Saturday, December 17, 2011

12-17-11: A Mission to Die For

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE-GHOST PROTOCOL (2011) (PG-13) **** 132 mins. D: Brad Bird. Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg.

After being accused of an attack on the Kremlin, Ethan Hunt and his IMF team are disavowed and are left to discover who was behind the bombing.

Brad Bird, the director of "The Incredibles" and "The Iron Giant," makes a stellar live-action debut with the fourth entry in the action franchise. Not only is it one of the best action films of the year but is the best film in the franchise. This a very well balanced action film. Plenty of action. Solid story. Amusing humor. Great characters. Finally, jaw-dropping stunts.

The film features about 30 minutes worth of IMAX footage, meaning when seen in IMAX those sequences fill the entire IMAX screen. The Dubai sequence that takes place on the tallest building in the world is nerve-wracking only augmented more so by IMAX. The IMAX set pieces are very well done and look fantastic.

Cruise easily slips into the part of Hunt. Having played him four times already it's become second-hand for him. Renner, Patton and Pegg are all great as the IMF team. Each character has an arc that you want to see reach a conclusion. There's some depth to these characters unlike most action films of late.

As I said this is the best in the franchise, directed by a director best known for his animated films. It's pretty amazing to see how easily he makes the transition. Mission accomplished.

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