|Starring||Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Josh Holloway, Michael Nyqvist, Lea Seydoux|
|Release||21 DEC (US) 26 DEC (UK) Certificate 12A|
Plotting elsewhere is pretty concise, if a little underwhelming when compared to the inherent mystery of the 'Rabbit's Foot' macguffin of M:I-3. The movie hangs off the hook of the threat of nuclear war, which a) you never really feel is a possible outcome in a movie like this, and b) is a little overdone when it comes to 'mad plots to destroy the world'.
Villainy is another area where Ghost Protocol is lacking: Michael Nyqvist's bad guy Curt Hendricks is an identikit antagonist, whose motives aren't particularly clear, nor is he even particularly charismatic. He and Ethan Hunt don't share one exchange of dialogue through the whole film – in contrast to the incendiary opening scene of M:I-3, in which Philip Seymour Hoffman is established as an evil bastard of the highest order in 10 tense seconds, Ghost Protocol is severely lacking when it comes to a decent foil for its star.
No qualms about the good guys, though. Jeremy Renner stakes his claim as a semi-permanent member of IMF with a tongue-in-cheek turn as analyst-turned-ass-kicker Brandt, although there's no sign of Cruise handing him his baton (so to speak) as was previously reported. Simon Pegg falls just the right side of comic relief as jittery tech specialist Benji, while Josh Holloway works wonders with a small role. And what of Paula Patton? Well, she looks pretty damn special in a push-up bra. She's all over the posters so it's not like they don't want us to look at them or anything.
An undoubtedly glamorous movie though it is, Ghost Protocol is having so much fun with itself, it almost doesn't want to end – the final action sequence, a multi-level snatch-and-grab that feels like Bird storyboarded it back at Pixar, is perhaps a lung-buster too far. That's not say it outstays its welcome, though; this Mission: Impossible is the kind of lean, mean, fearless action movie that chugs along at such a high tempo, you realise when leaving the cinema that you're actually running.
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