Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

I welcome summer blockbusters at Christmas time. Anything to give us a break from the necessary but sentimental holiday fare and wrapping up another semester.

As fun as M:I-4 was, I felt like I’d wandered into a James Bond film — not the reboot, the dreaded Sean Connery middle period. The interesting Anil Kapoor (Slumdog Millionaire, Bollywood) plays an oversexed billionaire buffoon. The blocking is so bad that he jumps onto a bar for no reason other than to facilitate a truly awkward exchange  (h/t AF).

The chief villain Michael Nyquist, so expressive in the The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and As it is in Heaven, is reduced to  a stone faced Dr. No with none of the leavening irony or humor of the Bond villain.

Fun set pieces. I was much more taken with the sand storm than with the Burj Khalifa (Abu Dhabi) sequence. Too much time spent with inane quibbling from William (Jeremy Renner) and middle aged pique from Ethan (Tom Cruise).  And with a hook up like that, who wants to spend time indoors with Benji (Simon Pegg) manipulating William with a magnet. I smell a video game or app but during the film the action felt forced and tired.

Nothing was sadder than the last anticlimactic shot of a nuclear missile being deflected into the ocean — BP, anyone? — at the last moment. It was like a television or really cheap 1990s film. And the last romantic bit between Michelle Monaghan and Cruise did what no tabloid has been able to do. It gave credence to the rumors that Mr. Cruise might be gay or bisexual.

The plot has holes as most action adventure films do. It’s a little troubling that a U.S. Cabinet Secretary is assassinated with no discernible consequence or further reference. On the other hand, given Putin’s recent moves, the throwback to the Cold War is newly relevant.

A fun ride but you could wait for the download.

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About liftingasweclimb

Mildred Lewis writes and directs for theater, television, film and the web. She's also a full time professor, Christian, activist and troublemaker with a passion to save as much of the world as she can.
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