Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) scales the tallest building in the world - the Burj Khalifa. No big deal I Agents of Fandom

Monday Movie Club: ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’

Is ‘Ghost Protocol’ an action movie or comedy masterpiece? Who is to say…but it is an absolute staple in the best active movie franchise, that’s for sure!

*Warning: Spoilers ahead for Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol*

We’ve upped the game—no more numbers in the title, one of the most deranged, iconic stunts ever performed on film, and even cooler tech! Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol doesn’t mess around. This entry is the true anchor point of the franchise that cements Tom Cruise & Co. as the best to ever do it in an action movie.

While this isn’t my favorite Mission: Impossible movie in the franchise (not even in the top half, actually!), it still possesses certain qualities that, much like Mission: Impossible III did, helped define later entries and the franchise’s true personality. We don’t get Billy Crudup back (R.I.P, my king), but we do get some serious screen time for Benji (Simon Pegg)—along with flashes of superstardom with the additions of Lea Seydoux and Jeremy Renner.

This movie takes the Mission: Impossible modus operandi of using a huge, single set piece and the energy of the cast and team to create an enlivening, energetic movie—and it crushes it.

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol brings together a top-tier team to save the world| Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol I Agents of Fandom
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol brings together a top-tier team to save the world. Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol sees the Impossible Mission Force shut down when it is implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin. Ghost Protocol is initiated (cue Leo pointing meme) and Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team are forced to go rogue to clear their, and their organization’s, names. In order to do so, they travel to Dubai to facilitate a deal for nuclear codes that, obviously, goes wrong.

While that isn’t the entirety of the plot, what fun would it be to ruin it for you? For me, there are few things cooler in a movie than when the title, especially in the form of a pure action flick, gets thrown out as a key storyline mover. Whether you want to admit it or not, I know you like it, too! So mad cool points to Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol for turning a standard numbers name into a subtitle that is meaningful and badass.

Right out of the gate, quite literally in this context, the movie kicks off with an action-packed prison escape that is more than a tone-setter for the film. It initiates an underlying thriller narrative that proceeds to lurk through the entire film with both ease and tension. Why is Ethan Hunt in prison in Moscow? This seemingly small detail gives a mysterious sense to Ethan Hunt, and while we find out later that it was all part of a long-game mission, it adds a depth to Hunt that continues to grow in later franchises.

This, specifically, is one concept that catapults Ethan Hunt to the top of the movie action-hero rankings: the idea that Hunt will go to lengths greater than any other agent to complete a mission and protect what he values most in his life, his wife.

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol takes the franchise to new heights

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) scales the Burj Khalifa with high-tech gloves in Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol. I Agents of Fandom
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) scales the Burj Khalifa with high-tech gloves in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

When I tell you I gasped when Hunt was climbing the Burj Khalifa in Dubai with sticky gloves and the fate of the world riding on the line, that is an understatement—I *gasped*. I had to stand up from the exceptionally cozy couch I was enjoying the movie on and pump my fists into the air because goddammit, my man is free-scaling the tallest building in the world!

The elite humor from Benji in this scene along with the highly-specified gadgets designed solely to change hotel door numbers or print papers in a briefcase with photos taken from a contact lens only add to the madness, in the best way possible. Truly, and I kid you not, one of my favorite scenes in the entire Mission: Impossible franchise—I still can’t believe Tom Cruise did that stunt himself. The king of cinema, people!

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol continues to build on the outlandish on-screen stunts and wildly cool spy narratives that the first three installments began. The movie is exceptionally self-aware, and a witty script combined with a killer cast makes that type of energy and humor work effortlessly. Mix that with twists and turns throughout its 2-hour and 12-minute runtime and a genuinely heartfelt conclusion, and you’ve got a stellar Mission: Impossible movie.

The reason it’s not my favorite isn’t because there are a lot of negative things about the movie—sure, the villain isn’t up to snuff against the previous movie and some pivotal plot points move pretty quickly—it’s just the fact that some other ones are that good. Whatever your thoughts on it and wherever it sits in your Mission: Impossible rankings, you have to give credit to Luther for whipping out that middle finger and making Ethan pay for beers at the end. Maybe this movie is a comedy after all…

Follow the Agents of Fandom socials to stay up-to-date with the latest Monday Movie Club as we prepare for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1.

'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol' Review

'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol' Review
4 5 0 1
4.0 rating
4/5
Total Score

The Good

  • One of the craziest stunts ever put to camera!
  • Delightful humor and chemistry with the cast
  • Sick tech gadgets. Like, so sick.

The Bad

  • Another lacking villain...
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