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Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol ‘Best Buy Exclusive’ (Blu-ray Review)

This might be a little awkward, but I will explain. I could not find any suitable artwork for the Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Blu-ray cover art anywhere. I borrowed the bilingual cover art instead, so please ignore the bilingual font, because I assure you that it is NOT present on the U.S. Blu-ray. Also, that’s the Best Buy Exclusive cover art, as well. It features a third disc and an extra hour of bonus material. We’ll get to the nitty gritty details of the Blu-ray contents in the “Extras” section. For now, you’ll probably want to know how Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol stands against the previous three entries, right?  You’ve come to the right place. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to enjoy this review of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol on Blu-ray. Happy trails!    

 

Film 

He’s back, no wait, they’re back! Tom Cruise and producer J.J. Abrams have returned to the world of spying and espionage in Brad Bird’s live-action debut Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and the gang featuring: Simon Pegg as agent Benji Dunn, Paula Patton as agent Jane Carter.

A bombing at the Kremlin has implicated Ethan Hunt and his team along with the whole IMF division and his mission, which he will accept, is to find out who is responsible and bring them to justice. Well, the whodunnit part is easy enough. Bat-shit-crazy nuclear strategist Kurt Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist) is behind the attack. He’s also got bigger ambitions on top of that and that is nuking the U.S. before all is said and done.

Along the country-continent-hopping Hunt and his team will come into contact with deadly henchmen-hench (hot) woman, the scaling of the world’s tallest building in Dubai, a massive sandstorm, an impressive fight on an automated parking garage, and a super computer in India. Yes, it’s a very exciting adventure!

Having been a longtime fan of Brad Bird’s work in The Incredibles and The Iron Giant I really didn’t know what to expect going into Ghost Protocol since this was Bird’s live action debut. Yes, I had seen the trailers and they looked great, but then again, that’s the trailer’s job. It’s to sell the film. Once I was strapped into the chair and taken along on the journey, well that was something else entirely. No, the film won’t win any Oscars for best of anything, but it is a lot of fun and for being a film that runs well over two hours one would not know it. The pacing is great!

I also think that the inclusion of Jeremy Renner as a IMF Secretary gave the film an overall lift in the creative department, because his character has a secret or two. Simon Pegg as a newly promoted field agent keeps it light and fun, and the sultry Paula Patton as agent Carter is, well, hot. Okay, she can handle herself with weapons and hand-to-hand combat.

If anything, I would say that the weakest link in Ghost Protocol is the lead villain. Kurt Hendricks may be a former nuclear strategist hellbent on destroying the world, but he’s very plain and somewhat boring. I thought Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s character in the last film was far more interesting that Hendricks, but that’s okay. It’s the situations that the agents are put in that elevate the overall film into enjoyable territory.

The fact that most of the film was shot outside of the United States and on actual locations in said countries also brings out that extra bit of authenticity to the film. Yes, that’s actually the real Tom Cruise swinging from the Burj Khalifa building in Dubai, which is the tallest building on the planet. Yes, that’s Tom Cruise partying it up in India, and yes that’s Tom Cruise driving a really cool I-don’t-know-what-kind-of-car that is, too.

I think that new life has been injected back into the franchise, because part 3 was a bit shaky, two sucked, and one was more voyeuristic. Ghost Protocol is much more consistent as a fun action-spy-thriller than its predecessors. I do hope that the franchise continues, because consistent or not, they’ve all been profitable films. Keep it goin’!

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Video 

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is presented in 1080p, 2.35:1 widescreen. The word of the day is DEMO. I will say  that the IMAX filmed scenes are not included in IMAX format on this Blu-ray presentation. This means that unlike The Dark Knight, the screen DOES NOT open up to the wider format. Ghost Protocol stays at 2.35:1 ALL THE WAY THROUGH. There. As far as the print goes, well, I did say it was demo-worthy, right? Yessir. Flesh tones are brilliant, blacks are extremely deep and inky, contrast never comes off boosted. I did notice a bit of soft spots during the film, but those had nothing to do with the transfer. It’s the fluffy smoke and sand of the obvious cgi explosions and sandstorm that gives that illusion. Colors are extremely bright and realistic and have that three dimensional glow to them without looking excessive. I also think that having the entire film presented on ONE Blu-ray disc accentuates the video presentation…in addition to the audio which we will now move on to.

Audio 

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is presented in Dolby TrueHD 7.1. Again, the film is spread out on one Blu-ray disc for the best best possible video and audio presentation out there. Dialogue is crisp and clean. The music pound through the speakers, but remain steady and never clip or pop. The LFE is amazing as there are several scenes that contain explosions along with the standard action set-pieces that let the low-end shine. The rear channels are used very aggressively and handle the surround effects flawlessly without blending into what’s going on in the front. The directional sound field is pretty awesome. We already talked about this audio track being demo worthy, right? Just checking.

Extras 

This review copy is technically the 3-disc “Best Buy Exclusive” of the film. The first disc contains the film itself in full 1080p with the Dobly TrueHD 7.1. That’s it. The second disc contains a separate Blu-ray disc with all of the special features which add up to (roughly) two hours of behind-the-scenes footage along with some deleted scenes and what not. The third disc is the DVD/Digital Copy of the film with an added Ultra Violent streaming copy, as well. *I’m thinking that all the other retailers will be getting a two disc set that will not include the special features disc which will technically make it a barebones release when it hits street date.

*I cannot confirm that as accurate at this time, so take that assumption with a grain of salt. All of the special features presented are in HD.

 

  • Mission Accepted: On-set action with Tom Cruise, J.J. Abrams & Director Brad Bird. See the amazing stunt work on the world’s tallest building in Dubai and more.
  • Impossible Missions: The sandstorm brought to life, the secrets behind the gadgets, the brutal fight in Russia, the spectacular car crash, behind-the-scenes in Dubai, and more.
  • Deleted Scenes and alternate opening with Director’s commentary
  • Trailers

Summary 

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is my second favorite of the series behind the first film. It’s a lot of fun and stays consistent in balancing out the thrills, action scenes, with small doses of humor here and there. I would say that’s due to Simon Pegg’s expanded agent role. The supporting cast is solid, and look like they’ve jelled really well together. I do wish that the IMAX scenes had been opened up on the presentation itself, but here’s hoping that the studio releases an “IMAX” version down the road. The behind-the-scenes stuff was really interesting and handled well in that it never comes off as standard fluff. I like that some of the footage used was from Brad Bird himself off of his iPhone. That sort of access is neat considering the sometimes lo-tech way it was captured on. I think you’ll have a good time with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.

 

Order Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol on Blu-ray!

 

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

2 Responses to “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol ‘Best Buy Exclusive’ (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    Nicely said. Excited to pick this one up. Will be kinda different on a small screen, with a consistent aspect ratio, but I hope it still plays almost as fun as it was seeing it on IMAX

  2. Gregg

    A definite buy. One of my favorites from last year.