“Desperate times, desperate measures.”
When I heard that Christopher McQuarrie, the brilliant writer of Edge of Tomorrow and director of Jack Reacher, was teaming up once again with Tom cruise to make the next Mission Impossible movie, I knew that Ghost Protocol was going to have competition as the best of the franchise. But is it better? It’s close, very close.
What I liked…
Action was brilliant and boasted some of the best stunts, chases and set pieces to date. It’s possibly the films trump card and lifts it up in the way that the chases in Ronin gave it such high acclaim. Cruise is famous for doing his own stunts and without that there are some camera shots that just wouldn’t be possible. Tom you legend!
Sean Harris is beyond superb as Solomon Lane, the main villain. His quiet, brooding demeanour sends shivers down your spine in the way every strong villain should. This could be the role that lands him some more big parts.
The characters drive the film in a balanced way, taking the focus off Cruise and giving some previously underused characters such as Benj the chance to prove their acting chops. Ilsa Faust is the classic double agent, excelling as a character and leaving you questioning her motives.
Distinct, episodic scenes that are so essential in action films to keep you entertained. Aside from the excellent opening, the underwater scene is especially gripping.
Alec Baldwin, just because he is.
What I disliked…
The trademark comedic elements from McQuarrie and Cruise are always welcome and many in the cinema enjoyed Pegg’s blatant levity. But I can’t help but feel that this type of film steps away from the Mission Impossible idenity. Perhaps I am being fickle, I mean Brian De Palma’s film was a little bit depressing after all.
Not as ambitious as it could have been, but then the same thing could be said about Edge of Tomorrow, which McQuarrie also wrote. It is probably a good idea to play it safe though, as a spy movie’s biggest vulnerability is a convoluted and confusing story.
One or two genuine twists could have helped to stir things up as it played out more like a Bond movie than anything else. Tropes such as: immovable-object-type-henchman and girl slowly getting out if the pool in a bikini. But again, it did work overall.
Shapstik verdict: A definite step up for McQuarrie from the slightly bumpy Jack Reacher. Full of spy clichés throughout and its lack of surprise makes it a slightly slow burner despite the action-packed first scene. Saying that, once it gets started it literally blows you away with gripping action, funny quips, a fantastic villain and excellently written characters who are having a great time. Bottom line, as long as Cruise can continue to run at full pace at all times, then I am sure this franchise is far from dead. 9/10