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'Ghost Protocol' finally manages to strike the perfect Mission Impossible balance between action, drama, intrigue and thriller themes. Once again, Tom Cruise steps into the shoes of super spy Ethan Hunt who is out to save the world from the impending machinations of a raving madman. When an IMF agent is killed while trying to intercept a courier with Russian nuclear launch codes, Hunt is busted out of his undercover stunt in Moscow prison to seek out the identities of "Cobalt," the rogue unit responsible. Hunt leads a team of IMF agents into the Kremlin to retrieve confidential files on Cobalt, but the mission goes awry when someone broadcasts information on an IMF frequency and gives their position away to Russian forces. Hunt and his team narrowly escape the Kremlin, only to watch as it is destroyed by a bomb. This triggers "ghost protocol," a contingency that disavows the entire IMF. Hunt and his team are officially pinned with full blame for the failure of the Kremlin mission, but that is a smokescreen for the real operation: to quietly seek out Cobalt and put a stop to their plans for a nuclear war that they believe will cleanse the Earth for the next stage of human evolution.

It's a hokey plotline, but it sure is a lot of fun! 'Ghost Protocol' marries elements from past Mission Impossible films without falling victim to any of their inherent weaknesses. The film is more understandable and straightforward than MI:1, just as action-packed, but less shallow than MI:2, and nowhere near as dramatic and dark as MI:3. The result is a perfect concoction of impressive action sequences with a smart, snappy storyline that keeps you riveted to your seat as you wait for the next bit of secret agent mumbo jumbo or neat gadget to pop up. This is easily the best Mission Impossible film to date, and director Brad Bird should be commended for cherry-picking the best ideas from the previous 3 films, while staying close to the feel of the original TV show. Scenes at the Burj Khalifa are breathtaking and delightfully tense as Hunt scales up the side of the world's tallest manmade structure using nothing but a pair of slightly faulty (naturally) climbing gloves. The entire film is soaked with a great sense of fun, even during more tense and dramatic scenes. The addition of William Brand (Jeremy Renner) to the team seems a bit unnecessary, however, and more as a play on Renner's newfound fame to help push ticket sales. Without him, the movie wouldn't have suffered one bit. 'Ghost Protocol' is in many ways just as dumb and simple as the storyline in Mission Impossible 2, but it sets itself apart with its lighthearted tone. This is refreshing after the dramatic debacle that was Mission Impossible 3, and paves the way for a leaner, better run of sequels in the future.

On Blu-Ray, MI3 lives up to the format with an absolutely STUNNING, shimmering transfer. Color saturation is rich without going overboard, and there's not a speck of dirt anywhere except in the sandstorm scene, which requires no explanation. Details are vivid and sharp without looking harsh, and edge softness is practically nonexistent. The Dolby 7.1 TruHD soundtrack is no less amazing, with sonic perfection blanketing every single scene, no matter how loud or quiet. Attention to detail is obvious everywhere, and should please the most demanding of audiophiles who appreciate just how important sound is to a film of this caliber. Once again, Paramount continues to set standards and raise the bar for how Blu-Ray releases should be. Studios take note! Extras are mostly a standard set of behind-the-scenes documentaries that are actually quite informative, especially when detailing how some of the film's most intense sequences were filmed. There's also a host of deleted scenes, but nothing memorable. Overall, the focus of the Blu-Ray release is on enjoying the film with maximum high impact visual and sound clarity, the way it was meant to be seen. A definite winner!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon November 4, 2012
Mission Impossible-Ghost Protocol(released Dec/11)is a heart thumping adrenaline ride and I think is one of the best of the MI franchise so far.The film never stops from start to finish and the cast is simply brilliant:Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt,the IMF team's leader,Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn, an IMF technical field agent and part of Hunt's team,Jeremy Renner as William Brandt, IMF Secretary's chief analyst and former IMF field agent,Paula Patton as Jane Carter,a member of Hunt's team,Michael Nyqvist as Kurt Hendricks,a Swedish nuclear strategist,Vladimir Mashkov as Anatoly Sidorov, a Russian intelligence operative following Hunt and his team and others.
The plot finds Ethan in a Russian prison,while an IMF team outside loses some nuclear warhead codes.The film from here revolves around their recovery of those codes and the identity of the man who wants to put the world on the brink of nuclear war.The team frees Ethan and they start to work on getting the identity of the terrorist out of the Kremlin,no less.The mission goes awry and when Ethan is escaping from the Kremlin a gigantic explosion rips away a good portion of it.However during his escape he spotted the man responsible for the bombing,and who will be looking for those all important codes.
The mission has gone sour and Ethan and his team are officially disavowed by their government(Ghost Protocol)and are on their own.Their trail leads them to Dubai,then on to Mumbai,on the trail of the man looking for,getting the codes and trying to reacquire them from him.The team cannot stop the inevitable nuclear warhead launch but Ethan and team do manage to stop the detonation of the warhead on San Francisco,just in the nick of time.The film ends as the team reunites in Seattle,and meets up with Luther(Ving Rhames),who is cleaning up the nuclear warhead mess from the bottom of San Fran Bay.Ghost Protocol has been lifted and the rest of his team agree to go onwards to more missions.
This is truly an excellent film from start to finish.Cruise is on top of his game and his supporting cast is also.It's too bad Ving couldn't have been involved in this one,like the previous three,but the rest of the cast more than made up for his absence.Cruise's climb of the building in Dubai is heart stopping,as all he has between him and a death drop are a pair of suction gloves;one of which gives out part way up.
Technically speaking the film is in its original w/s a/r of 1:85:1 and is clear and crisp.Extras include two deleted scenes and a look at the gadgetry of the movie and the sandstorm sequence.
This is a totally cool and high speed romp through yet another MI film and one of the best so far.Cruise and company have this down to an art form now,and if they can maintain the consistent quality they have up to this point,I see and long and successful future for this series.Highly Recommended.4-4 1/2 stars.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon August 28, 2014
Quite fun, with some very impressive, if improbable action sequences. It's been a while since
I saw a climatic fight sequence go on so long and yet never get boring.

It's a popcorn movie to be sure. The few brief attempts at emotional depth and back-story are
probably the least successful element. The over-all plot feels like a leftover from a 1980's
James Bond film. And it's not a film I can imagine the need to go back to and re-see. I
don't think there are extra layers to be uncovered, and the very nifty stunt and CGI work can't
have the same rush of adrenaline the second time around.

But the action is deftly handled, the tension level high, the images are cool, and I got
caught up in spite of myself. At least in a moment to moment way. As long as I didn't
start up my bad habit of thinking about the 'big picture'.

And I'll be honest, I'm not a 'summer blockbuster action movie' kinda guy. I'm old compared
to the key audience this is aimed at. I'm more at home with the new Woody Allen movie or
some indie drama. So take this review with the appropriate grain of salt. But that said, I
can't deny I had a good time, and smiled lot.
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First, a technical gripe: The only English soundtrack on the Blu-ray disk is 7.1 true HD which our ten year old brilliant AV amp. could not interpret so it defaulted to ProLogic II - Grrr. Every other Blu-ray disk we've played has been decoded as DTS which is splendid so I sincerely hope that this is not a sign of things to come. This feature was so annoying that we watched the DVD version instead which gave us good old Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. UPDATE : Having encountered the same problem with another Blu-ray disk I tinkered about with the audio settings on the player (changing from `DTS re-encode' to `primary pass-through') whereupon the amp gave us DTS - Splendid! Apologies to Paramount...

Now, to the film. All of the MI films so far have been a more than a little tongue-in-cheek but they have delivered all-out action at a relentless pace within a taut plot; it doesn't usually do to think too much and the gadgets are universally silly but the films are always hugely entertaining. This film, however, despite the inclusion of J.J. Abrams in the production (but, significantly, not direction) credits is a serious let-down. There are lots of excellent action set-pieces and stunts/CGI (not that you can really tell the difference these days) but the plot is so linear and weak that it completely fails to provide the essential cohesion between the action sequences. The script is similarly lack-lustre, Tom looks tired & bored much of the time and Simon Pegg as the geeky side-kick is a total failure; he made a good `young Scotty' in the excellent Star Trek prequel but his brand of child-like pratishness is completely wrong for a major role in an action movie. These failings and the bizarre choice of a director best known for cartoons make for a sad & dismal end (hopefully) to the MI franchise.
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To me it has always been the theme song. I could watch just about anything to that sound track and think it was great. Fortunately we had a great film that explodes on the big screen. The gadgets were extremely high tech and I seriously doubt many of them really exist. Face scanner in a contact lens?

The opening scene of Cruise in a Serbian high security prison being broken out, was superb. It becomes a mystery that plays constantly in the back of your mind during the film. Who was the man he took with him when escaped? Where is he now? It engages you and puts your mind into the proper framework. Tom Cruise is later written off along with the IMF and must operate rouge to save the US from terrorist named Hendricks who has the Russian launch codes and plans to use them against the US. Cruise's team are the guys that just happened to be with him at the moment...with no masks! Great Stuff.

This is a good old fashion break out the tub of popcorn and enjoy the feature action-comedy-thriller. I didn't see it in IMAX, but clearly that is the way to go considering how the scenes were shot. After seeing it once, I want to see it again on the really big screen. And of course every "impossible" scene is made more complex, complicated, or twisted. Humorous and heart stopping action all in the same moment.

Good Luck.

No f-bombs, sex, or nudity.
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on July 19, 2012
For special effects it tops the first two.

For action & excitement it does not top the third.

The third "Mission" ended with Ethan telling his wife
everything, so this one should have had her being involved
in the spy game in some way. Instead she (Michelle Monaghan)
gets what adds up to a little more than a walk on role
with no lines.

Also, Ving Rhames, who was the only other member of the
team to be in the first three, had nothing more than a
few lines at the end.

So because of these two points i felt the movie was
missing something the whole time i was watching.

Other than that it was still a good movie,
just not the best in the series.
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on August 26, 2015
This is probably, and by far, the best movie of the first 4. It is great fun and a lot closer to the mood of the original series (including the opening credits). Blu-ray and DVD disks are included (although I wonder why, since I would rather buy one or the other) and also a digital copy (again, I don't know what for). I don't think I am ever going to watch this movie on my iPad. This is large scale and needs to be watched on a relatively big screen. As expected, the Blu-Ray copy is very clear and sharp with no problems I can detect. I haven't had this much fun watching a movie in some time. This is what an action movie should be like.
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If you were to ask me which Mission Impossible movie I would like to own, I would have to say MI2. not because it's the best but because it has Thandie Newton, who has an ethereal presence that I love to gape at.

If you were to ask me which movie is the best, I would have to say this one. This is Cruise doing what Cruise does best, pushing the envelope in an action movie. If you're like me, you experience a vivid after image.

In MI1 it's Cruise descending from the ceiling hovering in midair with a cable after he has broken into a secure room. In MI2 there is that image of the motorcycle, with the back wheels up in the air with him flying through the air, and one where for fits and giggles he is hanging by his fingertips from the sheer face of a mountain.

Here, it's definitely the vertigo inducing scene from Dubai, where he has to break into a secure floor, the 134th, if I remember correctly. And as one thing happens things can start to go wrong leading to much finger gripping, and sitting on the edge of your seat excitement. If you are climbing the outside of the worlds tallest building, the last thing you want is a sand storm. There are many memorable scenes in this movie. We have a familiar character from Lost, a beautiful hit woman, an unusual fight in a multi story car park, an entertaining prison break, and an underwater escape.

When we break from the thrills, we have the comic relief, once more provided by Simon Pegg.

I remember a scene early in the movie, where Ethan said he was going to do something, and I thought, "that's impossible." Then I remembered.

It's fair to say that Mission Impossible has hit its stride, it's gotten comfortable, yet still pushing the envelope for those action sequences. This may not be the movie for you if you suffer from Vertigo. At one point, I thought Cruise has to be insane to be doing this, but fair credit to him for going to the absolute limit to provide brilliant entertainment.

I would say go for it. I think you will love it, and I hope this was helpful.
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I saw the movie in theatres when it came out and thought it was absolutely incredible! In my opinion, the best Mission Impossible in the series - the action is really intense with insane stunts, the storyline is intriguing, the actors all work really well together and the settings are just beautiful to watch on their own. So when I saw was having a great deal on TV shows & movies, I knew I had to pick it up!

If you love the genre, you'll definitely love this movie!

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on November 26, 2012
All movies should be released this way. I really enjoyed this movie the loudness and the action. Not everyone likes Tom but he is super in action films and does lots of his own stunts. I saw this in Imax at the theatre which is really the way it should be watched but its nice to see it at home many times again with the volume up loud.
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