Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol: "Mission Accomplished"

Director: Brad Bird
Writer:    Andre Nemec
               Josh Appelbaum
Starring: Tom Cruise
              Jeremy Renner
              Simon Pegg
              Paula Patton
              Michael Nyqvist
              Vladimir Mashkov
              Josh Holloway
              Lea Seydoux
Rating:   **

Release Date: Boxing Day, 2011

Although not as shite as M:I 2, the latest outing for the superspy fails to fully engage despite some very hair-raising set pieces from director Brad Bird in his first live action outing.

Ghost Protocol falls flat mainly due to a confused narrative that revolves around Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his team going rogue following the closure of his Impossible Missions Force. It is blamed for a devastating attack on the Kremlin, so in typical globetrotting style, Hunt seeks to uncover the real source for the attack and prevent further terrorist attacks. Assisting him on his quest is shady analyst William (Renner), sexy operative Jane (Patton) and boring technical agent Benji (Pegg). Given the complete lack of a dynamic story, structure or pace, none of these capable actors make much of an impression. To be fair to Brad Bird, he has tried to shoot the movie with a gritty visual texture and a deadly serious tone. But in the current world what we really want is a fun, camp and thrilling film, not a film that takes itself so seriously when it is so crap.

The decision to film certain chunks of the movie specifically for IMAX screens certainly improves the spectacle of the set pieces, with an exciting skyscraper climb and sandstorm chase sequence particularly standing out. In between the action, there is little to enjoy or engage you due to the lack of a decent narrative to bind the random events together. It becomes extremely messy in the last act, with new plot points being thrown around to attempt to big up the stakes, but actually succeeding in losing focus instead.

Simon Pegg's presence as Benji, expanded from the previous movie, is clearly there to provide comic relief, however it doesn't. The character turns out to be a massive moose that mainly got on my nerves and largely consisted of Mr Bean style facial expressions and lame one-liners.

After the fun and frolics of JJ Abrams' M:I 3, which glistened with wit, charm and action, the fourth instalment is a thudding disappointment. It's severe lack of direction and a decent storyline majorly let it down, and in my opinion, Tom Cruise needs to leave. 

Mission:Impossible: Ghost Protocol - Trailer