Say what? The character Ethan Hunt is seen like a human fly clinging to glass, thousands of feet in the air, and you’re telling me we aren’t looking at CGI? If that’s really Tom Cruise, he seems like a suitable case for treatment.

    If it is or isn’t, the sequence is one of the most spellbinding stretches of film I’ve seen. In the way it’s set up, photographed and edited, it provided me and my vertigo with scary fascination. The movie has other accomplished set pieces as well. It opens with Ethan Hunt’s breakout from a Russian prison. There is a staggering fight scene inside a space-age parking garage where moving steel platforms raise and lower cars, and the fighters jump from one level to another. There’s a clever scene in the vaults of the Kremlin Archives in which a virtual reality illusion is used to fool a guard. And a scene at a fancy Mumbai party in which Indian star Anil Kapoor thinks he’s seducing MI team member Jane (Paula Patton) in an elaborately choreographed diversionary technique.

    Ethan and Jane are joined by Mission mates Brandt (Jeremy Renner) and Benji (Simon Pegg) in an attempt to foil a madman named Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist), who has gained control of a satellite and possession of Russian nuclear codes, and wants to start a nuclear war. His reason, as much as I understand it, is that life on Earth needs to be annihilated once in a while so it can get a fresh start, and Hendricks is impatient waiting for a big asteroid to come along in his lifetime.

    The movie benefits greatly from the well-defined performances of the Mission team. Cruise, hurting from the death of his wife (remember her in the third MI picture?), plays a likable man of, shall we say, infinite courage. Simon Pegg, with his owl face and petulance, is funny as Benji the computer genius, one of those guys who can walk into the Burj Khalifa with a laptop and instantly grab control of its elevators and security cameras. Paula Patton is an appealing Jane, combining sweet sexiness with vicious hand-to-hand fighting techniques. And Jeremy Renner‘s Brandt, entering the plot late as an “analyst” for the IMF secretary (Tom Wilkinson), is revealed to have a great many extra-analytical skills.

    Brandt and Benji have a scene that reaches a new level of action goofiness even for a “Mission: Impossible” movie. Brandt’s mission, and Ethan makes it clear he has to accept it, is to wear steel mesh underwear and jump into a ventilating shaft with wicked spinning fan blades at the bottom. Benji will halt his fall with a little mobile magnet at the bottom of the shaft, so Brandt can break into massive computers. Renner does an especially nice job of seeming very scared when he does this.

    The movie has an unexpected director: Brad Bird, the maker of such great animated films as “The Iron Giant,” “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille.” Well, why not? Animation specializes in action, and his films are known for strong characterization. You’d think he’d been doing thrillers for years.

    Now I want to get back to Tom Cruise, who we left clinging to the side of the Burj Khalifa, allegedly doing his own stunts. I’m not saying he didn’t. No doubt various unseen nets and wires were also used, and at least some CGI. Whatever.

    I remember a story Clint Eastwood told me years ago, after he made “The Eiger Sanction” (1975). There’s a scene in the movie where Clint’s character dangles in mid-air at the end of a cable hanging from a mountain. He’s thousands of feet up. Clint, who also directed, did the scene himself.

    “I didn’t want to use a stunt man,” he said, “because I wanted to use a telephoto lens and zoom in slowly all the way to my face — so you could see it was really me. I put on a little disguise and slipped into a sneak preview of the film to see how people liked it. When I was hanging up there in the air, the woman in front of me said to her friend, ‘Gee, I wonder how they did that?’ and her friend said, ‘Special effects.'”

    Note: I should add that I saw the film in the IMAX format. Wow. The skyscraper scene had incredible impact.

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    nightwingnova
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    #46353

    The cleanest movie of the franchise – little of the grandiosity, sentimentality and over-choreographed stunts of the previous ones.  Tom Cruise is still a godly stud with great, seductive acting chops.  Jeremy Renner actually acts in an action film.  Michael Nykvist is excellent as the fanatical ideologue.  The engaging plot is framed by great excellent cinematography.

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    babypook
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    #46354

    Assigned seating at the IMAX! Right in the middle and close to the front. My fave seats.

    Unpredictable, well delivered, entertaining, beautifully shot, technically fascinating,  and a great reboot to the series. Loved the gorgeous Paula Patton; smart, and athletic perf. Her hand to hand with Sabine Moreau involves no biting or hair-pulling.

    Jeremy Renner, didnt bug me. He was good. 

    I expected a lot from Brad Bird, and imo, he mostly delivered.

    Most happy for Tom Cruise. He needed this one, and he just may have gotten it. My only quibble is in pointing the finger at the Russians, when we have a depopulationist posing as a hero much much geographically closer to us. But, this is rectified by the end.

    Very nice denouement.

    A-

    “He’s an independent defense coordinator, right?”  

     

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    DD
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    #46355

    I saw this Thursday night. It’s REALLY good. I’ve never seen an MI film and I don’t really care for action films. But I REALLY like it…a lot. This is Tom Cruise’s best work in years and Paula Patton was great, too. Full review coming soon.

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    TrendyHipster
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    #46356

    Ahhh shiiit – now I have to see it in IMAX. Free cineplex movie here I come!

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    M H
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    #46357

    I didn’t realize Brad Bird had directed this. Now I am VERY excited to see it. 

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    Graeme O’Neil
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    #46358

    My review: http://onthegointo.com/?p=5998

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    Ryan_Fernand
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    #46359

    I am surprised at how much I loved this film.  Brad Bird has taken the franchise to levels of greatness that it has no business being at.  It was just non-stop action scenes that were actually executed well (unlike Michael Bay who just puts in action into the film for the hell of it).  The Burj Khalifa scene will definitely be a scene I won’t forget.  This is a must see in IMAX.

     

    8.5/10

     

    More of my thoughts on the film are here.

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    Lone Pirate
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    #46360

    This film was a pleasant surprise. Patton, Pegg and Renner made nice additions to Cruise’s franchise. The story and acting were fine; and Bird certainly brought some fresh life to the series. He certainly has a bright, non-animated film career ahead of him if he so chooses. The cinematography and action scenes were pretty much wonderful as Burj scenes were strong enough to generate some acrophobia even in the strongest of souls. I could fully support a Cinematography Oscar nod here for Elswit to go along with his previous win and other nomination. I suspect there will be a fifth film and I am looking forward to it.

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    Scottferguson
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    #46361

    MI:GP currently is sitting with a better Metacritic score than War Horse, Tintin, Dragon Tattoo, Extremely Loud

    Oops….

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    nightwingnova
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    #46362

    And it deserves it!

    Tintin has beautiful animation but is nothing special storywise.  Dragon Tattoo was just a decent representation of the book – not the electric remake it could have been.

    MI:GP currently is sitting with a better Metacritic score than War Horse, Tintin, Dragon Tattoo, Extremely Loud

    Oops….

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    Richard LeBeau
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    #46363

    I saw it today and it was wonderful.  Definitely the best of the series and definitely a better crafted movie than some of the serious Oscar contenders I have seen this year despite the fact that it is ultimately just an action film.  

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    MissyGal
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    #46364

    Saw it in IMAX (totally worth the extra price, by the way). Another very solid entry into the franchise. Everyone and everything worked very well together here. Renner’s character was a great addition to the team, and I loved that Pegg’s character got a lot more screen time this time around. 

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    dannyboy.
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    #46365

    I question whether or not this will catch on post-Xmas, with American audiences.. I think it will be a hit with worldwide grosses factored in, am not sold on this being Cruise’s comeback film (domestic).

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    babypook
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    #46366

    ^
    I have the same concern as you dannyboy. Ever the optimist though. Here’s how the film has done so far, according to Box Office Mojo:

    Total Lifetime Grosses

    Domestic:  $58,970,000    36.5%
    Foreign:  $102,708,972    63.5%
    Worldwide:  $161,678,972  

    Domestic Summary

    Release Dates:  December 16, 2011 (limited)
     December 21, 2011 (wide)
    Limited Opening Weekend:  $12,785,204
    (#3 rank, 425 theaters, $30,083 average)
    Wide Opening Weekend:  $26,535,000
    (#1 rank, 3,448 theaters, $7,696 average)
    % of Total Gross:  45.0%
    Production Budget: $145,000,000
    Widest Release:  3,448 theaters
    In Release:  10 days / 1.4 weeks
    Director: Brad Bird

    As far as I know, they havent announced another entry yet. I guess we’ll see.

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