Movie Review | Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Movie Summary: The IMF is shut down when it's implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organisation's name. (IMDb)
Until a few weeks ago and the release of Fallout, Ghost Protocol had been my favourite in the series, narrowly ahead of the almost as good Rogue Nation. There are two reasons for this: a superior sense of humour, and Ghost Protocol was the last time the IMF actually felt like an organisation.
Hell, the film opens with an IMF team carrying out a mission without Ethan Hunt's (Tom Cruise) involvement at all. Okay, it does go wrong and the survivors of that mission end up becoming his team, but it at least felt like a larger world still existed outside of what we saw even in the incredible Fallout.
As for the humour, Ghost Protocol is probably the most fun entry in the entire series. There are a lot of situations and interactions that'll make you either laugh or smile, but they all occur naturally and in character. None of it feels forced or out of place, or even if a remark here or there might be a little too obviously playing for laughs, the characters note the attempted joke and how good (or bad) it was.
The enjoyable atmosphere doesn't detract from the action though, with the Burj Khalifa set-piece easily up with the best sequences in the series' history. The other action scenes are also good, but that sequence in Dubai is unquestionably the crown jewel of the movie.
One of the other crown jewels of Ghost Protocol is Paula Patton as Agent Carter - Jane, not Peggy though. Before watching the movie again, I remembered really enjoying her character and getting to see her in action again just proved to me that my memory hadn't really done her justice.
Patton's Carter is fierce as hell, and easily the most convincing female combatant in the series. And I'm saying this as someone who loves, loves, loves Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust. But after watching Ghost Protocol again, I think Carter would tear Faust to pieces if they ever had to face each other.
Simon Pegg as Benji and Jeremy Renner as Brandt provide able support to Cruise and Patton, but I think it's pretty clear that Pegg is intended to provide the majority of the comic relief. Renner struggles to shine compared to Cruise, although this does match Brandt and Hunt's relationship to a tee.
Speaking of Cruise, his character here is a little lighter in tone to match the film, but Ghost Protocol is also the first film where we see Hunt more than a little uncertain about some of the things he's asked to do in order to complete his mission.
It actually helps provide some of the humour, purely because of how the star of an action film is feeling a little anxious about an incredible physical challenge that they would have done without question in previous entries in the series. It also helps to make Hunt a little more relatable as his reactions are certainly understandable to the audience.
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol may have just been displaced as the best film in the franchise for me, but it's still an excellent action-adventure spy film that shows just how long Ethan Hunt and friends have been the top cinematic spy series. Still fantastic fun to watch.