17 December 2011

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

Full disclosure (a/k/a: obvious statement of the year): I hate Tom Cruise as much as I love Jeremy Renner.  I generally avoid Cruise movies, except the action/blockbuster ones.  I'll admit he makes a decent action movie, I just don't want to see him trying to act or in a romantic comedy.  Shut up and run from explosions, dick.  In the case of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, I likely would have seen it, Renner notwithstanding.  I mean, I've seen the rest of the M:I movies, I love Paula Patton because she's gorgeous AND looks like she can kick some ass, and Simon Pegg is always a joy to behold.  But so is Jeremy Renner, in all his IMAX glory.  And so this movie had to be seen - and just in time for an early birthday present!

First of all, if you're wondering, this movie is totally worth seeing in IMAX.  And I don't mean the "IMAX" you get at some mall movie theater - I mean the real thing, mostly found in science museums.  (I'm lucky enough to have one in Fort Lauderdale.)  There are enough scenes in this movie that are shot in IMAX to make it worth the price of admission.  It's worth it for the Dubai/Burj Khalifa scenes alone.  I hate heights almost as much as I hate Tom Cruise, but watching him dangle from the world's tallest building was so-nausea-inducing-it's-awesome. 

I'm not going to pretend the plot - or the dialogue - here is groundbreaking.  I'd venture to say it made its way into soap-opera territory on an occasion or two.  But if you like chases and spying and high-tech, never-in-a-million-years-is-that-possible gadgets, you'll love it.

Director Brad Bird is sure to go on and make 100 epically kickass action films.  Up til now, he's made animation, like The Incredibles and Ratatouille. He takes that animation spirit - including the crazy, over-the-top action - and does the same, only this time with real people.  And somehow it works.  I mean, it's crazy, most of the stuff that's done in this movie, but A) no crazier than loads of other action films, including the others in this franchise and B) it's fun to watch.  So who the hell cares. Ethan Hunt and his team are Superman and James Bond rolled into one.  Just go with it.

Seeing it in IMAX also meant seeing the sneak preview of The Dark Knight Rises beforehand.  I had been warned in advance that Bane was hard to understand, and I'm glad I was.  Because knowing that made me pay extra attention.  Not to say that I caught everything - and I know for sure I missed whatever the quippy, tagline thing was supposed to be - but it wasn't awful.  They need to fix that stuff with looping - here's hoping they do.  Then again, these are the filmmakers who thought it was OK to have Batman growl in a weird voice, so maybe they like having an unintelligible Bane.

The airplane sequence they showed in the preview was amazing - and also great to see in IMAX - but otherwise, I didn't get a lot out of the preview.  It'll be awesome, I'm sure of it.  I don't need to see a scene to reassure me of that.  Oh - one thing that was cool was that Aidan Gillen was in the preview.  He was awesome in The Wire and Game of Thrones, and it reminded me of how William Fichtner was in the IMAX preview we saw for The Dark Knight.  A kickass character actor in a little part generally means the movie is going to be awesome.

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