Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
OK, first, a personal confession: this reviewer has a pre-ordained predisposition toward the whole “Mission Impossible” series, because of a sentimental attachment to the old television series during early marriage years together: Sunday night popcorn and “Mission Impossible” (cue the theme music).
OK, so the TV show wasn’t all that great, especially compared with some of the excellent action-suspense features now available, both on television and in cinema. But like an old aficionado of the original Star Trek television series, the quality of the sequels almost doesn’t matter. The die-hards are going to watch it, and enjoy it, anyway.
The same applies here. Yes, I enjoyed watching MI: Ghost Protocol,” as I knew I would. Even though I knew how it was going to end (the good guys win). Even though they shamelessly set me up for a sequel (and I’ll look forward to seeing that one, also). And even though the incredible situations from which the heroes successfully extricate themselves are, well, impossible.
Tom Cruise reprises his role as Ethan Hunt, the invincible agent of the clandestine government agency that’s so secret we don’t even know its name. (“Your mission, Ethan, should you choose to accept it…”) The only official connection is the authoritative voice on the recording (“this tape will self-destruct in five seconds…”), probably electronically altered. This time, Ethan Hunt must stop a renegade terrorist from stealing nuclear codes designed for old Russian missiles (such a classic Armageddon scenario).
Since we all know that the mission is going to succeed, in the end, the only suspense is in discovering the obstacles along the way (there are plenty), and enjoying the camaraderie of the hastily-gathered crew. This is one of the pleasant surprises of the film (the other being the conspicuous absence of gratuitous nudity and crude language): Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner and Paul Patton make for an excellent supporting cast. Throw in a menacing bad guy (Michael Nyqvist), a couple of marvelous cameos (by Michelle Monaghan and Tom Wilkinson), and some exotic locations ( Prague , Dubai , and Mumbai) and you have yourself a good little popcorn action movie that delivers exactly what it promises: an enjoyable visual adventure.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Interim Pastor, St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, Irving , Texas