Sunday, September 09, 2012

Penny Thoughts ‘12—Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011) ***½

PG-13, 133 min.
Director: Brad Bird
Writers: Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec, Bruce Geller (television series)
Starring: Tom Cruise, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Michael Nyqvist, Vladimir Mashkov, Anil Kapoor 

OK. I feel “Ghost Protocol” is easily the best of the “Mission: Impossible” movies. In director Brad Bird, JJ Abrams and Tom Cruise have finally found the perfect director to perform the action ballet they’ve always tried to attain with the series. You can read more of my analytical thoughts in my original review.

I’d like to bring some attention to the fact that somehow the IMF always seems to find it necessary to disavow Ethan Hunt, who is obviously their best agent. In the first film Hunt is disavowed for falling under suspicion of sabotaging his own team and selling the identities of all of IMF’s agents to the highest bidder. In order to prove his innocence he assembles an entire team of disavowed agents and breaks into IMF headquarters in Langley to steal the list of names so he can smoke the real traitor out with them.

In the second film he isn’t disavowed, but that one is merely an improbable mission, rather than an impossible one.

In the third film he is disavowed once again for falling under suspicion of leaking inside information to the bad guys. Ethan suspects the director is the leak when in actuality it is his handler who is the leak. His handler makes it possible for Hunt to break out of custody to clear his name, when in actuality he needs Hunt to deliver a device to the bad guy. Hunt’s team is then in danger of being disavowed for continuing to help Hunt after he escapes.

In “GP” the entire IMF is disavowed when Hunt’s team is framed for blowing up the Kremlin. At least this time the IMF itself isn’t after Hunt and his team, but they have no back up or any of IMF’s resources. There’s also some possibility that Hunt was disavowed even before the Kremlin bombing for going rouge on some Croatians, but IMF is willing to break him out of prison to send him into the Kremlin to get disavowed yet again.

You’d think that after Hunt averted a couple of world disasters the company that employs him would begin to trust him. It would seem, however, that in order to live up to their name of Impossible Missions Force that disavowment is necessary. The second film may be the best proof of this theory. Sure, if you think about it, it gets a little silly; but it’s still a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

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