Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol [Blu-Ray] Brad Bird

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol [Blu-Ray] Brad Bird
Despite an ungainly comma- and dash-infused title, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is actually a pretty slick, efficiently paced action movie. Utilizing the IMAX format to its full advantage, and some good old-fashioned stunt work, director Brad Bird reinvigorates the series that began way back in the olden days of 1997 with Brian DePalma's original (and by "original," I mean remake of the '60s TV show) Mission: Impossible. Disappointingly, there are no actual ghosts in Ghost Protocol – the subtitle refers to a contingency plan in which IMF (Impossible Mission Force) agents are disavowed by the government, after our hero Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is framed for bombing the Kremlin. The story is a pretty thin one, full of familiar spy movie tropes (gadgets, evil geniuses, Russians), but the plot only exists to position the characters in one action scene locale after another, such as the world's tallest building in Dubai, which of course, Ethan Hunt ends up scaling in the movie's most arresting sequence. The film follows the tone of the J.J. Abrams-directed third instalment (Philip Seymour Hoffman and Felicity!), which rescued the franchise from the dregs of John Woo's laughable sequel (Anthony Hopkins and Doves?). Ghost Protocol is certainly the most energetic of the four films, no doubt due to Brad Bird, director of animated classics such as The Incredibles and The Iron Giant, successfully making his live-action directorial debut. The cast is also a lot of fun, including the delightful Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Jeremy Renner and Josh Holloway (Sawyer from Lost). And you have to hand it to Tom Cruise; he keeps weirding out society as a whole then winning us back with his charm. He's a compulsively watchable movie star who I believe is somehow harvesting Katie Holmes' youth. How else do you explain him scaling that building?! The guy's, like, 50. Obviously the spectacle of the film is lessened in its conversion to a home format, but the Blu-Ray transfer looks and sounds great. Most of the special features are also in HD, including several making-of docs, the highlight of which is, of course, the behind-the-scenes look at the Dubai sequence. There are also deleted scenes, an alternate opening with director's commentary and a DVD copy of the movie, I assume to give to a friend who is too poor to afford a Blu-Ray player. (Paramount)