Sound Off: Brad Bird's 'Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol' in IMAX
by Alex Billington
December 16, 2011
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "You're not going to make it!" Arriving in theaters starting this weekend, as an exclusive IMAX experience (for now), is Brad Bird's first live-action feature, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, the fourth movie in the Mission: Impossible series that started as a TV show in the 60's. This time Tom Cruise is back as Ethan Hunt again, but is joined by two new team members, Paula Patton and Jeremy Renner, along with our old comic relief pal Simon Pegg. So how is it? The best one yet? Once you've seen it, leave a comment below with your thoughts on M:I Ghost Protocol.
If you choose to accept this mission, my thoughts on Ghost Protocol are as follows. As expected, Brad Bird (and Bad Robot) deliver - M:IGP is excellent! The action is truly awesome, especially the Dubai scenes and the fight at the end in India. There are probably three times I actually muttered "holy shit" at something, whether it was a huge surprise (the one with Tom Wilkinson) or just the way the action plays out (like with Michael Nyqvist). Despite all that, I still prefer J.J. Abram's M:I:III slightly more, as this movie had too many downtime moments that were too down, too much waiting until the next action moment, whereas J.J.'s was just fluid. Overall I had a blast seeing this, in IMAX especially, and look forward to seeing it again.
What did you think of M:I Ghost Protocol? Best Mission Impossible movie yet or a big mess? We will remove any comments that indicate you have not seen the movie, as this area is meant to discuss the film only once you have seen it and can talk about your thoughts. Please keep the comments civilized!
Reader Feedback - 52 Comments
I frikkin loved it! I honestly think it's sorta tied with M:I3, if not better. They both have completely different vibes though. For me this one had more of the "fun, TV show, action" kind of tone, where as Abrams M:I3 had more of a "darker, dramatic" tone. ***Don't get me wrong though, when I say "TV show tone"...i'm refering to the old Mission Impossible TV show, not quality. Overall, probably one of my favorite movies this year.
Danimal on Dec 16, 2011
You fucking Scientoloplant.
rennmaxbeta on Dec 20, 2011
SO much fun to watch! A total joy! And to top it off, I go to see TDKR trailer in IMAX (which was worth the 18 bucks alone.) But the movie was well done, funny, and overall entertaining the entire 2 hours.
RFabry on Dec 16, 2011
I wasn't impressed by this film. There were some good scenes (Dubai) but the finale in the Indian car park was a yawn. Also, Jeremy Renner did a lack luster performance. I think if Josh Holloway had been given a shot at that character he could have done a great job. Too bad Josh got short changed and given a bit role.
MisterGodot on Dec 16, 2011
rennmaxbeta on Dec 20, 2011
I can see brad Bird sitting there with Robert Elswit in video village saying "How about we follow that fountain squirt from one to another with a camera pan and end up on a "CU" on Tom - BAAM Pixar rulezzzz" I didn't come anywhere near J.J.'s version !!
Saenker on Dec 16, 2011
sadly lacking i'm afraid. the russian villian's character was so badly written and it felt like he was only there so the film could have it's set pieces. and the film probably spent no more than 1 minute on building the villian's character as well. the final fight was an absolute doozy as well. really would it take that long for hunt to kill some old guy?? would hunt hunt have so much trouble chasing down the guy in dubai? not a bad film but i expect most readers here to go 'awsome film!' just to forget it couple of weeks time.
Para on Dec 16, 2011
yeah, true.. Cause i felt that the Russian bad guy didn't make a big impression at all.. And if you had notice, its all about Tom Cruise.. That phenomena started from MI3 leaving his team to do almost nothing and he does everything as though its a one man show...
Stevenfreestyler on Dec 16, 2011
MI4 was a great movie.. If compared between MI3 and MI4 for miss outs in cutting edge action sequence, that would definitely go to MI3 as its all about how possible an impossible mission about to extremely wrong and then turn out right, and that's how the suspense would build in the MI series.... Consider the fact that they failed to show how the rabbit's foot was stolen from a skyscraper in Shanghai which has a laboratory somewhere in the middle of it which of course would have been equipped with bleeding edge security systems to detect intruders which is also and of course heavily guarded by ex-military personal, I would say that part in MI3 was a major let down for MI fans.. If they would shown how the IMF team would have infiltrate into that skyscraper that holds the doomsday devise which was impenetrable, that action scene would have been groundbreaking... That's why MI4 did a better job by showing everything in detail.. That's why MI4 is better than other MI movies although the action in MI4 was a little slow paced than MI3... Was expecting that they would reveal what is actually a Rabbit's foot is in MI4 but em, they do seems to let us fans down no matter how great they do, at times yeah...
Stevenfreestyler on Dec 16, 2011
I thought the movie was lame, certainly far below the third. I really wanted to like it and had high hopes, but they were dashed on the shores of sequeldom somewhere around the halfway point. I agree, Jeremy Renner seemed half there, and the comic relief by Simon Pegg just didn't cut it (the writing wasn't funny). Wasn't sure of the need for the flash back story involving Jane (Paula Patton); nor the need for the tie to MI3 at the very end of this film. Like, what was really missing from this pic was a complete understanding of what happened to Hunt's marriage? The script was bad (they missed Robert Towne, out entirely for the first time), but the stunt sequences were good. Yet somehow, the whole movie never evolved into something greater that the series' previous efforts.
Scott Poston on Dec 16, 2011
I thought it was great but the batman prologue was a disappointment. The action sequences were great but I couldn't understand half of what bane was saying due to the heavy accent along with the mask.
Turdburgler on Dec 16, 2011
so you're deaf
Geoffrey Shauger on Dec 17, 2011
No. you couldn't hear it. Or maybe you could translate for us?
Sparky on Dec 19, 2011
"When "Safety Last" was released in 1923, movie audiences were truly terrified when they saw Harold Lloyd scale a skyscraper. In contrast, today's desensitized audience knows that anything that they see can be accomplished by CGI. I was disappointed that I would never experience anything like those 1923 movie-goers felt... until I saw Mission Impossible 4 last night." My Roommate said that after we saw the midnight Imax screening of this film. and we both felt that i was a truly special thing we just witnessed. we were truly captivated by what we saw unfold before us. it was a class act of filmmaking on every ones part to bring together one of the most enjoyable movie experiences i have had.... possibly ever. i belived what saw. and i am an independent filmmaker who is paid to sell this stuff. and it had me jumping in my seat. one of the best films of this year.
Sjophotography on Dec 16, 2011
The movie itself was ok but watching it on IMAX made it great.
Helen on Dec 16, 2011
Movie was fun. EXCEPT for the last 10 minutes of the movie. OHH god. was sooo bad. Should of CUT that corny, sappy, and silly scenes. The flashback about agent hanaway was pretty lame. That guy cannt act. Reminded me of stupid TV commercial acting. The kremlin scenes were ok. But tom cruise didnt have may spoken lines which was noticeable. More Cruise doing stuff. Could care less about the sidekicks taking up fighting scenes etc.
Readhafilm on Dec 16, 2011
The movie was good, loved the first part especially the projector used at the Kremlin. The second half was a bit drab, especially involving Anil Kapoor, maybe that was to attract audiences in India. But he could have been used in a much better way. Simon Pegg was refreshing. IMHO - MI3 was better.
Dhiram on Dec 16, 2011
Always loves these movies. Glad to hear a lot of people liked this one.
JimD on Dec 16, 2011
Hey genius, how about a spoiler alert next time you wanna reveal a surprise?
JJ on Dec 16, 2011
In a post asking what people thought of the movie they just saw? Shouldn't common sense (along with the headline) tell you not to go sifting through anything in the post? Relax.
Aj Meadows on Dec 17, 2011
Come on JJ, do they really need to put up pictures next to the title so you will understand that this is a post about people's opinion of the movie !!! Damn man
Tester on Dec 17, 2011
I liked it, but felt it kind of dragged in places. It felt a lot like most action films. Guess I expected a lot from Brad Bird, but I think there's only so much you can do with the MI franchise. I don't envy Jeremy Renner.
Anonymous on Dec 16, 2011
It was great! On par with MI:3, but way more fun.
Aj Meadows on Dec 17, 2011
I walked out of Mission Impossible IV thinking they hadn’t just dropped the ball; They demolished the stadium. But then I came to IMDB and took a second look at the poster and I’ll be damned if they didn’t come through on every single promise in the tagline at the top. Allow me to explain. “No Plan.” Big check on that one. This film has no story. No beginning. No middle. No end. In other words, no arc. No overreaching theme or thread that ties everything up. How could this be, you ask? Especially when it has a running time of over 2hrs. Look no further than your writers and producers. This film was brought to you by J.J. Abrams and two of the staff writers from his TV show, Alias. In case you weren’t sure, TV writing is wholly different from film writing. On TV, stories can go nowhere, drifting aimlessly for weeks until they have to come up with something to warrant another season of the show. There was no plan because there was no plan in the script. Scenes, yes. A story, no. “No Backup.” Cruise’s team offers little in the way of characters you may actually care about in these perilous situations. Jeremy Renner. Paula Patton. Simon Pegg. All good actors in their own right. God forbid they should show it. Especially Renner. Coming off of The Hurt Locker, his character in this plays more like a castrate. Secondly, a protagonist is only as good as his antagonist. The villain is essential to the plot only in that if Tom Cruise is going to spend half the film’s running time actually running, he must be chasing someone. Can’t remember the character’s name nor the actor’s. I’ve had meals at Denny’s that left more of an impression. “No Choice.” Since the price tag of this movie is somewhere in the $200-$300 million range, Mr. Cruise and company has given moviegoers no choice but to see this drek because it’s the only thing playing and it’s playing every 15 minutes. It’s a ‘roadblock’; Another TV advertising term that refers to buying commercial time on every station at the same time so no matter what station you turn to, you are forced to watch the commercial. No choice, indeed. So I was going to say how disappointed I was with this film, especially coming from Brad Bird. But I’ll be damned if they didn’t deliver exactly what they promised on the poster. Like the schlocky film distributor tells Ed Wood in Tim Burton’s great film, “F--- the script. We got the poster!”
Josh Davidow on Dec 17, 2011
Plot: IMF left scattered, Tom Cruise has to make a team work together to beat the bad guy to the finish line. Around the middle they are losing, and the end is the end. The story is that Ethan Hunt faces a conflict and has to win against it. Backup: From Jeremy Renner starting happily as a subdued character rather than attempting to steal the spotlight to take over the series, he is one of the best deliverer's (?) of dialogue in the movie apart from one or two lines. And his plot on being an able agent who is down trodden is the perfect setup to establish a relationship between his character and Ethan hunt, which was part of the movies stated goal. Also Paula Patton had a solid enough back story to make her arc clear as day, from a revenge story perfectly as important in the film as her personal story (in the background but attention grabbing), to a new element in these movies of seeing a personal struggle like hers in a non-Tom Cruise character, she did her part and learned to control herself in the face of pain and loss. No Choice...? This point wasn't even clear to me, I thought you were saying that because of the budget they were forced to release it but you copped out halfway through. Watch the interview with Brad Bird on this site. The point of any Mission Impossible movie is to take the characters we love to see and put them in a situation seemingly impossible to escape, and take the viewer on a thrill ride in seeing how they struggle to come through. The plot was exactly that... And i'm sorry if you slept through that because literally, this is a spy movie, in which they say things like, "Our next objective is..." and, "We have to get... before... because..." Seriously though, to say that this movie had no plot is like taking the living entity of fun and excitement and peeing on it while yawning, and I'm sure you feel good about yourself for it. Having grown up watching these movies, I can say I choose to ALLOW this one to be my favorite because of what it offered, and Ill be damned if I can find another experience as tense as that in any theater, Imax or not, for a while. (Other than TDKR)
Eric Lankford on Dec 17, 2011
Also, a few points. You said nothing about what you found fault with in Brad Bird's directing. The fact that you couldn't even concieve of the idea that the villain had to be a person and not just the threat of Nuclear War is an appalling insight to your true lack of desire to even like this movie. Although the actor for the villain was Michael Nyqvist who you also should have at least recognized. I saw the villain as the physical embodiment of the threat of Nuclear Holocaust, I didn't need anything more to detract from what was happening with the team. Overreaching theme was teamwork, ESPECIALLY emphasized in the scenes in Dubai when agents we have constantly seen rely on gadgets are forced to work without them. We see conflicts arise between characters over agreeing what to do that establishes a mistrust, particularly between Hunt and Brandt, that later has to be dealt with and ended up revealing one of the biggest twists of the franchise... that two of the movies were ACTUALLY directly related, not in alternate universes. SPOILERS (wow... that was easy to write) The thread to tie up the story was the team deciding to stay together. It's not that the wife being alive made brandt stay, but that their actions together lead him to decide that he couldn't have peace working in the field and Ethan Hunts revelation to him further establishes that he is working off of that connection. He is now with them because he is pulled in by Ethan, setting up a progressive relationship to lead through sequels to Brandt's (Renners) takeover of the series as he grows to accept Ethan Hunts methods (from the briefcase at the window scene to the ending when he decides to accept his next mission), and later get more into a different attitude on the missions at hand. Even if you didn't see ANY of this... I did, which means it was there and it sucks for you to have missed it.
Eric Lankford on Dec 17, 2011
I whole-heartedly disagree with you. I'm not going to explain why because Eric already did that.
Aj Meadows on Dec 17, 2011
I can't believe I sat thru this whole movie. It was absolute rubbish. I would rather sit thru M:I 2 100 times than to watch this movie ever again.
Last Son on Dec 20, 2011
Ravek020 on Dec 20, 2011
I liked the Dark Knight trailer at the beginning lol. The movie was ok too.
Daniel Vu Tran on Dec 17, 2011
i luv mi:gp the movie was awesome and i m gonaa see this again back to back...tom cruise rocks.......he is the real superstar.....
Manish meena on Dec 17, 2011
is the prequel for the dark knight showing with this movie in IMAX?
Marquez on Dec 17, 2011
You mean the prologue? Only in select theaters. There's a preview for the rest of us, though.
Anonymous on Dec 17, 2011
I thought it was a blast
Geoffrey Shauger on Dec 17, 2011
Good movie. Entertaining. Sure, there's things that could always be better/different, but I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end. Saw it in IMAX with TDKR trailer attached. Nice extra wow to start!
Quanah on Dec 17, 2011
What they did with Josh Holloway's character would never be able to pull me back for MI 5 in the future. Ridiculous to waste such a genius an talented actor. Guess Tom cruise was afraid that his smartness and coolness wud run him over If he stays long so he sidelined him. Did u notice?? He didn't Ben share screen with Josh.
Skagrawal_friednds on Dec 17, 2011
Wow... yeah... cuz the movie wasn't written before he was cast or anything... are you saying it would have been okay if an actor with less talent did it?
Ravek020 on Dec 17, 2011
I have to say that the action sequence on the Burj Khalifa alone was worth my $17. That has to be the most nerve-wracking action sequence I have ever seen because at all times I was wondering what would happen if those fancy sticky gloves would malfunction ... and guess what, one of them did. Then there is the part where he is told that there is a sandstorm coming. Think about it, being stuck on the side of a very tall building and a sandstorm engulfs you - that there is a nightmare scarier than anything Wes Craven could conjure up. In a nutshell, I think this is the best Mission:Impossible and I enjoyed more than the 3rd installment because there was a smattering of comedy here and it didn't take itself seriously. The visuals were unparalleled, especially in IMAX and even though the plot was simplified compared to the first and third installment, it still had very catchy dialogue and Tom Cruise was exceedingly charismatic.
Frank on Dec 17, 2011
I guess the only things about this movie I didn't enjoy was the product placement, and the fact that Hunt can dispatch bad guy after bad guy like a champ, but for some reason can't take out the old guy at the end. Hunt should've been able to take that guy out in four seconds flat. Granted, it was a cool set piece, and so I imagine they'd want to make it longer than four seconds, but still... Anyway. The film was still amazing.
Aj Meadows on Dec 17, 2011
Best yet, and maybe even the best spy movie I've seen. IMAX is the only way to see it!
Andy Griffin on Dec 17, 2011
I agree. IMAX was awesome. Loved seeing TDKR trailer as well.
Quanah on Dec 17, 2011
I've watched the entire series since seeing this latest entry last week and I have to say that Bird's effort is by far the finest; his direction is just superb, possibly the best of the year in my book. Longer review here: http://deerinthexenonarclights.com/2011/12/15/missionimpossible-ghost-protocol/ As for those of you who think that the ending was a let down; I wonder, would you have preferred if Michelle turned, looked to Tom and then pulled off a mask to reveal Paula Patton? Then cut back to when he gave her the new mission, which was of course to run around the corner and put the outfit on; the whole thing being a trick to ease Renner's guilt and allow him to join the team? That's how I like to imagine the ending anyway, gives Hunt's words some more impact if she really is dead. Also, did anyone pick up on any references to the previous films in this one? I'd like to think that the meta-nature of the first stunt was to mirror De Palma's spanish soap intro and I know that the teaser-filled credit sequence is a nod to his intro. Then you have his nom-de-plume of Dmitri, the same name that the scientists in the first sequel know him by. I'm sure there are more in there.
Lue on Dec 19, 2011
I think this movie is really poor. Plain and simple. The story was not really interesting and I thought Renner was a complete bore and miscast. Cruise is always intense which is why I still like him but overal this movie has nothing on JJ's MI3. Of course starting off with the TD rising prologue will not fair good for any other movie playing afterwards. lol.
Buzzfunk on Dec 19, 2011
Sequel after sequel opinion stays the same: nothing beats the first film. MI2 was all style and no substance, 3 was a good return to form and this... well, it's a fun, action packed pass time at the theatres. The Burj Khalifa sequence is stunning but they corny bits were a bit much. Most of 'India' filmed in Vancouver to resemble Mumbai but with signs in Kannada. For all the hi-tech gadgetry and intel, you would have thought they would have at least asked Anil Kapoor... oh well. MI:4 is just an action film... there's very little of the intrigue the franchise is supposed to be known for.
MithunOnThe.Net on Dec 19, 2011
I somewhat admired the villain's goal, there was potential to create a grey area character and they just dropped the ball on it.
Fnord on Dec 20, 2011
This one involved the team more than mi:3 and that's what works here. It's full of fun and outstanding action scenes. Great pick for the dir too. Brad Bird is the truth behind the camera shooting action just check out Ratatouille and Incredibles. Great movie.
Shedpower on Dec 22, 2011
Just saw MI4 and to be honest it was not the best in the series though it wasnt a bad movie either. It reminded me more of the first movie. Not as fun to watch as the second and not nearly as much action as the third. I was expecting alittle more from Renner's character, and honestly i was expecting a much stronger villain i dont think i remember the guy saying a single word. For me the only thing that kept me in this movie was the persistence of Tom Cruise's character Ethan Hunt.
batsupe on Dec 22, 2011
This was the worst movie I have ever seen. The writing was truly painfull. The acting was not much better. Some Of the scenes remind me of the old 1970's batman walking up the outside wall of a building. (oh yeah and that swivel he does to break the was so good I thought he was going to fly into outaspace next.) By
Mattmanaway on Dec 28, 2011
Finally managed to watch it the past weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it. Amazing action sequences and not a moment to breathe.
Nostra on Jan 9, 2012
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This movie was great. I love when they are in Dubai and Brandt goes, "Your line's to short", and Ethan says, "NO SHIT!" LOL
Msully846 on Jan 23, 2012
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