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Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)
January 4, 2012, 8:50 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Brad Bird

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol will most be remembered for the scaling of Burj Khalifa, an impressive, vertigo-inducing stunt that is directed to be a short film of its own. Harold Lloyd’s Safety Last! comes to mind during the sequence and, indeed, what makes the film successful is the way that director Brad Bird toys with the audience’s anxieties while offering just enough humor for relief. As Tom Cruise climbs the building, one obstacle after the other is placed in his way – malfunctioning equipment, a sand storm, a slip – and, as the stakes continue to rise and rise, Bird relieves the tension with a wayward glove stuck to the building’s wall. After suffering through The Adventures of Tintin, which is one action set piece after another with little breathing room, it becomes incredibly apparent while watching this picture just how to make an action film work. Bird lays out the missions methodically – we always know exactly what the objective is and where the characters are in relation to one another – and, rather than focusing solely on stunt work, he includes a number of nicely accomplished suspense sequences to maintain the excitement without barraging the audience with noise. Though overlong, the film is a clinic on how best to pace a blockbuster of this sort.

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