Film Review: Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

The fourth film in the series and the first in five years, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol ticks all the boxes as far as providing an entertaining action blockbuster.

Having been away from the work of the IMF for a number of years, agent Ethan Hunt is implicated in a major terrorist act overseas. When the unit is shut down, it is up to Hunt to lead a small team of agents to clear the organisation’s name and expose the real culprit…

Director Brad Bird injects new life into the Mission: Impossible film franchise. After the unmemorable third instalment, the new film seems to have more energy. Part of the reason the film works well is because of the team dynamic. More pronounced than in the previous instalments, Ghost Protocol centres on Ethan Hunt leading a team of agents. The group are indispensable to Hunt’s mission, playing more than merely a subordinate role.

Ghost Protocol recalls a certain type of Bond film in its format. The film revolves around some big set pieces, with the downtime used mostly for expository gap-filling. The stunts in Ghost Protocol are even more elaborate than previous episodes, with Tom Cruise engaged in some truly frightening situations. The opening sequence in particular is reminiscent of the stand-alone action-packed beginning of Bond films. The opening credits sequence also hark back to the spy franchise, as well as the original Mission: Impossible television series.

The film relies on these set pieces to grab the attention. This is a successful tactic, although the film peaks too early with a particularly spectacular scene. Otherwise, the narrative is fairly standard for the genre, with little that will really surprise audiences.

Tom Cruise is on good form in Ghost Protocol; he seems to have a lot of energy and relish for the film. Jeremy Renner provides good support, as does Paula Patton. Simon Pegg brings humour, but is less convincing in more serious moments.

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol should satisfy all those looking for a blockbuster this holiday season. It is stunt-heavy and very entertaining.