Top 100 Films Of The 2010’s – #79 – Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)

RELEASED: 26th December 2011


CAST: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Michael Nyqvist, Vladimir Mashkov, Josh Holloway, Anil Kapoor, Léa Seydoux, Samuli Edelmann, Ivan Shvedoff, Pavel Kříž, Miraj Grbić, Ilia Volok, Andrej Bestcastnyj and Andreas Wisniewski

BUDGET: $145m



The IMF is shut down when it’s implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organisation’s name.


In the aftermath of a mission that sees the Kremlin being bombed, the IMF have been implicated and forcing the President to initiate ‘Ghost Protocol’ and disavow them. No longer aided by the Government, Ethan Hunt and his team are racing against time (and across the globe) to track down a dangerous terrorist named Kurt Hendricks, who has gained access to Russian nuclear launch codes and plans to strike on the United States.


Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is the fourth installment in the franchise and was also director Brad Birds’ live-action film debut. I was late to the Mission: Impossible franchise, as I was put off ever since the second one and was pulled back in after the trailers for Fallout were released and Ghost Protocol I’ve watched repeatedly with friends and family as it’s the most polished and fun film in the franchise. The set pieces, from the Moscow prison escape, to explosion of the Kremlin, to the tunnel fan in Mumbai and, of course, the iconic Burj Khalifa climb, are crafted and executed superbly by Bird and company, with the film well edited by veteran Paul Hirsch. The dynamic amongst the ensemble is what makes the film work so well here. While Tom Cruise gets the big stunts and does his 5k cross-countries marathon in chase sequences, Benji Dunn returns as a newly promoted field agent and Simon Pegg provides the comedic lightness to the franchise that just suits the sequels onwards perfectly, especially how he bounces off Tom Cruise’s seriousness as Ethan Hunt. I’m not too sure how everyone feels about Jeremy Renner’s intelligence analyst William Brandt, as around this time it felt Renner was being pushed into other franchises (Bourne Legacy) as potential replacements in the long-term, but I enjoyed his performance here, particularly with how out-of-place the character felt to Ethan’s antics and I thought the backstory we got of his character was one of the interesting aspects of Ghost Protocol. Paula Patton also gives a good performance as Jane Carter, another IMF agent that lost a fellow agent that leads her on a personal vendetta to take out the person responsible. While there’s plenty of material for the rest of the ensemble to work with, the film still rests on Tom Cruise’s shoulders and he throws himself (quite literally) into all the stunts, whilst also giving a solid, dramatic performance.


FAVOURITE SCENE: Arguably the most iconic scene in the franchise, with Ethan Hunt having to climb outside the Burj Khalifa as it’s the only way they can gain access to a server room without getting caught.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: “Should I not have jumped? Cause I jumped!” – William Brandt

DID YOU KNOW: The windows removed from Burj Khalifa were carefully chipped away by two workers with hammers, working from a window washing platform outside the building.

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