Mission: Impossible–Ghost Protocol

Film (with rating): Mission: Impossible–Ghost
Protocol (PG-13)


Studio: Paramount


Summary: The IMF is shut down when it’s implicated as
international terrorist organization in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing
Ethan Hunt and his team to go rogue to clear their organization’s name and stop
a nuclear war.


Review: I don’t know how director Brad Bird did it,
but this “Mission: Impossible” was just as good as–if not better
than–the first three. I know people are a bit sick of the never-aging Tom
Cruise (including yours truly), but this movie would not have been half as
enjoyable without him in the lead.

What makes “Protocol” better than
expected is that the energizing plot is driven by all of the actors, and not
just Cruise. Simon Pegg, for example, is amazing as one of Hunt’s team. I
became a card-carrying member of his fan club when he was in “Shaun of the
Dead,” and his British humor was a welcome addition to
“Protocol.” Fans of “Lost” will get to be reunited with a
series fave: Sawyer (aka Josh Holloway) finds his way to the big screen.


The action sequences are as hoped–fantastic and not
overdone. The scene with Hunt crawling along the outside of Dubai’s insanely
tall Burj Khalifa  will honestly
make your heart race.


The setting is also a highlight of “Protocol.”
From Russia to Dubai, the team travels the globe, giving viewers locations that
are as interesting as some of the action scenes.  The sandstorm sequence is a perfect combination of the two:
setting and action. It’s not to be missed.


So on this holiday weekend, sit back, enjoy some insane
action and, for extra fun, watch the first three “Mission
Impossibles” to kick off the summer.


Extra highlight: “Impossible Missions”


What to serve for dinner: Start off with a Dubai
staple–falafel–followed by Svitanak, an authentic Russian recipe.


Falafel (www.mideastfood.about.com)

1 cup dried chickpeas or 16 oz. can of chickpeas or garbanzo

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

3 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon cumin

2 tablespoons flour



Oil for frying


Place dried chickpeas in a bowl, covering with cold water.
Allow to soak overnight. Omit this step if using canned beans. Drain chickpeas,
and place in pan with fresh water, and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 5
minutes, then let simmer on low for about an hour. Drain and allow to cool for
15 minutes.


Combine chickpeas, garlic, onion, coriander, cumin, salt and
pepper (to taste) in medium bowl. Add flour. Mash chickpeas, ensuring to mix
ingredients together. You can also combine ingredients in a food processor. You
want the result to be a thick paste.


Form the mixture into small balls, about the size of a ping
pong ball. Slightly flatten. Fry in 2 inches of oil at 350 degrees until golden
brown (5-7 minutes). Serve hot, with a side of hummus.


Svtinak (www.ruscuisine.com/)

1 lb chicken fillet

3 oz cheese

2 tbsp mayonnaise

4 ea garlic cloves

1 ea egg

3 oz dried and finely ground bread-crumbs

4 tbsp butter



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shred the cheese, add finely
chopped garlic and stir in mayonnaise. Divide fillet into small and large
pieces and salt them. Spread the filling on a large piece, put a small fillet
piece in the centre and fold into half-moons with a little piece inside. Soak
in the beaten egg and roll in dried and finely ground breadcrumbs. Fry until
light brown in a pan with enough oil to cover the bottom and come partially up
the sides just a bit. Then cook until soft and tender in the oven, about 20-30
minutes. Check at 15 minutes for readiness.


What to talk about over dinner: What was your
favorite location? What was your favorite action scene? Was this your favorite
“Mission: Impossible?” Why or why not? Why doesn’t Tom Cruise age?
Why was “Shaun of the Dead” so funny? What’s your favorite Cruise
flick? I’m going with “Risky Business” and “A Few Good
Men.” Oh, and “War of the Worlds.” Least favorite? Mine is
“Knight and Day.” Didn’t his character in “Tropic Thunder”
steal the show? Who is going to see Cruise’s new film, Rock of Ages? Breaking
news: There’s a “Top Gun 2″ in the works! Can the Mav do it again? Do
you believe that Cruise did most of the stunts himself in “Protocol?”
Did you hear about the drinking game from this movie? Every time there’s a
close-up of Cruise where he gives that cocky grin, you drink. Just make sure
you’re not driving anywhere if you play this, because by the 45-minute mark,
you’re sure to be tanked.