In commemoration of the release of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT, I will be reviewing the previous films in the franchise because I’m bored and I need a project in my down time! Besides, it’s a fun way to catch up on movies that I haven’t seen in awhile. So if isn’t obvious, I’m implying that I have indeed seen all of these films before. But I’ve decided to go back in time and lay down my opinion for each and every one of them, with the notable exception of ROGUE NATION, as I already have a review for that one:
- MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE (1994)
- MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II (2000)
- MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III (2006)
- MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (2015)
Aww, yeah. Now it gets intense, ladies and gentlemen. I seriously can’t wait to revisit this one.
Here’s the cast. Tom Cruise (AMERICAN MADE , JACK REACHER 2 , and the upcoming TOP GUN: MAVERICK ), the ever-amazing Simon Pegg (READY PLAYER ONE , STAR TREK BEYOND , STAR WARS: FORCE AWAKENS , and upcoming films SLAUGHTERHOUSE RULEZ  and LOST TRANSMISSIONS ), Paula Patton (TRAFFIK  and WARCRAFT ), Jeremy Renner (TAG , WIND RIVER , ARRIVAL , AVENGERS: ULTRON , and upcoming films ARCTIC JUSTICE  and AVENGERS: ENDGAME ), and the late Michael Nyqvist (JOHN WICK , and upcoming films HUNTER KILLER  and KURSK ).
In support, we have Tom Wilkinson (DENIAL , and upcoming films DEAD IN A WEEK: OR YOUR MONEY BACK  and THE MAN WHO SAVED PARIS ), Léa Seydoux (THE LOBSTER , SPECTRE , BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR , MIDNIGHT IN PARIS , and upcoming films ZOE  and KURSK ), Josh Holloway (SABOTAGE  and LOST [2004 – 2010]), Ving Rhames (FATHER FIGURES ), and Michelle Monaghan (SLEEPLESS , PATRIOTS DAY , and PIXELS ).
Now for the crew. Directing, we have Brad Bird, known for INCREDIBLES II (2018) and TOMORROWLAND (2015). Co-writing the screenplay, we have duo John Appelbaum and André Nemec, both known for TMNT: OUT OF THE SHADOWS (2016). Composing the score is Michael Giacchino, known for JURASSIC WORLD 2 (2018), BOOK OF HENRY (2017), STAR TREK BEYOND (2016), INSIDE OUT (2015), and the upcoming BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE (2018). The cinematographer is Robert Elswit, known for SKYSCRAPER (2018), GOLD (2017), and the upcoming VELVET BUZZSAW (2018). Finally, the editor is Paul Hirsch, known for THE MUMMY (2017), WARCRAFT, STAR WARS: EMPIRE (1980) and NEW HOPE (1977).
This is my honest opinion of: MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL
IMF Agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has been detained in a Moscow prison. But with the help of Agent Jane Carter (Paula Patton) and newly promoted field agent Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), they break him out of prison and are assigned a new mission: break into the Kremlin in Russia and uncover more information about an extremist, alias: Cobalt (Michael Nyqvist), who intends to start a nuclear war between Russia and America, via stolen nuclear launch codes that assassin Sabine Moreau (Léa Seydoux) stole from an IMF agent named Hanaway (Josh Holloway). The mission is mostly successful until they hear an unknown person piggybacking off of their comms, had places explosives inside the Kremlin, destroying it, and making it look like the IMF did it. Though Ethan and his team make it out alive, Ethan is reunited with IMF Secretary (Tom Wilkinson) and his analyst William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) only to hear more bad news. The President of the US has initiated “Ghost Protocol”: disavowing the IMF as a whole, branding them all traitors. The remaining IMF Agents Ethan, Brandt, Benji, and Carter must locate Cobalt before he can cause nuclear war.
Hell yeah, now this is what Mission: Impossible is to me. This movie takes M:I 3 and cranks it up to eleven and it’s a glorious outing.
I honestly couldn’t name a scene that wasn’t memorable. From the prison break playing Frank Sinatra’s “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head,” the hallway scene in the Kremlin and Benji’s water droplet gadget, the Kremlin’s destruction, pretty much everything in Dubai, the sandstorm chase, scaling the outside of the Burj Khalifa with a single sticky glove, the painful climactic fist fight in that automated car park, dude, you couldn’t get my blood boiling more even if you put me in a boiling cauldron. This had everything. Great action, great suspense, and who can ever resist a good old fashioned fancy soiree loaded with champagne, seduction, misdirection, and it never hurts to throw in some great comedy.
One of my favorite additions to this franchise is far and away, Brandt. I forgot just how funny and adorable he was. I will never forget that scene where he’s supposed to jump some twenty feet on a spinning fan. Yes, yes, Benji will catch him, but Brandt is so nervous and scared that he’s stretching, exhaling dramatically, everyone shouting at him to jump, and he’s taking his sweet time in actually jumping, man, my sides were splitting. All I could think about was how I wanted to adopt him. “Should I not have jumped?! BECAUSE I JUMPED!!!” Or what about, “Next time, I get to seduce the rich guy.” Man, I love Brandt. But more than his incredible sense of humor, he is arguably the emotional center of the movie as well, being a man who is haunted by his failure during a field assignment before converting to becoming an analyst, despite having great skills. Compared to the rest of the team, Brandt was not only the best written character in the group, but in the entire movie. I mean, everyone loves Ethan’s unshakable tenacity, hell, it’s arguably my favorite quality to have in any character, but this is around the time when Ethan no longer develops, and now we need great supporting characters and villains to make up for this. Brandt is the answer to that. And Benji. Benji is a welcomed bloke in any given situation. Anyone else think he should just have his own sitcom? Yes? No? Maybe so? How about just the occasional short film? Come on, someone out there has to agree with me!
With that said, time didn’t do my hype in seeing this movie any favors as there are some weaknesses that I now take issue with.
Remember how in the first movie, they did that stupid-ass thing where they show future scenes of the movie during the opening titles? Well, they brought that back and it’s about as annoying as it’s ever been. This is, believe or not, a form of spoiling, even if audiences don’t know it yet.
And I do take some issue with Carter. Yes, yes, I raved and raved about how bad-ass she was in my previous reviews, but there were definitely aspects that I forgot. Look, I get it, assassin kills your lover. That’s enough to make anyone angry, you won’t hear me argue. But… I don’t know, there’s something about it all that Carter makes so personal. She’s an IMF agent. Hanaway was an IMF agent. Nobody gets into the fields of law-enforcement, military, or spying without knowing the risks. There is a good chance of getting killed in action. And it’s not like Moreau killed Hanaway to hurt Carter. She, like the lot of them, were just doing their jobs. I’m not saying I wouldn’t want revenge either, but… come on, mission. Nuclear war. Millions, upon millions of lives at stake. Pretty sure Hanaway wouldn’t want her to make the mission harder for the rest of her team. With that said, I maintain that she is the most bad-ass chick in the franchise following Michelle Monaghan and Keri Russell. She’s great during that seduction scene. I love how she practically abuses the rich guy, cracking his fingers, slapping him, twisting his wrist, AND YET HE’S STILL GOING FOR IT (it’s Paula Patton; who wouldn’t?), plus, good in both a fist and gun fight, she’s still pretty awesome.
And let’s talk about the villain, Hendricks/Cobalt. I maintain that he is a pretty weak villain. He has zero personality. Sure, he blows up the Kremlin and essentially responsible for the President initiating Ghost Protocol and getting the entire IMF organization disavowed, but that’s only in terms of what he does, not who he is. While his actions are certainly more than any other villain has accomplished in this franchise, he himself is pretty unremarkable. All we really know about him is that he’s an extremist who wants nuclear war. Well… wunderbar for him, but that’s as deep as his character goes. With all that said, I think I have to give credit for one thing and only thing only about Cobalt: his death scene. This might be the most satisfying death any villain has received. I mean, he takes the briefcase, takes a fifty foot swan dive (exaggeration, I know), slams into a car, hits the ground like a sack of bricks, and still doesn’t die. He lives long enough only to see that his plans have failed. Literally, mere seconds away from total nuclear war and dies knowing that all of his efforts were in vain. Poetry. Utter poetry, if you ask me.
Overall, I still love this movie. I may not love it nearly as much as when I first saw it, but the action holds up, the characters are still pretty strong, minus the villain, and ultimately has some pretty great scenes that consistently entertain and hold my attention. To this point, this was without a doubt, the best (or at least, my favorite) Mission: Impossible movie. This fuse lit up like a Christmas tree.
My honest rating for MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL: a strong 4/5
PS: Benji deserves a mask.