12 January 2012

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

Films escape on to DVD so quickly these days that it takes something pretty unusual to entice me in to the cinema.

Previously that has been things like Avatar in 3D and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, the final instalment of the Millennium series by Stieg Larsson (the original version in Swedish, of course).

This time it was just the happy circumstance of being near a cinema, on a free afternoon, when I film I quite fancied watching was just about to start.

Having the Odeon iPhone app to hand helped make this happen.

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (a.k.a. MI4) arrived five years after MI3 which is a long time to wait for another chapter.

MI4 acknowledges its place in the canon. Some characters from previous stories appear, including one of the core team with Ethan, and we also hear what happened to Ethan's wife who played a large part in the previous film.

The Ghost Protocol is a simple but clever device to simplify the technology deployed which (mostly) takes us away from the high-tech stunts that have characterised some of the previous films.

This helps to make the film less episodic and more continuous with the stunts supporting the plot rather than the other way round. Overall the feel is more like the old TV series where there is more drama from the possibility of their schemes being detected than from them going wrong.

Of course there are stunts and the main one is the climb of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the worlds tallest building.

This was a little overpowering for someone with my vertiginous tendencies and I found myself sliding back in my seat so that I would not fall of it.

And that was typical of the film; tense, dramatic and exciting. The plot twisted nicely a couple of times too, sometimes to twist again in another direction.

I went in to the cinema expecting something classy and clever but essentially superficial. What I got was a lot more. This is a really good film and leaves you panting for MI5.

The only thing that let it down was the end. The very end. As Ethan walks towards the camera for the last time he has clearly got his iPhone earphones on the wrong way round. Somebody should tell him the microphone goes on the right.

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