Fri 14 Dec 2012
The Mission Impossible the Bond series share growth pains. They are both making huge efforts to adapt and behave nicely in the new millennium.It’s not an easy task for series whose characters, rules and conventions have been written originally in novels of the 50s, or in TV series of the 70s. They both answer by building darker stories (in the mood of the pessimist start of the millennium), hiring new actors (with the exception of the eternal Tom Hanks of course), and new directors who put the emphasize on building flesh and blood characters, humans who can feel pain and sorrow.
Directing is trusted in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol to Brad Bird whose all previous successes were with animated movies. I cannot say that this is felt at all, or at least I did not detect any flaws in the fluency of the story telling or the work of the actors which are as little cartoonish as a MI-series film can be. The story this time has the quality of being well written, keeps the number of characters almost to the minimum needed and thus is easy to watch. We are still jet-flown in a handful of different countries, impossible infiltrations and games of masks are still part of the action, messages self destroy and at least one symbolic building is badly damaged – but there is an overall effort to make the intrigue, the relations between characters and even the extreme situations more credible, and this effort is mostly successful.
Acting is exactly what is expected. The only regret is that Michael Nyquist has no real role and not enough screen time to demonstrate the huge talent we admired in the Scandinavian version of the Millennium trilogy. Tom Cruise who turned 50 this year is more and more involved in the MI series, he is here not only the lead actor but also the producer. One difference between the Bond and the MI series is that Ethan Hunt’s role was never undertaken by another actor but Cruise, while at least five actors featured in the 23 Bond films. Of course, Cruise is still in great form, but the problem will be on the table maybe two series and ten years from now and the question is whether the MI series will over-live Cruise’s aging. We shall live and we shall see.