Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol saw quite a few changes for the franchise; some more obvious than others.
- It is the first in the Cruise era to have a subtitle rather than a number. Apparently, Tom has never been a fan of numbered sequels as he’s always considered each film as a standalone feature in the franchise.
- This is the first film to use the 100th-anniversary Paramount Pictures logo.
- This is the first film in the series to be released in IMAX.
- The first Mission: Impossible film not to be co-produced by Paula Wagner.
- This is the first installment in the franchise where none of the villains are, or used to be, IMF agents.
Perhaps, though, the biggest difference runs along the same lines as with the Fast & Furious franchise…the stunts started getting bigger and bigger. The difference with the Mission: Impossible franchise is that Tom Cruise is renowned for doing the majority of his own stunts. The insurance companies of the world would probably be apoplectic if he did ALL of his own stunts but he does a lot more than the average A++ lister. And we’re not just talking about carefully choreographed fight scenes or jumping through a sugar glass window.
Easy Way To Remember: Blue Is Glue
They started to boost the adrenaline in Mission: Impossible II with the now famous climbing scene to start and the knife stopping millimetres away from his eye in the last big fight. Oh, that is if you don’t count clinging on to a Eurostar train like in Mission: Impossible. After all, those morning commutes can be quite hectic. But, let’s face it, MI4 has him running around the outside of the Burj Khalifa. Yes, the one that is the world’s tallest building. And it is him. Ok, there may be some safety wires that have been digitally removed but he’s still over half a kilometre off the ground. I know I’d be wanting a bit more than a thin steel cable to hang on to!
On an episode of the Graham Norton he once said that he was an adventurous child and enjoyed doing “flips off the house into the snow” and racing bicycles over ditches. This taste for excitement stuck with him and he grew older and into a love of “fast cars, motorcycles, hiking and climbing,” essentially anything that gets the blood pumping. In May 2022 he told The Hollywood Reporter “No one asked Gene Kelly, ‘Why do you dance? Why do you do your own dancing?’” I twisted an ankle once mid-Shag so I kind of get his point. Ironically, one of his worst injuries occurred during one of the simplest stunts; the roof jump in Mission: Impossible – Fallout when he broke his ankle but still kept on running.
And When It’s Red?
The advantage is that the director doesn’t have to keep trying to find camera angles that don’t show the star’s face or give away that he’s gained 30cm and 25kgs. And, let’s be honest, it is these stunts that really sell the franchise. OK, the gadgets are fun but part of the conceit of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is that the eponymous “Ghost Protocol” means that the team are cut off from the bulk of their resources due to having been disavowed. Even the fancy mask making machine goes on the fritz meaning they have to go into situations bare faced.
But Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol really seems to get into the stride. Simon Pegg is back as Benji Dunne and Jeremy Renner is introduced as William Brandt. I heard that the plan was for Brandt to be brought in as a replacement for Ethan Hunt should Tom Cruise ever start aging. How that will be affected by Mr Renner’s recent accident is unclear but we have two years to go before it needs to be addressed. Incidentally, Brandt has some backstory with Ethan and, eighty five minutes in, he explains what happened to the wife that Ethan walked off with at the end of the last outing…or does he? You’ll need to watch and see for yourself!
Movie Grade: A+
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Former teacher, lecturer, homelessness administrator, pharmacy dispenser now happily retired, happily married, and a very happy granddad. I live next to the Mersey but on the side Daniel Craig and Taron Egerton come from rather than the side the Beatles came from!