21 July 2015

Movie Review: "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol"

Rated: PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence
Starring: Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Jeremey Renner, and Paula Patton
Released: December 16, 2011
Synopsis: After escaping from a Russian prison, agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team, the Impossible Missions Force or IMF, are blamed for a bombing on the Kremlin, and are disavowed by the United States federal government.  With no backup to count on, it's up to them to stop terrorists from starting another world war...but, with everything seemingly against them, will they be able to thwart the dastardly plan?
The fourth entry in the long-running Mission: Impossible film series.

The Good: For the most part, this movie felt like an old-school television serial or beat-'em-up video game; plenty of action and peril, but little blood, and definitely not anything graphic.  The heroes are very likable, and the film definitely delivers some white-knuckle thrills.  Every moment is appropriately punctuated by dramatic music, and some of the stunts are rather jaw-dropping.  Fans of this series kind of know what to expect, and that's what they'll get.

The Bad: As good as this is, I do have some complaints, mainly in the content area.  Though I expected some profanity, I was surprised to see two instances where such an expression is uttered three times in thirty seconds.  Also, I admired the character of Jane, but, I didn't think it was necessary to have her dressed in such a way; I hate it when women are used as mere eye candy.  The only non-content issue I have is that some moments felt a bit lackluster; maybe that was because I watched it on my iPad instead of on a giant IMAX screen.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: A woman attempts to seduce a man, but they don't end up in bed together; a passionate kiss. 4/5
  • Nudity: Cleavage, strong in one case; shirtless guys; nudity seen in artwork; a woman seen in a bra. 3/5
  • Language: The h-word is used about nine times; God's name is misused just as often, including in subtitles.  The s-word and d-word are used twice each; the a-word and a misuse of Jesus' name are heard once each.  Milder terms include "jeez" and "shut up". 2/5
  • Violence: Action violence is seen throughout; people are shot dead fairly often, and there are plenty of hits, kicks, and such, and there is even a bombing.  All of it is done with little blood and no gore, though. 2/5
  • Drugs: Drinking and smoking throughout. 3/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Along with the violence, some emotional intensity is present. 1/5
Conclusion: Nearly a decade ago, I saw Mission: Impossible 3 at a local theater while on a field trip.  It was my first experience with the film series, and I thought it was fun, but it also had some content issues, especially when it came to the sexual content and language.  While Ghost Protocol was lighter on the former, it was just as heavy on the latter.  Director Brad Bird (The Incredibles) knows how to make a big-screen popcorn flick, no question; he definitely did this one right...for the most part.

Score: 3.5/5

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