I must admit that I am not much of a Tom Cruise fan or his movies. I remember watching (and hating) the first two Mission Impossible (MI) films – convoluted and ridiculous works. But I was intrigued by the fact that the man at the helm of MI4 was animation master Brad (The Iron Giant, The Incredibles) Bird making his live action movie debut. And Bird did not disappoint with a thrilling and fun ride that presented Cruise in a very likable manner as well.
The mission (if you choose to accept) is straightforward – stop crazy person from starting nuclear war (in order to engender world peace – shades of Watchmen) despite being given no legitimate support from your organization. Great action sequences, wonderful locations (from Moscow to Dubai to Mumbai) and truly funny moments make Ghost Protocol eminently watchable. Yes it seemed in tone closer to a super-hero flick (it reminded me of the first Iron Man movie for some reason) than a spy movie but maybe that’s why it worked. I mean, isn’t the MI team really a bunch of super-heroes?
Kudos also to the supporting cast of Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Paula Patton who reveled in their roles and props to Bird for giving them the proper screen time to develop these backing characters as well. What I also liked was that Cruise’s Ethan Hunt role matched his age – i.e. older, wiser and slightly jaded – and this allowed for genuinely humorous (and hair-raising) moments (like the entire Nurj Khalifa sequence).
All told, a good old-fashioned enjoyable action movie for all ages. Hopefully, if there is another MI movie, Bird will once again be in charge. Recommended.