MI 4

After watching Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol I have the feeling that I should watch the original movie again. I liked the first one, loathed the second, and didn’t mind the third. The fourth, Ghost Protocol is one of the better, perhaps even better than the original movie.

I enjoyed the fact that the plot was less serpentine than the third movie. The stakes are higher than ever, though, so don’t imagine that the suspense is lower. In fact, the scene involving the Burj Khalifa tower had me cowering in my seat and resisting the urge to cover my eyes.

Simon Pegg as Benji–now a field agent–and Jeremy Renner as Brandt–the new guy–add a lot to the humor and interest of the movie. In fact, I find Pegg to be a far more versatile actor than, say, Ricky Gervais. And Renner has proven his worth in movies like The Hurt Locker and The Town.

I was pleased with Ghost Protocol. For those that enjoy the series, this movie should be another bright example of people setting their minds to do the impossible.

Casting Issues?

I was rather confused when I first heard that Meryl Streep was cast to play Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady.  I’m still confused, actually.  It’s not that I doubt Streep’s acting ability, it’s that I find it odd that she was chosen when there are brilliant British actors who could fill the role.  Then I discovered that the director of The Iron Lady is Phyllida Lloyd, who also directed Mamma Mia!  So perhaps Lloyd enjoyed working with Streep and got her cast as Thatcher.  I’m looking forward to the movie, but I still think it’s an odd choice.

Perhaps not as odd, however, as casting Tom Cruise to play Jack Reacher in the upcoming One Shot, which is an adaptation of one of the popular novels by Lee Child.  This is apparently causing furor among Reacher fans everywhere.  One of the reasons is that Cruise is about a foot shorter than Reacher.  I do think there are better people out there than Cruise, but then I might not be as huge of a Reacher fan as some other people.

All we can do as moviegoers is “vote” with our tickets.  If we like the movie, we will recommend it and maybe watch it again.  If not, we will tell everyone why they should avoid it.  But then again, I think that Hollywood exists in a parallel universe, rather out of touch with reality in many cases.

Pouring Salt into wounds

Philip Noyce has come out with an action movie that is destined to be as big as some of his previous endeavors, such as Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger.  Although Salt is not based on a book written by a best-selling author.  However, I think it will hold its own.  Apparently, the main character was originally supposed to be male and Tom Cruise was approached about the part.  When he backed out, it was rewritten for a female lead.  All I can say about that is "Thank goodness!"  Tom Cruise would have been bad for the part, and I find it more interesting that the main character is a woman.  I think it works better, actually.

The main premise of Salt–which one can ascertain from the trailers–is that a witness says CIA agent Eveyln Salt (Jolie) is a Russian spy.  Since she works for the CIA, she is immediately under suspicion (not somewhere I’d want to work), but she escapes the building, claiming she has to save her husband.  But is that really what she’s after?

In reality, there wasn’t that much to the plot of the movie.  It all takes place in a short amount of time, but it’s packed with action and fleshed out with flashbacks.  There was a twist to the plot that I didn’t expect, perhaps because I was so hyped up on the adrenalin-packed action scenes.  I did, however, predict a different plot twist so I guess I didn’t completely fail.

I enjoyed Salt.  It’s a good action movie with good acting.  I thought Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor were particularly good, although I was impressed with Jolie, perhaps because she didn’t talk much.  And punched a lot of people.  Exciting!

It’s too bad that director James Mangold’s Knight and Day was releashed so close to the third installment of the Twilight "saga."  I think that hurt its box office ratings, which is sad because Mangold has directed some pretty impressive movies (3:10 to Yuma, Walk the Line).

There are some actors that I have never liked and probably never will, but when I watch a movie I am able to clear my dislike out of my mind and watch a movie without my feelings coloring the story.  I dislike Tom Cruise, but I went to Knight and Day anyway.  And I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would.  I don’t remember the last time I was actually rooting for Cruise–Misson Impossible, maybe.

Cruise did a good job of portraying Roy Miller, a secret agent who may or may not be crazy.  I enjoyed Miller because he was a rather relaxed, humorous agent, not the typical macho-macho, super-cool type.  Cameron Diaz pretty much stole the show, however, as the hapless June Havens, a girl who gets sucked into intrigue but manages to hold her own even when she has no idea what’s going on.  Well, except for when she has to be drugged…

Paul Dano makes for one convincing computer nerd and Peter Sarsgaard makes an excellent villain.  In fact, I can never take Sarsgaard seriously when he’s not the villain…

I found Knight and Day to be intertaining, even if it was a bit predictable.  The characters were good enough to hold the story together and make it compelling.