Paramount Pictures’ Mission: Impossible franchise is a rare phenomenon. Few film series based on properties as old as it is have retained such relevance in the modern movie market and few take as long a break in between installments making each new entry a highly anticipated event. Such is the case with Ghost Protocol the fourth in fifteen years starring Tom Cruise as super-agent Ethan Hunt. Adding to the hoopla surrounding the holiday release is the fact that it marks the live-action directorial debut of Brad Bird the Pixar wunderkind responsible for Oscar-winning hits The Incredibles and Ratatouille. Unfortunately I feel that the animation auteur had too much to prove in his first physical outing and tried a bit too hard to thrill resulting in a film that plays more like John Woo’s over-the-top M:I:II than Brian de Palma’s suspenseful original.
The plot essentially kicks off when a bomb blasts a hole the size of a football field in the Kremlin (Russia’s most important government facility) while Hunt and his team of IMF agents (Paula Patton and Simon Pegg) attempt to extract a nuclear detonation device from the fortress before a mysterious figure known only as Cobalt can get to it first. The problem: Cobalt has gotten to it first and frames Hunt and company for the bombing causing the U.S. President to enact "Ghost Protocol " which disbands the IMF and disavows its soldiers. Knowing that the theft of the device and a batch of codes that enable it to be used prior to this event means that Cobalt surely intends to start World War III the agents go rogue to retrieve the components and bring the terrorist to justice.
Like the fore mentioned bomb blast Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec’s script is devastating leaving scattered pieces of information all over the place and making it hard for the story to truly find its footing. Expository plot points are dropped in way after they’re needed or wanted messing with the pace of the movie on more than one occasion. Perhaps their biggest crime is crafting a lame villain with little presence in the picture. After the intensity that Phillip Seymour Hoffman brought to his antagonist in M:I:III Michael Nyqvist’s quiet and composed Hendricks just isn’t convincing enough as a true threat. On the other hand Bird’s direction is anything but composed.
While his use of IMAX cameras is quite breathtaking when filming the much-publicized Burj Khalifa climb and other notable set pieces as stated before his approach to the material seemed to be “let’s make every action sequence as ludicrous as we can.” I realize that MIGP is a holiday blockbuster designed to get audiences blood pumping but I’ve always found that action films work best when they operate (mostly) within the confines of reality. That’s clearly not the case here where Hunt drives perfectly through a blinding sandstorm without causing much collateral damage and nosedives a Volkswagen off of a 30-foot drop and lives to save the day.
Still it’s all in the name of fun and he does manage to create an entertaining dynamic between his IMF agents. Patton is totally passable as Jane Carter an agent seeking revenge for the murder of her cohort and apparent beau Hanaway (Josh Holloway) while Pegg returning as Benji the tech-geek from the preceding film has been promoted to field agent and is without question the movie’s saving grace. Though his comic relief is relied heavily upon it’s absolutely welcomed. The biggest surprise is Jeremy Renner who was supposedly brought in to take the reigns of the franchise but is pretty stale as Brandt. He never elevates his character to the level of coolness that Cruise has maintained throughout the years and doesn’t provide anything significant other than assistance. Given the talent that we all know he possesses his negligible contribution was a bigger let down than the film itself.
The TV hunk, who played castaway Sawyer on the desert island drama, looks set to join the action man, Paula Patton and The Hurt Locker star Jeremy Renner in Mission: Impossible IV.
Vladimir Mashkov and Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist will play the villains of the piece.
The film is set to hit cinemas at the end of next year (11).
September 28, 2010 12:56pm EST
In his first major (and confirmed) career move since wrapping six years of Island adventures on ABC's Lost, Josh Holloway, who infamously played James "Sawyer" Ford, has joined the ever-expanding international cast of Paramount Pictures Mission Impossible IV. He joins star Tom Cruise and a strong supporting cast that includes Paula Patton, Jeremy Renner, Vladimir Mashkov and Michael Nyqvist.
Brad Bird is directing the fourquel, with M:I:III director J.J. Abrams back in action as producer. Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec penned the screenplay for the film. Holloway will play a member of Ethan Hunt's new IMF team. The film will shoot all over the world, in exotic locations like Dubai and Prague, starting this December for a December 16th 2011 release.
For Holloway, the deal heralds a much-deserved sigh of relief. The TV vet has been trying to lock a project since Lost ended, but hasn't had much luck. He was rumored to play Gambit in last summer's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but lost the part to the much younger Taylor Kitsch (his rigorous Lost production schedule kept him from the part). Since then, he's been attached to a reboot of NBC's The Rockford Files that has never gone to pilot. I'd love to see him take over for James Garner as the easy going PI, but Holloway has earned a shot at the big screen, especially after losing out another high profile job (that would be Hawkeye in Paramount's upcoming superhero spectacular The Avengers) to his newly minted M:I:IV co-star Renner!
September 27, 2010 10:30am EST
Nyqvist, who won acclaim for his role as journalist Mikael Blomkvist in Swedish thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, will battle Cruise in director Brad Bird's Mission: Impossible 4, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Cruise last faced-off against Philip Seymour Hoffman in the franchise, for 2006 blockbuster Mission: Impossible III.
Nyqvist joins an all-star cast for the follow-up, including returning stars Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg, and new faces Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton and Russian actor Vladimir Mashkov.
M:I 4 is scheduled to start shooting in Canada, Dubai and the Czech Republic later this year (10).
Michael Nyqvist, the Swedish actor best known for playing journalist Mikael Blomkvist in the international hit thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, is about to make the jump to Hollywood. According to Heat Vision, the 49-year-old actor has been cast as the lead villain in Paramount's upcoming Mission: Impossible 4, opposite Tom Cruise and new addition Jeremy Renner.
According to Swedish tabloid Nojes Bladet, Nyqvist just landed in Prague, where filming is set to begin this week. "I'm having to train kickboxing and such every day," Nyqvist told the paper (via Google Translate). "In the end, Tom Cruise and I have a fight as it will take three to four weeks to film, there will be stunts where we are using ropes and such." Adds Nyqvist, "I like Tom Cruise. He is damn nice."
While Paramount hasn't issued any kind of statement as to who Nyqvist's character will be, certainly a third act showdown between Tom Cruise and the Swede hints at an arch villain-type role of one kind or another.
Former Pixar director Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille) is set to direct with a script from Andre Nemec and Josh Appelbaum, with a healthy dose of oversight from producer extraordinaire J.J. Abrams. Principal photography begins with Nyqvist, Cruise, Renner, Paula Patton, Vladimir Mashkov, Ving Rhames, and Simon Pegg on location in Vancouver, Prague, and Dubai this month, ahead of a December 2011 release.
Source: Heat Vision
Not sure if you could tell or not, but Vladimir Mashkov is Russian. And he could probably crush you. Then drink a bottle of vodka and throw on a bear fur coat and do that dance with the legs kicking out. Some other Russian stereotype.
Anyway, Mashkov has been cast in Mission Impossible IV. Main players from the first three are returning, so we get another dose of Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, and hopefully Simon Pegg, who is rumored to return as analyst Benji (his deal has yet to close at the time of this writing). New faces that Mashkov joins are Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton. And just to throw another name at you Brad Bird will be directing.
At this point does it even matter who is in the movie? They’re pulling in some heavy talent for this film, but really it could all be arbitrary and we would still watch it. Shame on Paramount for attempting to create a film worthy of our hard earned dollars. How dare they attempt to create a story with a well respected director and nuanced actors! At least they brought back Tom Cruise, that’s the only smart move they’ve made so far.
Source: The Wrap