MISSION IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL  (2011)

ROLE:  Kurt Hendricks/Cobalt

GENRE: Action thriller

COUNTRY: USA

US RELEASE:  December 11, 2011

 
Synopsis

In the fourth installment of the Mission Impossible series, Ethan Hunt and a new team race against time to track down Hendricks, a Swedish-born Russian nuclear strategist, who has gained access to nuclear launch codes and is planning a strike on the United States. An attempt by the team to stop him at the Kremlin ends in a disaster, with an explosion causing severe damage to the Kremlin and the IMF being implicated in the bombing, forcing the President to invoke Ghost Protocol, under which the IMF is disavowed, and will be offered no help or backup in any form. Undaunted, Ethan and his team chase Hendricks to Dubai and Mumbai.

 
Cast & Credit Details


Tom Cruise - Ethan Hunt
 Paula Patton - Jane
Simon Pegg - Benji
Jeremy Renner - Brandt
Michael Nyqvist - Kurt Hendricks
Vladimir Mashkov - Sidorov
Samuli Edelmann - Wistrom

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Director - Brad Bird
Screenplay -  Josh Appelbaum & André Nemec
Music - Michael Giacchino
Cinematography - Robert Elswit

132 minutes

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ABC News interview

youtube.com interview

Associated Press interview

Norwegian interview

Final garage scene

Premiere Photos

Promotional Photos

 
Production Notes:

Filmed over a five month period from October 2010 to March 2011, production took the film from Los Angeles to Moscow, Prague, Dubai, Mumbai, and Vancouver. With a production budget of $145 million, and box-office gross receipts of $209.4 million (domestic) and $694.7 million (worldwide), it was the second highest-grossing film in the series.
 

 
Publicity Stills

 

Commentary - Film Critic Ben Hendricks (edited)

With a long-standing pedigree of experienced live-action directors helming the Mission: Impossible series, Brad Bird might have initially seemed at a disadvantage, given a resume chock-full of animated films. As a result, has the director succeeded in his “mission” to bring a fresh and stylish M:I installment to the big screen?

Fortunately, the answer is yes. While "Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol" doesn’t hit the mark in every scene or character interaction, the majority of the film is an in-your-face action adventure with a number of enjoyable performances and exciting set pieces. Bird successfully captures the team dynamic of Mission: Impossible, while also making sure that the movie clips along at a quick pace and is filled with stylishly fun moments and the requisite character drama.

Unlike prior entries, the story is pretty straightforward with a linear race against time to stop a nuclear war. Tom Cruise once again returns as series lead, Ethan Hunt, who is incarcerated in a Russian prison at the opening of the film. When Hunt is sprung from jail, it’s only a matter of time before he’s caught in a shadowy conspiracy – one that doesn’t just result in the decimation of the Moscow Kremlin, but also the dissolution of the entire Impossible Missions Force (aka IMF); that is, with the exception of Hunt and his newly-formed team, which includes Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), and Jane Carter (Paula Patton). Using limited resources and fleeing for their lives, the trimmed-down IMF squad sets their sites on a mysterious person of interest, “Cobalt,” who is convinced that nuclear war is a necessary evil on the road to peace.

Ghost Protocol villain, Kurt Hendricks/”Cobalt” (Michael Nyqvist), is provided with a shocking lack of screen time or ongoing development. Audiences are introduced to the character early on, and everything worth mentioning about Cobalt is dumped out in one minute of IMF team-briefing exposition. The character is presented in the film as a shadowy and complex genius, but unfortunately, Bird never really gives Cobalt a voice. As a result, the character is little more than a flat go-between for the larger plot device of possible nuclear war. Ultimately, Cobalt successfully serves the narrative, but it’s a missed opportunity to craft an engaging villain.

While the film managed to dodge the current 3D trend in Hollywood, it is still offered as a premium IMAX experience – with roughly 30 minutes shot with IMAX cameras to fill the entire screen. There’s no doubt that the increased scope (not to mention heavy-hitting sound) adds to the experience, especially during the sequence at Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.

Regardless of which director is at the helm, the MI series has always been about action and cool spy/infiltration scenarios, and there’s no doubt that the film delivers on those points.