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IN SHORT: Better than OK but not a barn burner. [Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence. 133 minutes]
There is an entire MI movie missing from the interval between MI:III and MI:GP, all of which is explained away in a lot of dialog that also provides a lot of backstory for the new team of IMF agents that find themselves stuck with ace agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) on the very last mission, or very first mission of. . . well, let's put it this way. Somewhere in the in-between movie universe, Ethan Hunt's life went pretty much to hell. He found love. He lost love. He went rogue and that went bad and, as MIGP opens, he is resident of a private room in one of modern Russia's finest penal institutions. Yep, Hunt dropped the ball big time.
Even if we wanted to tell you more, we can't. It's all saved for the big Third Act reveal and we don't spill secrets. Those who want the good stuff spilled know which site spills everything.
After a terrorist bombing of the Kremlin points to the IMF as culprits, the president implements a "Ghost Protocol" and shuts down the secret organization. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and a team of disavowed agents -- Jane (Paula Patton) Benji (Simon Pegg) Brandt (Jeremy Renner) and Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist) -- follow the last orders given by the outgoing IMF Secretary (Tom Wilkinson) to hunt down the terrorists and prevent any future attacks, thus clearing the fine name of IMF. Which, of course, is a secret organization that no one knows about so that name" thing is kinda oxymoronic.
What little we know is that Ethan Hunt is in jail. An IMF attempt to steal launch codes for Russian nukes goes wrong and the codes are in the hands of an assassin who intends to sell them to an evil super-baddie code named Cobalt -- no one but the Russians know his name or what he looks like. The IMF must break into the most secure areas of the Kremlin to get Cobalt's personnel files, as a starting point.
Oops, waitasec. Ethan Hunt is in jail. Okay, FIRST they have to free Hunt and then they go after Cobalt. In between, the Kremlin goes boom, the IMF is disavowed and all the gadgets and computer thingies we have come to know and love stop working. 'Tis a fine mess.
We mean it. It is a mess. But Tom Cruise holds it all together. The story had our audience breaking into spontaneous applause twice during the run of the film but not at the film's climax . . . a totally inept piece of music scoring wrecked what would have gotten cheers from a fanboy packed audience. . . every one of em, we'd bet, had the proper musical arrangement going in their heads, just waiting for it to sync up.
'cuz we certainly did. It didn't. Given that Lalo Schifrin wrote just about all you need decades ago, music arrangements are the one place the ball shouldn't be dropped.
But overall, we enjoyed the sit.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol, he would have paid . . .
Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) is not dead. Just so's you know
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