Watched Dec 17, 2011
Morgan Nichol’s review:
Here's the thing about Ghost Protocol [EXPLOSION].
See that I lulled you into a false sense of security and then flipped things on their heads with unexpected action.
That's not so much what you'll get here, because when you think about the Tom Cruise era Mission: Impossible, you expect action. You think: is there a chance that chap might be a little bit gay? You think: surely this time they've bitten off more than they can chew and they can't possibly prevail at the end of the story, can they? You think: implausible helicopter in the channel tunnel, and what exactly was the best-case-scenario the pilot was counting on there?
That degree of implausibility is old hat, we have entirely new degrees of implausibility now. But this time we also have: explosions. This time: disavowment. This time: no chunnel and very few helicopters, but there are a couple of trains.
This time: action set piece after action set piece after IMAX shot gorgeousness. (When the IMAX screen fills up it's like magic. I really felt like I was flying. But that may have been the opiates.)
One of the major points you'll get this time (if you're paying attention) is that it's not about the gadgets, as they prove themselves unreliable time and again, not that they don't try to use them, but that when the tech goes wrong, and it will go wrong, the thing that will lead a team to success is the people. As long as those people are gorgeous and/or inhumanly charming. And definitely super straight, Tom, don't worry your secret is safe.
As long as people continue to work against adversity they'll win, and then they'll lose too but there's no time to feel sorry for themselves because it's time to move on to the next picturesque location for another action setpiece.
Is is an important feature of the film, the technology fails. Where they've used gadgets before, here they can't trust them. From the 'this message will self destruct' not self destructing until Cruise gives it a Fonzy style bump, right through to the (iconic element of previous films in the series) disguise mask making machine going completely custard shaped, and even new tech wall-clinging Gecko Gloves failing nearly seeing our protagonist plummeting from the side of the Burj.
Incidentally, Tom Cruise really did swing around on the outside of the Burj - tallest building in the world - and for the sake of realism, he blimmin' well did it. Incredible to think. Whatever else Tom Cruise might be - completely insane, hopelessly closeted - he's also utterly dedicated to his craft.
There's another thing, perhaps above all others, that they really want to drive home, and that's you in your new BMW.
Product placement here is as graceful as a sack of bricks thrown through a car dealership window. Remember Will Smith in 'I, Robot' with the fullscreen Converse All Stars? And the Audis? And the FedEx? And the JVC? That was probably worse than the product placement in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, but this is a close second. Thanks Apple. Thanks BMW. Thanks product placement salesguy, hope you enjoy all the cocaine because you really earned it.
(Also please note that the MacBook Air screen bezel is ugly as sin, and needs fixing. Yuck. Wouldn't this have been a great place to tease the design of the new one? It's not really Apple's style, but how great would that have been?)
Ok, I'll give you another lesson to take home with you, if the trailer for the next Batman movie (a special IMAX edition of which played before Ghost Protocol) sparks off more excited conversation at the end of the film, that's probably not a good thing.
And on that point, please note that the trailer for the next Batman movie is cool right up to the moment Batman first appears. As long as it was BANE (2012) it was ace. As soon as it became Batman: The Dark Knight Rises (2012) it went all goofy. On account of Bane's mask is cool as shit and Batman's is now officially cheeseball, and screw that stupid voice.
I enjoyed Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol a great deal, but you've got to know what you're getting into. And being on opiates probably helps.