Tuesday, December 27, 2011



Saw MI4-Ghost Protocol with my son and grandson last week. Tom Cruise, doing some of his own stunts, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg, and the pocket review is simple: If you liked the other Mission Impossible movies, you'll probably like this one. A little more humor in it, not as dire as some of them, and a nice twist fans of the series will enjoy. 

Great locations and beautiful photography, from Budapest to Moscow to Dubai to India. Impressive stunt gags, brutal fight scenes, and the usual car and foot chases.

Big sandstorm and tall buildings ...

It has all the bells and whistles–self-destructing messages, delivered via phones and panels on ratty boxcars. Whiz-bang electronic toys that crack locks in a second, present parallax-free holograms to fool watchers, guns, bombs, gecko-pad gloves that let you spider up a glass wall, a gorgeous BMW concept car. An outrageous camera built into a contact lens. A device that creates a perfect 3D mask. A float-in-the-air magnetically-operated suit, and a cute robot to make it work ...


Of course, half the high-tech gadgets fail at just the wrong instant, necessitating heroic emergency actions or sudden-death. It can't be too easy, no fun in that ...

Got crazed physicists, stolen atomic launch codes, a nuclear armageddon in the works, a gorgeous femme fatale wetwork op, handsome CIA spooks, and the geeky electronics guy who can wave his hands at a destroyed computer and fix it. A horny billionaire. 

This time, the IM force is blamed for something they didn't do and the Secretary is forced to cut them off, so it's just four of them, one of whom is supposedly naught but an analyst without field experience dragged into it. 

High production values, well-acted, funny bits, an impossible way to pull off the caper and save the IM force's bacon, nothing really wrong with it, but ...

It seemed a little flat, overall. Had some moments. And a bad guy who seemed a lot more durable than I would have expected, but since none of it is remotely believable, that's a shrug on top of a bunch of others. You go for the ride, and you can't stop and give it the fish eye. 

Almost most an E-ticket ride, but maybe not quite up to the Haunted Mansion or Pirates of the  Caribbean at Disneyland ...



steve-vh said...

yep, saw it Friday and you're pretty much spot on. The first 30 min's up to the boxcar (cool) were very entertaining, the rest seemed to be autopilot.

Saw Sherlock Holmes (MUCH better than MI4) and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as well (WOWWWW). I'd love to hear your reveiw of that one, well crafted surprising movie. Not often I'm stunned by a movie after I leave. Daniel Craig's acting was very controlled and restrained, he played the part. And Rooney Mara? There's good reason she was nominated for a Goldne Globe

Steve Perry said...

Probably I'll catch both of these when they make it to the tube. Robert Downey's first Holmes was a kind of fun movie, but it was in no way Sherlock Holmes, save in name. Nothing against Holmes being physical -- it was established that he was an expert martial artist in the books -- but if that comes at the cost of his mental acuity? Downy's version is more a Victorian Jason Bourne, and for me, it didn't do it.

Jeremy Brett is the still the champ for me, nobody else comes close.

I tried a couple times to get into Stieg Larsson's books and something in the translation stopped me.

People love the books and the two movies they spawned, but the first one, Hornet was, for me, brutal and bad.

These days, it's not enough that a movie be well-acted and shot, I need to, on some level, like it.

I had the same problem with the Da Vinci Code. Thought the book was so-so, and the movie a yawner.