I’m a Mission: Impossible fan. Truthfully, I’m a spy-action movie fan; it doesn’t take too much plot in these movies to keep me entertained. I still remember seeing the first Mission: Impossible movie. The second one, well I try to forget that memory, and because of it, I hesitated on the third and regretted not seeing it sooner when I finally visited it. But now, Tom Cruise is back as Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and he’s going big before he goes home.
Ethan has broken out of prison to find the infamous terrorist, Kurt Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist). In the first mission, they are upended by Hendricks' tricks and the IMF (Impossible Missions Force) is placed under "Ghost Protocol," meaning if any agents are found they are to be tried and killed. Continuing the mission under their own command, Ethan’s team, including Jane Carter (Paula Patton), Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), and the tag-along William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), decide to find Hendricks through his henchman as they follow them across the world. Eventually, they uncover a few twists that puts the world in imminent danger.
Same formula as the four previous times but with a few tweaks; Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol doesn’t take any big risks, but the theatrical run proves it didn’t have to. Ethan is somehow betrayed (this time not directly, but the organization takes a hit), and he must go rogue to finish the assignment and save the world. Worked great in the first movie, Ang Lee failed in the second one, and the ever popular, J.J. Abrams, brought it back to a successful level for Mission: Impossible III. Clearly stated earlier, it doesn’t take much to win me over in a spy-action movie, and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol did the winning.
Cruise portrays Ethan Hunt well, he is Ethan Hunt so at this point there is no disappointment in the fact that the character resembles a typical, cocky Tom Cruise character. Actually, the two have become so intertwined that Tom Cruise is crazy enough to do the very stunts that Ethan Hunt is crazy enough to be doing in the movie. Paula Patton ads the typical sex appeal, but does so with a well-rounded performance. Pegg’s comic relief is at the right level, and the addition of Jeremy Renner’s character seems fine but not great. Renner’s character is actually there for a variety of reasons and when the beans are spilled, the deep plot twist that was, disappears and actually brings the movie down a notch or two.
What makes Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol worthwhile, is the over-the-top action and the insane stunt sequences. The movie is filled with explosions and insanity, making every young man’s dream of being a space ranger subside long enough to make them gush at the idea of being an IMF agent. Another great thing going for this fourth installment in the series is the fact it isn’t as predictable as some of the previous ones. Sure, each time a suspenseful plot twist is revealed the complexity and the depth of the story gets weaker, but it's at least a twist that wasn’t clearly coming.
And that’s where the negatives come in. It seems like each moment in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is going to get as risky or dangerous as it can with its plot. Through its stunts, it climbs back in, and nestles on the safety net never really taking a risk here either.
But as I mentioned before, I’m a sucker for this genre, and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is no exception. The movie is crammed to the brim with action, has a well rounded cast, and features some stunts that are so intense you might find yourself holding your breath.
As expected, this big action blockbuster transferred great to Blu-ray with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’s 1080p Mpeg-4 encode delivering a reference quality performance. Each scene is full of life, with high amounts of detail, great depth and fantastic colors. The desert of Dhabi is filled with a clear and detailed look as the sand dunes have great shadows that still hold detail. Sand blowing in the wind looks fantastic, as the grains are clear and noticeable. The sands of Dhabi are just one example of what this image quality is like throughout the entire movie as all the other locations look great too. Detail on characters is incredible with stubble being obvious, wrinkles in clothing being apparent, and even the aging of some older action stars being more prevalent than in theaters. Flesh tones are natural, clarity is wonderful, and anything else associated with the picture quality deserves high praise.
The English TrueHD 7.1 audio track on board Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is fantastic. Explosions, music, tricky dialogue, and all the other spy and action related sounds are as clear as they’ve ever been. Conversations are crisp and clear through the center channel, as dialogue never gets pushed out by the other speakers. Gunfire sounds real and depicts an accurate direction as the surround sound really plays into this track. The explosions are tremendous, as they literally rattled my house. The bass wasn’t overwhelming as it felt and sounded like it should have. Much like the video presentation, there is nothing in the audio that I can complain about.
Making the choice for a day one purchase, it was a no brainer to grab the Best Buy Exclusive release of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. The set includes a third disc with an insane amount of extra features and even more magnificent is the fact that most of them are interesting.
The Mission: Impossible franchise compares to the Die Hard series. The first one was a classic, the second one we can pretend wasn’t real, the third one revived the franchise in great style, and the fourth one that showed up many years later was a worthy flick as well. The truth is, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is far better than Live Free Die Hard, as the Mission: Impossible franchise can use the same formula and still have incredibly successful results. The Blu-ray is fantastic, with reference video and reference audio. If you go with the Best Buy Exclusive you get enough extra features that will keep you busy for hours. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to buy Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol on Blu-ray and enjoy the hell out of it!