Saturday, December 17, 2011

Movie Review: MI4 Ghost Protocol

In a nutshell, MI4 is, by far, the best MI film that has ever hit the big screen!

Early this week, members of the press and other guests got to see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, the fourth installment in the MI series starring Tom Cruise at the IMAX Theater in SM Mall of Asia. I was very fortunate to be invited by Solar Films Entertainment to watch this special premiere. To our delight, we were surprised to know that MI4 opens in the Philippines one week ahead of the US screening!

Before the movie started, Solar Films Entertainment President Mr. Wilson Teng shared some insightful information on how the Philippine Cinema industry has prospered despite the ever-present threat of film piracy among other economic-related factors our country is facing today. Audiences applauded when he announced that Solar Film Entertainment Philippines alone made a staggering gross income of P1.8 billion this year! That’s great news especially since we get to see some films ahead of other countries. Congratulations Solar Films!

Another “debut” worth celebrating is the new director of the film, Brad Bird, who made animation blockbusters like The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and the Iron Giant. The fourth MI movie finally gave Bird a first action film he deserved to direct. The highlight set of the movie was of course Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, currently the tallest building on the planet.

Teaming up with Tom Cruise (Ethan Hunt) are new faces of agents like Jane Carter played by Paula Patton, the technical support sidekick Benji Dunn played by Simon Pegg, and promising “kick-ass” defense espionage analyst agent William Brandt played by Jeremy Renner from the action movie Hurt Locker.

The story was more like a slice of the cold war era between the US and Russia. It basically revolves around having a Russian high level rouge syndicate getting hold of nuclear bomb launch codes, blowing up a big portion of the Kremlin, and putting the blame on IMF operatives thus heating up the situation and leading countries into the brink of a nuclear war. After the US Secretary of Defense was assassinated, the US government invokes Ghost Protocol and disavows agents leaving just the four main characters to save the day.

In every Mission Impossible I watched, one element is certainly evident in each film and that is the awesome stunts of Tom Cruise that leave the audiences at the edge of their seats. The new MI film surely tops all the past MIs and other action packed films making them all quite mediocre. One thing that was absent this time though is the bed and skin scenes that were very notable in past MIs. I guess they left those out to give room for more action scenes which is quite ok with me.

Over all, this film is definitely one of THE “must watch” movies of this year. It starts showing on December 16 although next week, cinemas have to give way as the Philippine movie industry celebrates the annual Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) where local film makers and productions get to feature their masterpieces and vie for the best film of the year and other awards.

So, from Dec. 25, 2011 to Jan. 8, 2012, in support of the MMFF, cinemas all over the country will allot all screenings to featured local films. However, for this year, SM Cinemas is making an exception and will be showing Mission Impossible: Ghost protocol in IMAX theaters in SM Mall of Asia, SM North Edsa, SM South Mall and SM City Cebu. Regular screening resumes on January 8.

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