Sunday, 18 December 2011

Opinion: B+

An excellent action thriller vehicle assembled by Brad Bird and his team that often went on high accelerated overdrive to kick in the cinematic adrenaline. Complemented by great visual clarity and use of camera (including amazing IMAX footage that warrants a viewing in the large format), action set pieces were relatively innovative to keep affairs interesting. If only the script would invest a little more in each of the characters and reduce its high implausibility.

Blamed for the terrorist bombing of the Kremlin, IMF operative Ethan Hunt is disavowed along with the rest of the agency when the President initiates "Ghost Protocol". Left without any resources or backup, Ethan must find a way to clear his agency's name and prevent another attack. To complicate matters further, Ethan is forced to embark on this mission with a team of fellow IMF fugitives whose personal motives he does not fully know.

One of my rare IMAX viewings, the fourth installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise made great use of the format to produce an excellent cinematic experience in terms of visuals and sound. Director Brad Bird (of "The Incredibles" and "Ratatouille" fame) had shared that IMAX would be an ideal format to present his film on a large canvas (he wanted a screen the size of Cleveland, he really meant BIG) and quality sound to provide an immersive experience that no home theatre system could match.

Indeed, your senses would be blown away in an IMAX screening of Ghost Protocol.

Much agreed that IMAX would seem to be the ideal way to go over 3D. It's commendable that Bird didn't decide to go with 3D and instead went with two dimensions on an extremely large format. The resulting outcome managed to engulf the audience and draw them in deeply, which I believe was a benefit that would be unparalleled and hard to beat.

The clarity was amazing, together with certain IMAX sequences (noticed when the screen fills the top to bottom entirely) several of the key action scenes were amplified to an exhilarating degree. One of the greatest IMAX scenes was of Tom Cruise dangerously scaling the exterior of the Burj (world's tallest building) in Dubai. It simply took my breath away with the perceived height.

The much celebrated action sequences wouldn't have been possible without the superb editing by Paul Hirsch. Besides executing timely cuts throughout the film, he managed to render a tight and highly stylised opening chapter that's one of the best in its genre.

Michael Giacchino's score for the film added sufficient punch to the rhythm much required for the action scenes to work. Especially took notice of the grandeur track played during the IMF's infiltration of the Kremlin.

Production values were predictably instilled with the globe-trotting location sets in Moscow, Dubai, and Mumbai. BMW automobiles were also prominently featured, including its conceptual BMW Vision EfficientDynamics.

Bird's first live-action feature wasn't without certain flaws.

Less Cruise, the other supporting characters managed to offer a wide variety of personalities albeit of shallow depth. Besides Renner's Brandt, the others didn't have much preface for the audience to get to know them better. That said, Paula Patton impressed in a particular ballroom function scene where she displayed genuine edginess induced by high pressure to perform.

We'd also love to see more of the underused French actress Léa Seydoux.

The accumulating amount of scratches and bruises (someone even received a projectile to the body) couldn't compensate the overwhelming implausibility of the film. Surviving a vertical hundred metres drop in a car without concussions and internal wounds appeared to be one of the biggest miracles to take place even in movies.

Much said, Brad Bird's first array into live-action feature filmmaking was nothing less of a high-octane spectacle warranting sufficient rationale for an IMAX screening.

A pity that there wasn't The Dark Knight Rises prologue footage attached to my screening.


  1. Will see it this Friday on the regular screen. Still have my hopes high and really dig the cast.

  2. @Alex Your expectations are justified and I believe you should like this film as much as I did if not better ;)

    Can't wait to hear what you feel of it.

  3. I'm dying to see this and will as soon as it opens on regular screens. They charge 15 dollars for IMAX here. I can barely afford the regular theater, LOL. Awesome review, I love this franchise and am always highly entertained by the action sequences. I'm looking forward to Jeremy Renner as I just love him.


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