MISSION IMPOSSIBLE (RATED PG-13) 4 STARS02-01-12-movie.jpg

 I don’t know what to tell you people. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (133 minutes) was long and had some boring parts, but it didn’t suck. If you’re into seeing a crazy-pants cultist perform some physically impossible stunts while looking intently at the camera, you should really enjoy it. Although you should be careful not to look directly into his eyes; that’s how the thetans get you! There are some pretty girls rolling around on the floor together, ripping at each other clothes and bashing vases over each other’s heads, too. But that is in no way sexist or exploitative, because, see they’re spies and stuff, and they are in a fight so it makes perfect sense within the logic of the plot. And boy spies do exactly the same thing, except they don’t, so it’s sexist. Unless you count the Viggo Mortenson full frontal sauna fight from Eastern Promises.

As far as I am concerned, the franchise peaked with Mission Impossible II, but this one is certainly watchable enough. The logic behind choosing Brad Bird to direct eludes me. I’m not com-plaining (after all, this is the guy that did the “Family Dog” episode of Amazing Stories and Ratatouille), it just seems an improbable jump

. I guess he did all right. Can he do a feature length version of “Family Dog?” That would be cool.So, Abrams clearly had a hand in recruiting, since Josh Holloway shows up early in the film as MI agent Trevor Hanaway. He gets to play with some cool new technology that works really well, unlike later in the film when, like toys on Christmas morning, everything breaks two seconds after it’s out of the package. He is tracked by an elite assassin with an awesome name, Sabine Moreau (Lea Seydoux). As what should have been a simple snatch and grab operation goes toes up, we transi-tion to a Moscow prison.

Apparently, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) did something naughty and ended up in the gulag. Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Jane Carter (Paula Patton) plan a nifty prison break, that involves exposing the dedicated prison guards who are only trying to do their jobs to a full-scale prison riot. At least Ethan heads back to save that one prison guard … nope. Nope. He is walking right past the guy getting beaten to death to collect his plot point Bogdan (Miraj Grbic).

After some very arty opening credits, Ethan gets his mission message and takes the team, sadly not including Ving Rhames, to the Kremlin. They do some technology stuff, only to find out their mission is a bust and take off, followed by a massive explosion.

Ethan manages to mission impossible his way out of his impend-ing arrest only to hear the rather disappointing news that he and his team are going to act as scapegoats for the U.S. government, and that MI will be disbanded under the rules of the Ghost Protocol. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but whatever. At least Ethan has Brandt (Jeremy Renner) to keep him company when he goes under-ground! And from all the smoldering glances they keep giving each other, it doesn’t look like he misses his MI: III wife at all.

The team regroups in a near impossible-to-access moving bun-ker, which might look like a well-cared for state of the art weapons cache, but is apparently filled with junk because none of it works. They head out to Dubai to look for a mystery man with a nuclear device (Michael Nyqvist). Despite being disavowed, they still have unlimited funds and lots of fake ID’s, so when they can’t nab him there, they track their guy to Mumbai, and send Jane in to seduce important information out of some dude. Because in an MI movie, that’s all highly skilled spy ladies are good for. Also, they get emotional and kill people they’re not supposed to kill.

Overall, watchable if you don’t spend too much time thinking and you don’t mind suspending disbelief regarding what is and is not physically possible.

Now showing at Wynnsong 7, Carmike 12 and Carmike Market Fair 15.

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