On return from the day’s activity I needed a break watched the latest in the Mission Impossible series of films which Tom Cruise launched in 1996 followed in 2000 and 2006 with II and III, and then in 2011 The Ghost Protocol with a fifth film already reported to being fast tracked because of the continuing commercial success. The film loosely follows the original 1960’s and 1980’s TV series in which the lead male is given an assignment via a self destruct tape and the option of declining the mission. He is part of a USA clandestine operational unit directly controlled by a Secretary of State and whose existence will be disowned if a mission goes wrong.
In the latest money making 130 mins production the story is complex as are the special tricks to understand and credulity has to be suspended from the outset. The film opens as a Mission Impossible agent is killed while securing information by a free lance female assassin Sabine Moreau. The until leader, Jane Carter, blames herself for the failure to spot and warn the agent of the approach of Sabine whose photo is on his hand communication device too late. She swears vengeance but is required to put this on hold and to free Tom Cruise from his Russian prison after he has killed a number of Ukrainians (I think) somehow tied in within the death of his wife previously. However he knows she is alive and her death faked in order to protect her position in the future.
A computer wizard Benji is able to take control of the cell locking and prison gate system of the maximum security establishment in Russia where Tom Cruise is imprisoned. Instead of following instructions he insists on also releasing a fellow Russian prisoner again for reasons mentioned in the film which I did not hear properly or now remember. The escape works out and the freed Russian goes his own way.
The new assignment is for Cruise to pose as a Russian General and enter the Kremlin to seek the identity of a mad Scientist known to be planning to launch an all out nuclear war between Russia and the USA in order to start the world again with the survivors. Cruise needs Benji to bring his tricks to deceive the Russians with false documents and then persuade the guards not to notice that Cruise enters the archives. They are successful only for Cruise to find the information has been cleared and that before they are able to exit their position is compromised and worse still, a large part of the Kremlin is blown up by Cobalt, the mad scientist, in order to cover the fact he has secured the system to Launch Russian Missiles except for the codes which is the information obtained by the assassin Sabine. Cruise is badly injured and taken to hospital where he is handcuffed by the Russian Secret Service who believe he was responsible for the explosion tantamount to an act of war by the US. Cruise makes a daring escape one of many improbably moments which makes this film.
His team have a sophisticated monitoring and control centre in a compartment of a goods train which he manages to board as it moves off. Relocated he meets up with his boss played by Tom Wilkinson and a research assistant who advises that because of the Moscow events the President has used the Ghost Protocol which is a fancy name for explaining as was explained to members of the International Henley Senior Management Course in the mid 1980’s that when a creative individual or Team crosses the line or is regarded to have crossed the line, as in this instance, you put into place the mechanism which proves/shows that the individual/team had no connection without your company or in this instance your government. They are out in the cold with no help or assistance although in the Henley real world scenario you and they had taken precautions, protections for such an eventuality for you would not want the individual to offer their services to another company or this instance government.
Unfortunately the arrival of Wilkinson is monitored and he is killed and the car dives into a river/canal/ when a dozen marksmen are on hand to continue volleys of shots into the deep. Of course Cruise works out how to escape and also brings with him the research man who becomes part of the team who agree to help Cruise find the man who set them up and the girl who killed the agent and stop their master plan.
The action takes places in Dubai in the tallest hotel in the world with team planning to again take control of the communications system and lead the two parties into separate rooms and here the level of sophistication in terms of gadgetry becomes extraordinaire including the ability to photo documents using eye placed lens and then scrambled the information so that the buyers have a false copy after which the plan is to follow the buyer and track down the rogue enterprise. The girl is also to be apprehended and not killed.
It all goes wrong of course when the tech man finds the only way to enter the computer system at the hotel is from an outside window. This involves Cruise using two magnetic gloves one of which fails. He succeeds but the problem is getting back which involves swinging and jumping into the created open window of a hotel room and just about being hauled in. In a melee with the enemy girl she ends up being kicked out of the open window. For some reason it is necessary for Cruise to pass the real codes to the enemy but the plan is to follow and capture the enemy leader and retrieve the codes and the launch device. This also goes wrong and involves a chase with cars and on foot but the chief villain escapes in a sand storm and on finding a passing truck. Cruise discovers that the man was using a super realistic false face mask
This brings us to the finale after Cruise has worked out, using the arms dealer brother of the man he freed from the Moscow jail, thatthe enemy propose to use the Satellite system of a lecherous Indian Broadcaster to launch Russian missiles at the USA. It is here that the story drops to below the acceptable. The villain wants total world annihilation to achieve lasting peace and instead of launching as many missiles as he has the means to do so he only launches one. Meanwhile Cruise and the girl are at a party being held at the home of the Indian Mogul where she allows herself to be seduced to point where she is alone with him and gains vital information which she can pass to tech man and research man who have entered the cooling system for the computer so as to redirect the missile(missiles) away from their targets. This of course goes wrong and the single missile launched and only explosion aborted within a second bouncing of a building into water where it is described as a meteor. The final act involves action between Cruise and the villain in one of the new fangled automated car multi story car parks.
Before closure there are two aspects to be covered. Throughout the adventure the Russian secret service is in pursuit of the man who destroyed the Kremlin and for a second the gullible have been led to believe that the arms dealing brother of the man rescued from the Moscow jail has told them where to find Cruise, when it is in fact Cruise who has told the man to tell Russian security as a kind of back up and to eventually explain to them that they are on the same side. This works.
The other aspects is the research guy turns out to have been a former field agent who had been in charge of the mission in which the wife of Cruise had died. This he thinks debars him from becoming the fourth member of the unit after its reinstatement at the end of the film. Cruise explains that his wife had not died but disappeared in order to prevent her being used as a target in the future and in the closing moments he spots her in the distance and she spots him and they communicate their love for each other at a distance. Can‘t wait for the next episode can you especially if it is to appear in less than another five year Interval? It made so much money!