Thursday, March 29, 2012

3 Short Paragraphs: Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

2011, Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Iron Giant) -- cinema

(p.s. Kent reviews here)

Colons!  Dashes!  Implied sequel numbers!  I think the title to this blog post might make a grammatarian choke on the proper punctuation.  But it doesn't matter because this franchise is about explosions and amazing stunts and a grimacing Tom Cruise.  I honestly was very very excited that Brad Bird was onboard with this film.  The franchise was already a live action cartoon doing wild stuff better left for a world with not so well defined physics.  I also loved that Brad always worked with very tight scripts, very well put together stories.  I am not completely sure I got that from this movie.

True to form, the movie starts with a prologue that is tense, sprinkled with a bit of gadget magic and the thread of a spy story to come. Hey that is the guy from Lost !  Damn, that assassin is hot !  Léa Seydoux not Josh Holloway but I will leave it up to Kent to disagree with me there.  The failure in the opening leads the new team to break Ethan Hunt out of a Russian jail in order to lead the team against the international terrorist bad guy who got their team member killed in the first place. They immediately go to Moscow, sneak (masked, of course) into the Kremlin and steal something.  Their plot is interrupted by the bad guy's plot and they are framed for blowing up that lovely Kremlin building and all the lovely tourists visiting it.  It was actually my favourite segment of the movie as it set up the new team nicely and also put something tangible on the movie's map. Few movies will choose to make an actual impact on the world they play in worrying that they will have to include it into the continuity of following movies.   I guess this is the last time Russia will be the focus of the franchise.

The movie then continues with the team chasing after the bad guy to clear their name and put things to right.  And you will notice I am not capitalizing it like I normally do.  It's because the bad guy was just so boring.  He was doing a James Bond style bad guy plot of blowing up the world (Why? Because I can !!  *maniacal laugh*) but he, left to himself, was incredibly boring.  There was just nothing to him... They chase him to Dubai with a great location shot of the big building (where Ethan gets to climb something, of course) and a wonderful sand storm chase.  They chase him to Mumbai where we get a location shot at a party and a ... well, a carpark and a TV studio?!?!  We should care more about the plot, the actual reason for anything happening, than about the next location where the flawless action scenes will be shot.  But we so often don't so the producers don't so the director cannot so we get a mission I will probably not accept next time.