Director: Brad Bird
Everyone knows that Christopher McQuarrie saved the M:I series from despair, because let’s admit it; the first few weren’t very good. It would seem like backward thinking in a way, because McQuarrie also did the Jack Reacher movies, which are horrendous, but those are at least intentionally silly; it seems that McQ knows how to take his action to the next level and make something far more “believable”. Anyway, I digress, or perhaps, more specifically, I progress, because first we have to deal with the M:I films at hand, those that landed before the most recent, much improved two. I only had the energy to go back by one film, so here’s Ghost Protocol, about as ridiculous a spy movie as you are likely to see, only salvaged by the inherent awesomeness of this old concept and this classic franchise.
The famous spy Ethan Hunt was supposedly retiring, getting married, and moving on, but somehow at the beginning of our story he’s in a Russian jail, his wife is MIA, and no one knows what the hell is going on. While he’s in prison, he might as well befriend a man named Bogdan, who just happens to have inside information about a terrorist calling himself Cobalt. He’s a lunatic with means who thinks that the world could do with a little nuclear war, and it’s up to Hunt and his Impossible Mission Force to save the day. Joining Ethan is Benji the tech guy, Jane the talented lady, and Brandt the agent with secrets, and they’ll have to work together to stop Cobalt in time, before he gets the war he’s been wishing for.
I really enjoyed the last two modern M:I movies, Rogue Nation and Fallout, and you should know that I’m familiar with the old shows: I watched both the original series from the 60s & 70s and the remake from the 80s. But I knew, going backward on the timeline, I’d find some stinkers, and Ghost Protocol could definitely fit that description if you wanted it to. It’s so silly, so over-the-top, and exhibits such bad acting that you’ll regret your life choices by the time you finish watching. Cruise is fun, Pegg is funny, but Patton & Renner are absolutely awful; it’s a wonder they made it through shooting without being replaced. But the film is saved by the cool chaos of the plot, by the spy genre that we know and love, by the classic feeling you get when you hear that music play. Some nice stunts, some intense scenes, some entertaining elements, but overall this film is probably much worse than we’re willing to say it is. Still, I watched, I had a good time, I’m not gonna complain, but I am going to focus my memories on the two that come next, because they’re superior in every way.
My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆