Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol Made in: USA Language: English, Russian Director: Brad Bird Starring: Tom Cruise, Michael Nyqvist, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg, Vladimir Mashkov, Anil Kapoor, Samuli Edelmann, Léa Seydoux, Miraj Grbic Year: 2011
Synopsis: In the fourth film of this Tom Cruise -led action series, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is out to save the world again. When Russian nuclear missile launch codes end up in the hands of a terrorist code-named Cobalt (Michael Nyqvist), the fun begins when Ethan and his team find themselves recruited to stop him.
Ethan is once again joined by Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), as well as newcomer Jane Carter (Paula Patton).
Tasked with sneaking into a highly secure archive room within the Kremlin itself, the plan is to find a stash of secret files that will reveal the true identity of Cobalt, and the means to stop him! But the dastardly terrorist is one step ahead, and sets of an enormous bomb that practically blows the Kremlin off the map.
Ethan and his team survive but take the blame, with the Russian government proclaiming the explosion an undeclared act of war. The US President initiates "Ghost Protocol," an ultra-secret contingency plan that allows Ethan and his small crew to continue tracking Cobalt.
But having been officially disavowed, they're on their own...with no backup.
With the countdown to nuclear armageddon well underway, they are joined by a mysterious analyst named William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) who may not be who he appears to be. The hard-hitting adventure soon spans across several continents, with the situation becoming more and more impossible by the minute!
The Good: Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol is a highly entertaining action movie that is arguably the series' best installment yet. On his way to 50 as of this review, Tom Cruise is still in good enough shape to carry such a demanding picture.
Simon Pegg adds the perfect amount of comic balance, and his natural wit is spot-on. Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton are both strong additions, and the onscreen chemistry between the central cast works nicely.
Michael Nyqvist, known for his role in the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo films, is an interesting choice for a villain. And an actor of his caliber gives this Mission Impossible movie a more sophisticated feel.
Renowned Russian actor Vladimir Mashkov is also a welcome presence, and does a great job playing a relentless (although somewhat stereotypical) FSB Agent.
Although the movie is over two hours long, the pace is just right and you can be assured of seeing another eye-popping action sequence just before things slow down too much.
And without giving too much away, the set piece that takes place at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (the tallest building in the world) is as breathtaking as advertised in the trailer.
The Bad: The motivation of Michael Nyqvist's character was a bit vague, and he was pretty underdeveloped. This leads me to my next point, which is that Nyqvist, Vladimir Mashkov, and Anil Kapoor don't get quite enough screen time.
These are all highly accomplished actors in their own right, and Mission Impossible doesn't showcase the full range of their talents.
And as fun as the movie is, it still has the feel of a Tom Cruise vanity piece. Thankfully though, Cruise's screen-hogging is not nearly as bad as it was during the schlock-filled Mission: Impossible 2, where the never-ending slow-mo shots of TC's long locks were practically Shatner-esque in its self-indulgence.
Who would like this movie: Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol is for you if you're hungry for a big budget Hollywood action movie that's actually worth seeing. This is a fun, satisfying adventure full of amazing stunts, great special effects, highly competent actors, and a pretty good story at its core.
It's nice to know that Hollywood can still get it right sometimes.