Mission Improbable: Standard Protocol

“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” is a high-octane thrill ride that will have you on the edge of your seat for all 133 minutes of its runtime. This is an intense movie that never lets up, and leaves you exhausted by its finish. It’s not action all the time, but it plays out like a constant chase.

This is the fourth entry into the series starring Tom Cruise. Don’t fret if you haven’t seen any of the other ones. All you need to know is that Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is an agent for the U.S. Government, and is really just an all around badass. He’s part of the I.M.F., which stands for the Impossible Missions Force (of course). He is tasked with “impossible” missions which usually involve espionage, and have global ramifications.

If you’re familiar with the other “Mission: Impossible” movies you can expect more gadgets, and liberal doses of that unmistakable theme song.

The audience is repeatedly introduced to new gadgets, and a lot of them have that “wow” factor. Things that get you thinking: “Wouldn’t it be really cool if something like that existed?” It’s pretty entertaining to watch the characters use these tools in their “impossible” missions.

You’ll be whisked away to three exotic locations, introduced each time by the obligatory dramatic panning shot. There’s no real rhyme or reason that the events of the movie take place in the majority of them, other than that they make for cool places to shoot movies. I’m not an expert on cinematography, but I do have to say that there are some great shots and scenes throughout.

You can’t rely too much on common sense if you want to fully enjoy this movie. I was able to completely suspend disbelief and left myself at the film’s mercy. The plot is pretty farfetched, but in this type of movie, it’s almost expected. I was a little disappointed to see that the main villain wasn’t fleshed out a little more though; he comes off a bit too cartoon super-villain to me.

There isn’t a whole lot of character development, and as a result the characters end up being pretty shallow. Joining Hunt is the tech-savvy comedy relief (Simon Pegg), the tough but sexy female (Paula Patton), and the skilled yet mysterious agent (Jeremy Renner). There isn’t much depth, but the film’s makers sprinkled in just enough emotional content in between the explosions to make you actually care about them.

Just another day at the office...

The film overall ends up being pretty formulaic, though while watching it, I never felt like I knew what was going to happen. I was slightly disappointed when it was over because it seemed like everything I just watched was calculated for maximum audience enjoyment. Throw in a car chase here, sprinkle in a clever one-liner there, a plot twist here and of course that one moment where a character says the name of the movie *poof* you’ve got a Grade-A Hollywood blockbuster.

There are certain expectations that come with making a movie that’s part of a franchise, and you can’t expect the producers to tinker with the formula too much. Ultimately, my biggest gripe is that the movie seems so recycled and manufactured. It’s not bad by any means, but I don’t really have a desire to watch it ever again.

There isn’t too much to complain about here, however. I doubt anyone goes into a “Mission: Impossible” movie for the plot or character development — they want to see things go *BOOM*.  And that’s exactly what they do. The bottom line is that it’s an entertaining movie, and if you’re a fan of action movies you won’t be disappointed.


About Randall Woo
Me, fail English? That's unpossible.

2 Responses to Mission Improbable: Standard Protocol

  1. Matt Stewart says:

    I would probably rate it a solid 4/5, it was too entertaining for me to give it 3.5/5. Still, good review, I think we agree as a whole!

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