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Jacqueline Monahan's Movie Reviews

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol | Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Pauka Patton, Jeremy Renner, Michael Nyqvist | Review

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  4_Chicks_Small Jacqueline Monahan

Jacqueline  Monahan

Las Vegas Round The Clock
Jacqueline Monahan is an educator for the GEAR UP program at UNLV.
She is also an entertainment reporter for
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Mission Impossible:  Ghost Protocol | Tom Cruise | Simon Pegg | Pauka Patton | Jeremy Renner | Michael Nyqvist | Review

They say that the third time’s the charm, but here, it’s number four.  The latest installment of the MI franchise grips you around the throat from the opening prison bust sequence and keeps squeezing you, from Hungary to Moscow, to Saudi Arabia, to India and then back on U.S. soil in Seattle.  Like you need coffee after all this excitement.

Quite an itinerary and quite a film.  This time it’s the nuclear launch codes that will activate a warhead that are the targets of interception for IMF operatives Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) Jane (Paula Patton) Benji (Simon Pegg) and Brandt (Jeremy Renner).

It’s almost less important to know what they’re after than how they go about their retrieval mission, full of subterfuge, high speed and acrophobic-inducing heights.  Try to see this in IMAX if you can, just for the scenes which take place on and outside of the highest floors of Dubai’s highest high rise (the 163-story Burj Khalifa).

Villain Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist) is a smooth, accented operator with brass balls who pulls off a Kremlin bombing while pinning the blame on the IMF, effectively shutting them down and forcing them to work under the titular Ghost Protocol: disavowal of their operations by the U.S. government.  The team must work as an unauthorized entity without support or backup.  That stops them - not one little bit.

With sandstorms, holographic images, impersonations, building operations hijacking, razor’s edge team synchronization and a pair of high-tech suction gloves, the essentially illegal undertaking of the IMF, led by Hunt, set out to thwart Hendricks by any means necessary.  They don’t sweat, but the viewer might, as Hunt zeroes in on Hendricks in a multi-level Mumbai parking lot.

Talk about Cruise Control, our man Tom picks up, pockets, and carries this film with a headlong energy that is exhausting yet exhilarating to watch.  Simon Pegg delivers humor that is as bumbling as a sharp agent could allow.  Jeremy Renner is a deft, welcome addition to the force, and Paula Patton exudes a sexy danger whether in combat fatigues or evening gown.

Director Brad Bird (The Incredibles) adds a solid chapter to the franchise in his live-action debut, with an emphasis on the impossible as his mandate.  With its close calls and threatened falls Bird lives up to his surname for his penchant of wanting his characters to fly although he knows they can’t.  That does not stop him, or Cruise, from trying.

There’s also Lalo Schifrin’s iconic theme song to ramp up the already breathtaking proceedings.

With all of the explosions, abductions, far-fetched schemes, and attempted assassinations, Mission Implausible might be a more fitting title, but what fun would that be?  Enjoy the thrill ride and don’t trouble yourself with silly things like logistics or physics.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol; believe in it.

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