Friday, December 16, 2011

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Action fans, rejoice!  This week's double shot of sequels to 'Sherlock Holmes' and 'Mission Impossible' are sure to get your adrenaline flowing.  But more so in the latter.  This fourth outing (15 years after the first) with Tom Cruise as secret agent Ethan Hunt is 133 minutes of large scale non-stop action sequences. Ordinarily that's my worst nightmare, but I must admit some of those sequences are pretty exhilarating, particularly on the IMAX.

This time out, Hunt's mission, should he choose to accept it, takes him around the world, including Russia, Dubai, and Mumbai.  The locations, visual effects, and sound are superb.  But, as usual for most films of this genre, it just drags on too long.  And while Tom Cruise commands the screen as always, I can't say the same for some of the supporting cast.  Newcomer Jeremy Renner is ok but he's not in Cruise's league.  (I don't look forward to the day that Cruise bows out of this franchise completely and Renner takes the baton.  And I'm equally uneasy about him taking over the Bourne series, and playing Hawkeye in 'The Avengers'.  Mark my words, we'll be Rennered out by the end of 2012.)  Yet, as in the last one, Simon Pegg adds some needed comic relief, and the new girl, Paula Patton, looks great, so I shouldn't complain.  But I will a little.  My main complaint is that there isn't a villain nearly as memorable as Philip Seymour Hoffman's antagonist in the last one.  So, for that reason alone, this one isn't as good.  Yet it's still a crowd pleaser and action fans will get their money's worth.

As an aside, it's interesting that the two major releases this week feature the two stars from the Swedish version of 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' (Noomi Rapace in 'Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows' and Michael Nyqvist in this one).  They'll do battle with the American remake of 'Dragon Tattoo' on Wednesday.  It'll be interesting to see who wins.

Grade: A-

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