I have had a love/hate relationship with the Mission: Impossible film franchise that began way back in 1996. I have always adored the first installment for its sheer non-stop thrills, but then thought Mission: Impossible 2 was one of the most terrible films I’ve ever seen. After a more enjoyable third installment a few years ago, it’s now time for the fourth, Ghost Protocol.
After an American spy (Josh Holloway..woot woot!) is killed by an assassin and the launch codes for Russian nuclear warheads are stolen in the process, the American government goes into a panic and sends Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team of super spies played by Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton to fix it and make everything better. After a disastrous undercover mission in Russia where they infiltrate the Kremlin, Ethan and his team are pegged as terrorists and are disowned by the U.S. Left to their own devices, the team must figure out how to recover the Russian launch codes and catch the ruthless team of terrorists from launching nuclear missiles upon humanity. The mission takes Ethan and his team from Budapest to Moscow, Dubai, and finally to Mumbai in a big budget affair of massive explosions, glamourous automobiles, and ruthless terrorists.
Ghost Protocol is inarguably reminiscent of its 3 predecessors. If you haven’t yet tired of Tom Cruise’s schtick as an American James Bond on steroids, you will probably enjoy this film. Clocking in at a robust 2 1/2 hours, Ghost Protocol is literally jammed full of constant action and twists and turns, all of which I found to be truly thrilling. Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner are both effective secondary players and provide excellent accompaniment to Tom Cruise throughout the film. This film might be indulgent and over the top in every sense, but it is more consistent and memorable than the last 2 Mission: Impossible outings, for whatever that is worth. To be frank, you don’t need my warning to know what you’re getting into here, but if you are at least curious I think you’ll have a great time.
4 stars out of 5