Thursday, June 6, 2013

Day One Hundred and Fifty-seven - Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, "Just put Simon Pegg in every franchise... seriously."

I love Brad Bird, but after JJ Abrams ended MI:3 with what seemed to be a rather poignant denouement for Ethan Hunt, I really wasn't thrilled about the idea of yet another Mission:Impossible with Tom Cruise in the lead.

Hollywood is Hollywood and showbiz is showbiz, though... you can't keep a mediocre franchise down if it stands to make investors somewhere out there some summer (or, in this case winter) blockbuster bank.

Still, as generic action movies go, MI:GP is actually fairly decent.

It's not fine art or anything, but Ghost Protocol manages to hit all its beats with a tight little cast in set-piece after semi-exotic world set-piece. From Moscow to Dubai to Mumbai, the team deals both with a madman bent on nuclear holocaust and their own trust issues with the can-do aplomb that one has come to expect from the dedicated men and women super-spies of the IMF.

Granted, it seems like every freaking movie they're all getting disavowed (or chasing someone else who has been). I mean, you'd think with all the mad security and gadgets that they employ that they could avoid someone "piggybacking" their signal on the very important mission they're performing and forcing them to go rogue. Can we just once have a movie where they're not cutoff from their entire support base with only themselves and what has to be several million dollars in high-tech R&D prototypes to save the day?

As a stand-alone, Ghost Protocol is a pretty decent actioner, much more entertaining that most of what's out there on the market in recent years (see: sequel after sequel of Vin Diesel's Muscle Car Mayhem), but it begs quite a bit to be a part of the grander mythos by having the whole drama concerning Ethan's murdered wife (Michelle Monaghan), whom he rode off into the metaphorical sunset with last film... and forces the necessity of said off-screen murder so there's an excuse to pull him right back into the IMF.

It's annoying as hell... especially since (*spoiler*) they go to the trouble of having her pop back up in the denouement of this film for a Shyamalanian twist. While it was good to see Ving again, confirming that he, too, hasn't died off-screen on some IMF suicide run, doing the whole "she'd never be safe as long as we were together" bit is trite at best.

Still, I love me some Brad Bird. The dude knows how to direct and manages to cover the super-cheese that is the MI franchise in mostly-palatable comedy and adventurousness.

And Simon Pegg makes any movie better in my mind. His little comedic gestures at key moments diffuse just the right amount of tension while still maintaining suspension of disbelief.

Though, personally, I would've preferred if the team had hired an 8-year old street-rat to push all the buttons in the elevators to delay the trade-off instead of pulling what had to be a way too obvious hacking job on the Burj Khalifa's house computers.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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