I miss the days when I could go to a movie on a whim. I mean, I technically still could but movies are so freaking expensive now that a lot of the time it doesn’t seem worth it. Nowadays, I generally go to see movies with a group of friends, as I get the enjoyment of watching the movie as well as the company of some good friends. But every now and then, a movie will come out and I will go to the theaters to see it, with or without my friends. I will admit that today’s movie, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, was not one of those movies but looking back, it really should have been.
The plot: In Budapest, IMF Agent Trevor Hanaway has managed to steal some Russian launch codes and after killing the guards, he makes his escape down an alleyway. As a woman walks towards him in the alley, his phone buzzes and the agent checks his phone before he looks up and the woman shoots him repeatedly then steals the codes. In Moscow, new IMF field agent Benji Dunn hacks into a Russian prison and begins releasing the prisoners. When team leader Jane Carter gets into position in the sewers, Benji opens another cell door, freeing Ethan Hunt. Benji opens a door so Ethan can escape but instead, Ethan heads towards the rest of the cells, motioning for Benji to open the doors. When Benji refuses, Ethan waits by the doors until Benji finally relents and opens the door. Fighting his way through the riot, Ethan motions for Benji to open a cell, and he goes in and grabs another prisoner named Bogdan. As the riot guards begin to show up, Ethan and Bogdan manage to get out of the cell block and make there way to the basement, where Jane shatters a portion of the floor so they can escape through the sewers. As they are parked in the getaway vehicle, Ethan explains that he rescued Bogdan because he was his informant and he would have been killed if he left him in prison. He then shoots Bogdan with a tranquilizer dart before passing him off to another IMF team, then asks why he was busted out of prison. Jane tells him about the mission in Budapest and shows Ethan the picture of the assassin that killed. Ethan recognizes the assassin as Sabine Moreau and then mentions that man code-named Cobalt had been wanting to start a nuclear war and would most likely try to acquire the codes. Reaching an IMF checkpoint, Ethan goes to a payphone to receive his mission while Jane and Benji wonder why he was in prison. After confirming his identity, Ethan is told to break into the Kremlin, where he would be able to find information on Cobalt’s real identity, but is warned that Cobalt is on his way there to erase the information. Ethan and Benji sneak into the Kremlin and break into the archive room but the files are empty. Suddenly, they hear someone struggling over the comms, before someone hijacks their signal and confirms a detonation. Ethan orders an abort and he and Benji split up but as Ethan is leaving, he notices a man walking away and starts to follow before an explosion destroys part of the Kremlin and he is knocked unconscious by the blast. When he comes too, he finds himself handcuffed to a hospital bed and questioned by SVR Agent Anatoly Sidorov. Ethan manages to escape the hospital and steals a phone in order to call in IMF to arrange an extraction. Meanwhile, a man named Leonid Lisenkar watches the broadcast of the attack on the Kremlin and tells his wife to pack so they can leave town with their son but when she doesn’t answer, he sees a man holding them at gunpoint while Cobalt is sitting at his table. Ethan is picked up and surprised to see the IMF Secretary in the car, along with his analyst, William Brandt. Hunt describes the man he saw leaving the Kremlin and Brandt identifies him as Kurt Hendricks, a former Russian nuclear strategist and Ethan realizes that Hendricks is Cobalt. He tells the Secretary that Hendricks had stolen a launch device and used the bomb to cover the theft but the Secretary says that the Russians won’t listen to them and that the President has issued a Ghost Protocol, meaning that the entire IMF has been disavowed. The Secretary is supposed to be bringing Ethan back to face charges in the US but he tells Ethan to leave and make his way to a supply drop to rendezvous with his team and stop Hendricks form starting a nuclear war. Suddenly, the car comes under fire and the Secretary and his driver are killed before the car crashes off a bridge and into a river. Ethan and Brandt survive and as people begins shooting into the water at the car, Ethan attaches a flare to the Secretary’s body and pushes it away, luring the gunfire towards it while he and Brandt make their escape in the other direction. On the surface, Sidorov orders his men to stop firing and later, as the car is being towed from the river, he is informed of the prison break and asks about information on Bogdan. Ethan and Brandt make there way to a train yard, where they find the car containing the supply depot and join Jane and Benji, who were inside. After loading up the file, which contains a speech given by Hendricks, Ethan makes a phone call and tells the person on the other line to get someone to Dubai. Ethan then explains to the team that Hendricks has stolen to launch device and plans to buy the codes from Moreau in Dubai. Telling them that the Secretary is dead and the President has initiated Ghost Protocol, he offers them the chance to leave but when none of them speak out, he informs them of the plan to infiltrate the meeting between Moreau and Marius Wistrom, Hendricks’ right hand man and use Wistrom to find Hendricks. Arriving at the Burj Khalifa, they learn that Moreau is already there and set out to change the numbers on the floor above to mirror those of the floor she is on. Benji is unable to hack into the security system from the hotel room and Ethan is forced to use special gloves to scale the outside of the building and make it into the control room. Benji gains control of the elevators and security cameras and notices that Wistrom is there early, along with another man, who Brandt recognizes as Lisenkar and they realize that Lisenkar is there to authenticate the codes. Unable to alter the copies, they are forced to let Wistrom obtain the real codes and set out to the meetings, with Jane posing as Moreau and Ethan and Brandt posing as Wistrom and Lisenkar. The meetings go as planned, and Wistrom leaves the room but as Moreau is about to leave, she notices the lens camera in Brandt’s eye and orders her men to kill them while she escapes. Ethan and Brandt deal with Moreau’s men and Ethan goes after Wistrom while he tells Brandt to find Lisenkar. Jane catches up to Moreau and manages to capture her and takes her back to their room but when Moreau attacks Benji and tries to escape, Jane fights with her again and ends up kicking her out the window. Meanwhile, Ethan catches up to Wistrom but before he can grab him, he is surprised by Sidorov and one of his men. Ethan deals with the two Russian agents then chases after Wistrom into a sand storm but Wistrom is able to get away, pulling off a mask to reveal that he was really Hendricks. In a safehouse, Ethan receives a phone call then goes and confronts Brandt, who reveals that he is a highly trained agent but doesn’t say why he is now an analyst. Ethan leaves and meets with Bogdan and his cousin, and while he is gone, Brandt tells Jane and Benji that he was assigned to watch over Ethan and Julia on their honeymoon and while he was watching Ethan, a Serbian hit squad knocked out his men and killed Julia. Meanwhile, Ethan works out a deal with Bogdan’s cousin, an arm’s dealer known as the Fog, and learns that a Russian satellite capable of was sold to an Indian telecom mogul Brij Nath. Obtaining some equipment from the Fog, Ethan has the team meet him and the head to India. Ethan and Jane head to the party, where Jane works on getting the codes from Nath while Brandt breaks into the server with Benji’s help. They hack into the computer but discover that Hendricks is already attempting to launch the missiles. Ethan leaves the party, motioning to Sidorov, who was informed of where Ethan would be by the Fog. Reaching the area that Hendricks launched the missile from, they are too late to stop the missile from being launched so Ethan goes after Hendricks, figuring there is an abort code in the launch device. Meanwhile, Jane goes after Wistrom, who manages to destroy the computer relay before wounding her. Brandt and Benji arrive and while Benji works on repairing the relay, Brandt goes after Wistrom, who had cut the power. Meanwhile, Ethan catches up to Hendricks in an automated car park and fights with him but when it appears that Ethan is going to win, Hendricks grabs the briefcase containing the launch device and drops to the ground below. Ethan gets into a car and drives it off it’s slot, crashing it to the ground below so he can reach the device. He hits the abort code to shut down the missile, but when it doesn’t work so he keeps pressing it until Benji, Brandt, and Jane manage to get the power back on to the relay for the abort to work. Weeks later, Ethan is talking with Luther in Seattle when they are joined by Jane, Benji, and Brandt. After Luther leaves, Ethan talks with the others and offers them phones in order to continue working together. Benji and Jane accept the phones and walk away but Brandt refuses, telling Ethan that he was responsible for Julia’s death. Ethan tells Brandt that he didn’t fail, as Julia is still alive and her death was used as a cover for Ethan to infiltrate the prison while giving her a new identity. Brandt accepts the phone and walks away and Ethan looks at some people entering a nearby bar when one of them turns and spots him, and Julia smiles and waves to Ethan before joining her friends. Ethan walks away, listening to his next mission briefing concerning an organization called the Syndicate.
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol was met with high praise from the critics, earning a certified fresh rating of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that it is,”Stylish, fast-paced, and loaded with gripping set pieces, the fourth Mission: Impossible is big-budget popcorn entertainment that really works.” The movie was a box office hit, earning over $694 million worldwide making it the highest grossing movie in the franchise, as well as being the highest grossing movie starring Tom Cruise. Due to the success of the movie, a 5th movie was planned, with Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg both interested in returning for it.
This is a great movie to watch and probably my favorite of the entire series. Tom Cruise did a great job reprising his role of Ethan Hunt. I also liked Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner, as they seemed to work well together and both added some deliberate, and sometimes not deliberate, humor throughout the movie. The plot was really good and actually tried to work in a lot more of the espionage aspects to the movie that have been lacking in some of the previous films. I also liked how this showed the difficult decisions Ethan is forced to make for the job, including the decision revealed at the end to fake his wife’s death in order to keep her safe with a new identity. The action scenes were really good, although I will admit that some of them were a bit over dramatic, such as the Kremlin being destroyed. All in all, this is a great movie and worth watching even if you haven’t seen any of the other movies.
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5