One of the trailers before the feature was for Haywire (deeply rooted in Nikita). It has all the hallmarks of a female Jason Bourne with double cross instead of the memory loss, it reflects the strong influence of The Bourne Trilogy. It stands as one of the action franchises that kept its basic integrity.
But I had come to the cinema to see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol the fourth instalment in this franchise that had so far disappointed me. I had rented out 2 and 3.
So why was I there?
Two words… Brad Bird.
First 30 mins spoilers in Next Paragraph.
Opening with man escaping from a rooftop in true Mission Impossible style we then cut to Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) being sprung from a Moscow prison only then to be involved in a a theft at the Kremlin which ends up in tears and Hunt finds himself handcuffed to a gurney in a nearby hospital. Apart from the gurney the rest sounds like the plot for any less ambitious thriller. This is in the first half an hour, Hunt still has to clear his name and save the day.
OK You are safe now read on.
We race through three more countries and more than a handful of tense deceptions blended seamlessly with action sequences.
This is a much leaner Mission Impossible that sees Hunt surrounded by an unusually inexperienced and self doubting team of agents. It seems to be a sort of a reboot; not only for the series but for Hunt’s character. He is a little less perfect and cheesy and a little more human and funny.
From the beginning Bird brings us closer to the 1960’s television series than in the previous three instalments as the credits follow the burning fuse through an edited but unrevealing version of the plot.
Paula Patton who plays fellow agent Jane Carter, may be the weakest link in the movie but still manages to brighten up every scene she is in, especially when wearing that tailor made green ball-gown from Costume Designer Michael Kaplan.
The other two thirds of the team are made up by Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner who bounce Tom cruise off the screen and are like Tweedledum and Tweedledee on steroids while packing guns and gadgets.
The gadgets again are sufficiently outlandish but Bird is not afraid to poke fun here. He doesn’t clutter he plot with them balancing high-technology and old fashioned chases where every vehicle in the vicinity does not have to be torn in two or set alight.
Do not get me wrong, it still remains a Mission Impossible movie and you will be suspending your disbelief on many an occasion but this time you may actually enjoy it a little more… that is, of course, if you chose to watch it.
This review will not self destruct in five seconds.