Movie Review: Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol

Posted: April 16, 2012 in Drama
Tags: , , ,

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Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is in a Moscow jail.  He is broken out of jail by his IMF compatriots, Jane (Paula Patton) and Benji (Simon Pegg) Once out of jail, Ethan is on the trail of a terrorist named Cobalt.  Ethan identifies Cobalt as Hendricks, (Michaell Nyquist) a Russian nuclear strategist who wants to initiate a nuclear war.  Before Ethan, Jane and Benji can get to Hendricks, he sets off an explosion that blows up the Kremlin, and frames Ethan.  The IMF secretary (Tom Wilkenson) meets Ethan, introduces him to a new analyst named Brandt (Jeremy Renner) and gives Ethan his next mission, before being gunned down by the Russians.

Hendricks kidnaps Leonid Lisenker  (Ivan Shevedoff, and Hendricks, and his henchman named Wistrom (Samuli Edelman) and Lisenker jet off to Dubai, to buy nuclear launch codes  from Sabine Moreau,(Lea Seadoux) a female assassin, who wants diamonds in exchange for the codes.  Ethan, Jane, Benji and Brandt follow Hendricks to Dubai to stop the transaction, despite Jane killing Sabiine, Hendricks and Wistrom escape to India to find a satellite, where they can enter the codes and launch a nuclear weapon.  Ethan, Jane, Benji and Brandt are in hot pursuit, in India. where Jane has to try to seduce an Indian playboy named Brij Nath, (Anil Kapoor) to gain control of the satellite.  Does what’s left of the IMF gain control of the Indian satellite before Hendricks can set off a nuclear war?

This is a disappointing movie.  The story is too long, with too many plots and subplots, the usual rogues gallery of villains, the Russians, (despite the cold War being over for 20 years) international terrorists and only a small band of Americans to stop nuclear annihilation. The Indian subplot is totally unnecessary to the plot, and I suspect it was added to boost international revenue.  The action came in fits and starts, interspersed with long and boring story and back-story that really didn’t matter.  The rule in action movies is keep the plot simple.  But this one is too complicated. The ending just would not have happened given today’s arsenal of anti-missile missiles.  The stunts just aren’t that spectacular, even the much ballyhooed stunt on the world’s tallest building in Dubai just left me bored.

Tom Cruise is an ok actor, as long as you know this, when he’s grimacing he’s serious, when he’s smiling he’s joking, and both expressions are the same. Paula Patton is really good as the action vixen who can kick butt and take names, but then she is reduced to the conventional female seductress role and that is really sad. Simon Pegg was funny throughout and was welcome comic relief in a movie that tended to take itself much too seriously.  Jeremy Renner’s character was much less intense and gritty than the one he played in “Hurt Locker” it was not a great feeling watching Renner play second fiddle to Cruise, but Cruise was the “star” and the producer here, so I guess he controlled the script as well. Anil Kapoor was another victim of bad writing.  His playboy character was perhaps the most poorly written character I’ve seen in a while, especially coming on the heels of his great performance as a smarmy game show host in Slumdog Millionaire.

Mission Impossible 4.  Does the impossible, makes me dislike a Mission Impossible film.

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