Ethan Hunt and the IMF are back and bigger than ever in "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol." For the fourth go around, Tom Cruise makes the jump to IMAX screens and makes it worth while. If you do go see "Ghost Protocol," be sure to seek out IMAX showings. It's the way the film was meant to be seen.
Here are five more reasons why you should initiate "Ghost Protocol" this week.
You may have seen glimpses of the scene in the trailers and posters, but there is nothing quite like seeing it on screen. There has been a welcome return to practical stunts in recent years, and there are few examples of fantastic stunt-work quite like this. The scene doesn't work simply because of the spectacle of Tom Cruise scaling the Burj Khalifa. Brad Bird structures and shoots it with such skill that keeps the suspense high throughout the scene. We care that Tom Cruise is scaling the Burj Khalifa. We're captivated right until the very end, and they punctuate it with a perfect comedic note, thanks to one man.
An action movie's comic relief rarely rises above the minimum demands of his or her carefully calculated role. It takes unique comedic timing to leave any kind of impression beyond the occasional chuckle. Here, Simon Pegg goes above and beyond the call of the comic relief. His smart, sometimes hilarious turn as Benji earns his place in the movie instead of being an obligation of the plot. It takes a lot of talent to elevate this type of role, and Pegg not only does that, but he nearly steals the movie in the process.
In a perfect world, the push from "Ghost Protocol" and July's "The Dark Knight Rises" would begin an all out format war between 3D and IMAX. Both drive tickets sales up, but only one enhances the movie going experience. If studios continue to look for new ways to coax people into theaters, which they always will do, IMAX is the way to do it, and not a simple up-conversion to 70mm. The proof is on the screen. Bird shot several key action sequences in the large print format, and the results make one hell of an argument for the survival of theaters. There is just no comparison.
My friend put it best. Some actors use their crazier sides for evil. (See: Mel Gibson.) Others use them for good. Like Daniel Day Lewis, the idiosyncrasies of Tom Cruise's personality have only positive effects for his audiences. Sure, he may jump on Oprah's couch once in a while, but he's also willing to put himself outside the Burj Khalifa and climb it for our amusement. Say what you will about his personal life, the man is dedicated to spectacle, and he's fun to watch. There's a reason Cruise has been around as long as he has been, and he'll be around for years to come for those same reasons.
Return of the Action Movie
There is something highly comforting about sitting in the dark, staring at a screen bigger than most and just enjoying yourself. "Ghost Protocol" delivers in almost every major action movie category. Yes, the story doesn't always make much sense. If you think about it in any deeper terms than it's given to you, you'll fall into a deep, deep hole, but Cruise delivers the action and Pegg delivers the laughs. With a stellar supporting cast including Paula Patton, Jeremy Renner and the terribly underused Josh Holloway, "Ghost Protocol" offers more than it needs to, but that's what has been missing from large scale action movies outside of "Inception."
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