MI 4: Ghost Protocol

Posted: January 15, 2012 in Uncategorized
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We don’t get to the cinema that often – well, to see movies that aren’t aimed mostly at kids anyway – so generally go to watch films that seem like they will be a big screen extravaganza. The fourth series in the superspy series Mission Impossible certainly qualifies on that score!

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The plot this time centres on an evil genius hell bent on global destruction (aren’t they always?) and the first of his dastardly moves causes superspy Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team to get the blame. The rest of the movie sees the team, now pariahs and acting without any official support, trying to prove their innocence and save the world at the same time (aren’t they always?).

If the plot seems awfully familiar, it’s because it is and, though the performances are good, you shouldn’t be going to movies like these expecting in-depth plots or complex character studies. No, we go to watch the MI series because we want to see high octane action, and lots of it! On this score, the film certainly delivers, with more breathtaking action scenes and daring stunts than I could count. Director Brad Bird (of Incredibles fame) keeps a pretty tight rein on proceedings and I never felt lost in a meandering mess of pointless explosions (Matrix Reloaded, I’m looking at you). I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it was probably the best of the series so far.

As my wife and I left the cinema we toyed with an inevitable question: are there characters like this in real life? He’s essentially Superman, really, but what about a more “realistic” spy with access to all those cool gadgets? There might be superspies but I think most of the technological ideas are more fantasy than anything else, at least in the total accumulation that we see in this movie. Having met a few slightly disturbed characters from our defence forces myself, I think Matt Damon’s character in the Bourne Identity is closer to what one might actually find. Whatever the truth, though, I’m glad I just get to watch stories like this on the big screen rather than having to participate in any version of them.

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