Because it's awesome. No, seriously. This is an awesome film. And I don't say that to sound like some overly eager fanboy who shouts praise over anything that features an explosion or Tom Cruise's awesome long hair; I'm saying it because it's a fact. This is a movie star's movie -- a true edge-of-your-seat blockbuster in every sense of the word; the kind that draws applause after its action sequences from tired film critics who've already been inundated with awards contenders, year-end lists and holiday blockbusters for weeks. But most of all, Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol is fun. It is a fun night at the movies, and probably the most fun you will have at the movies before the year is out (doubly so if you're any kind of action fan).
Yes, you should see it in a true IMAX theater if it's convenient for you to do so, and I'd even go so far as to invest in a rare road trip if the IMAX theater nearest you is a bit of a trek. Even in conventional theaters this movie will kick your ass, but what truly separates it from the pack in terms of action movies this year are its daring IMAX sequences, one of which will blow your mind, or make you blow chunks - whichever comes first. The stuff they do in Dubai -- beginning with the sequence we've seen pieces of on the side of the world's tallest building and ending with a ridiculous car-and-foot chase through the streets of Dubai during a wicked sandstorm -- is, hands down, one of the greatest sequences I've ever seen in an action movie. Trust me, experience it.
Even the story is half-decent, despite the villain not having more than two lines and being a caricature of your standard foreign villain with evil plans to destroy the world -- using his launch codes. There's always launch codes! Jeremy Renner is a little boring, too, but his story gets more interesting as the plot ticks along, and you probably won't care much for Paula Patton until you see her in that dress. What dress? You'll see.
Look: The Ultimate 'Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol' Image Gallery
But Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol isn't trying to be something it's not. This is an evolved, modern action movie that feels like it belongs in the '80s, and I give it credit for switching up its ongoing premise enough that it felt fresh and familiar. This isn't a movie about Ethan Hunt and his team winning; it's a movie about them losing. And what happens when they lose. How do they regroup? What's their Plan B? Is there a Plan B? Ghost Protocol may have been better suited stuck in the middle of a more refined trilogy, Empire Strikes Back-like, but that just isn't the case. Plus this franchise isn't that kind of franchise. It's not a thinker, it's a brawler that sometimes disguises itself as a thinker -- giving us just enough "movie smarts" to go with its kicking, punching, gun-shot wounds, and car accidents.
When you see a spoof where the hero or villain gets shot 17 times, run over by a car and beat with a bat -- and they still keep fighting -- Ghost Protocol is the movie they're spoofing. This is the kind of action movie you remember cheering on from the back row with your high school buddies on a Saturday night when you were 15 or 16, and I'm damn happy to see they still exist.
If you skipped all that disgusting praise above and just read this sentence, then let it end with me suggesting you go see Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol this weekend.
Why? Because it's awesome!
p.s. watch this, and then watch it again in IMAX