MIssion: Impossible Ghost Protocol – A Preview

Poor old Tom Cruise. The actor who was once the golden boy of Hollywood with that million-dollar smile, has now become known as that couch hopping scientologist nut. And we as a movie going public showed our displeasure with his antics by boycotting his films. Knight and Day, which I thought wasn’t too bad, recouped but a fraction of it’s gargantuan budget and despite some solid performances in Lions for Lambs and Valkyrie, audiences by and large generally stayed away. Even Paramount used Cruise’s “bad behavior” as one of the reasons for releasing him from his development deal after 14 years.

Now, whatever you may think about Tom Cruise as a person, there’s no doubting his credentials as a movie star and his commitment to his craft. He continually seeks to do his own stunts and he doesn’t forget the most important reason for him being where he is today, the fans. During one red carpet moment, he delayed the premiere of his film in London’s Leicester square so he could see as many fans as possible who came to see him (And no, I wasn’t one of them). Compare that with Britney spears who spent 20 seconds waving at the crowd before her premiere of Crossroads. But what does Cruise get in return? Water squirted in his face and a lampooning on Scary Movie 4!

Now, with a succession of relative failures by Hollywood standards under his belt, Tom Cruise has decided to return to the safer, more secure pastures of the Mission Impossible franchise. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol sees Tom Cruise back as super spy Ethan Hunt who continues to work behind the scenes for the US Government along with regular team member Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and newcomers Jane Carter (Paula Patton) and Brandt (Jeremy Renner). After a covert mission goes bad and the IMF are implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, Ethan and his new team are forced to go rogue to clear their organization’s name.

I can understand the decision to go back to the tried and trusted formula of the Mission Impossible films. With the exception of MI:2, they are great rides, and judging by the trailer for Ghost Protocol it look as if Tom Cruise is back onto winning ways as the action seems bigger, as do the stunts. Again, the majority of stunts Cruise did himself. With Ethan Hunt’s team having to go underground, it appears as if Ethan Hunt has got a bit of Jack Bauer about him and being a huge 24 fan, this can only be a good thing. I think the decision to hire director Brad Bird who has previously only directed animation is risky, but considering JJ Abrams is still producing it appears that if you are a fan of the franchise, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol will not let it’s audience down and hopefully be a small step in a return to stardom for Tom Cruise.
(An article i wrote for the print issue of Groove Korea)

Categories: Film, Previews

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