Mission Acceptable: a (Tepid) Recommendation from Steve

Your mission, movie-goer, should you choose to accept it, is to watch Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the fourth movie in the series. Should you accept the mission? Sure, why not, go ahead. The movie is, well, it is acceptable. Notice, though, that I said acceptable, not exceptional. It is fairly enjoyable. There is nothing really terrible about it, but, on the other hand, there isn’t really anything all that special about it, either. I can say that it is the best Mission: Impossible movie that I have seen, but I should also let you know that it is the only one I’ve seen. I’m not sure how I’ve missed all the others. I remember almost going to see MI3 because it had Philip Seymour Hoffman in it. I do enjoy seeing action movies now and again and generally I’m a pretty big fan of Tom Cruise (even if he is a bit of a wingnut), but let’s face it, his acting here is hardly in a league with his role in Magnolia (which I do highly recommend if you haven’t seen it). In fact, it’s almost hard to say that he is acting. What he’s really doing is movie-starring and I guess that’s alright. He does have a nice smile! Which is more than can be said about Jeremy Renner for most of the movie. His talents were woefully misused. His strength is his intensity, but here he just looked unhappy most of the time. I know he had that deep, dark secret to brood about, but I thought he looked constipated. Paula Patton as Jane was certainly gorgeous, but her role was as original as her character’s name. Thank goodness for Simon Pegg. He saved the acting side of things. It’s amazing how funny he can be just using facial expressions. I know, I know, action movies aren’t about the characters anyway. I’ve read many reviews raving about the action sequences. I found them to be good, but, again, far from fresh and original. Sure, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) finds himself climbing on the world’s tallest building, but we’ve seen plenty of action sequences in high places before. Does it really matter if you are 130 stories above the ground rather than just 30? Either way it’s going to be ugly if you fall! That sequence is a good example, though, of why this is only a good movie and not a great one. Ethan is climbing the building so he can break into the building’s computer room. Really? That’s the best reason they could find for this breathtaking scene? Sure, they had to hack the computers so they could control the buildings elevators and security cameras, but I still think it’s a pretty lame excuse as a setup for one of the action centerpieces of the movie. The truth is that none of the action had me on the edge of my seat, but none of it was truly boring, either. So, I guess the bottom line is: if you are looking for light entertainment, go see it. It is certainly not the worst of this year’s popcorn flicks.


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