Monday, January 23, 2012

Movie Moment- Mission Impossible- Ghost Protocol (2011)

OK, so I have to start with a confession. The main reason why I wanted to see this MI movie was because I love love love Simon Pegg. I first saw him in Shaun of the Dead and was smitten with his geeky self and excellent facial expressions. He embraces his nerdiness and runs with it. He doesn't try to be something he isn't. Run, Fatboy, Run is one of my go to 'laugh out loud soul band-aid' movies.
Sure- Paula Patton is stunning, Jeremy Renner is the physically fit, intense tortured soul, and Tom Cruise is Tom Cruise. But the pull was Pegg.

Well, him and Brad Bird. I was genuinely curious to see what his vision for the MI series would bring to the screen. Early reviews of this flick said it was the best of the MI movies out there. I certainly enjoyed it more than the earlier movies. The plot wasn't very complex. But the mission at hand was repeatedly overwhelmed with complicating WTF moments that make the story edgy and exciting as the team scrambles to stay on top. The physical stunts are excellent in their execution and cinematography. Some shots (like the ones involving hanging on the outside of a building, about 125 floors up) are so taut and well edited that I found myself flinching with anxious excitement. I'm pretty sure James left the theater with finger shaped bruises on his arm from where I was gripping, like I was on the side of the building too.

Bird managed to infuse some great unexpected humor in some of the intense moments that worked well throughout the story. Pegg didn't disappoint, in my opinion, as the goofy tech dude who was recently promoted to field ops. Renner tried at times to portray a nervous, semi humorous, unsure agent and I didn't find it very credible. Patton plays an agent trying to stay on task while still emotionally processing a previous mission gone wrong. Her inner turmoil played on her face credibly as her self confidence is shaken and she is trying to recoup while working a target. In a gorgeous super sexy dress. Cruise's Ethan Hunt wasn't very different from his previous movies with this character. I guess you could say it was a consistent portrayal, but it was also kind of bland. Not bad, not amazing- just there, doing what he had to do.

The previous MI movies usually had moments that bored me and I would get distracted and lose focus. This one didn't. It held my attention (and heart rate at high clip) well and was thoroughly enjoyable. 7/10 for me.

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