Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Video review: "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol"

The "Mission: Impossible" movie franchise had grown moribund, and Tom Cruise's career along with it. Even when he made light, crowd-pleasing movies like "Knight and Day," audiences stayed away in droves. Luckily for both, the newest film, "M:I -- Ghost Protocol" was not only the best in the series and a huge international box office hit, it was quite possibly the best action/thriller in all of 2011.

The big question mark surrounding the movie -- other than audiences' recent disinclination to buy tickets to any movie with Cruise in it -- was whether director Brad Bird, having conquered the field of animation ("The Incredibles"), could translate his skills to live-action filmmaking.

One only has to watch any one of the several stunning action sequences in "Ghost" to end any uncertainty. My favorite was the scene where Cruise climbs the tallest building in the world using only a pair of high-tech magnetic gloves, one of which only functions intermittently. Meanwhile, inside the rest of his team intervenes in the sale of nuclear secrets between two sets of bad guys, simultaneously.

The plot is the usual spy-movie bramble of international intrigue and double-crosses, and bears little relevance to the enjoyment of this excellent flick.

On the downside, video extras for "MI -- Ghost Protocol" are a little underwhelming.

There are two featurettes about the making of the movie, focusing heavily on the fantastic stunt sequences and special-effects creations. There are also several deleted scenes with commentary by Bird.

That's not a bad haul, but compared to the movie accompanying them, these goodies aren't so good.

Movie: 3.5 stars out of four
Extras: 2.5 stars

1 comment:

  1. I’m very sad to hear that you found the “video extras” for MI Ghost Protocol to be “underwhelming.” Did you get the three-disc set from Best Buy, or was it the DVD special features? I still want to buy the Blu-ray though after seeing the movie first with my Blockbuster @Home service. I love that the Blu-ray movies are by-mail, unlimited and included with the price. That makes things convenient and inexpensive for me in the long run. Thanks for the review though Christopher, as it was nice to know you thought Bird did a good job with the directing. I thought so too.