Movie Review: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Brad Bird, who directed the animated features The Incredibles and Ratatouille, helms his first live-action feature film with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the fourth instalment of Mission Impossible Series featuring the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) agent Ethan Hunt. Tom Cruise, who reprises the role of Hunt, is back after a hiatus, if we can excuse his previous outing Knight and Day. And yeah, what a comeback it is!

Opening with a dramatic sequence when IMF agent Hanaway is killed by an assassin in Budapest, his team leader Jane Carter (Paula Patton) and field agent Benji (Simon Pegg) rescue Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his informant from a Moscow prison. As Hunt and his team carry out a related mission to infiltrate the Kremlin secret archives, their plans go awry when Kremlin is bombed and Hunt is accused of spearheading the attack. Despite their escapade, Hunt confronts a difficulty after the U.S. Secretary of Defence informs him that the U.S. President has initiated the Ghost Protocol, thereby disavowing the entire IMF. Hunt and his team is, however, given an option to pursue the mastermind responsible for the bombing to avoid government custody. Let off on their own, will Hunt and his gang, along with William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), the Secretary's Chief Analyst, be able to accomplish this impossible mission? Watch the movie for the answers.

First things first, MI – GP is entertaining from the word go. Leaving aside the logic, it is one absorbing action-thriller that manages to be stylish, slick and fast-paced with jaw-dropping action-pieces. The vertigo inducing stunts choreographed at the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world for the time being) in Dubai deserve a special applause. However grand the stunts might be, they seem to be ludicrous and impossible to be performed by a normal person. Also, the plot (if there is one!) is quite predictable and confusing, save for the interesting twist that comes in the form of Brandt's back-story.

This lack of a proper cohesive story is compensated by enough dare-devilry that you are most likely to excuse all the other short-comings. Don't be surprised when Anil Kapoor shows up as a rich Indian businessman in a blink and miss appearance, as the action leaps to Mumbai (recreated in Canada! Go figure that. There were some obvious silly faux-pas like a misprinted number plate on the car, Kannada instructions on building doors, although they have managed to do a splendid job of erecting the city abroad).

It's in fact the special effects and a sincere and restrained performance from Tom Cruise that make MI – GP a great movie experience. Cruise feels surprisingly real, despite all the improbable stunts he pulls off, and his on screen persona is terrific. While Paula Patton, Simon Pegg provide the glamour and comic relief respectively, Jeremy Renner (after his superb performances in The Hurt Locker and The Town) has been wasted in a supporting role. Not to forget the antagonist's character, which is one of the most puerile and one-dimensional characterizations that I have ever come across. No wonder, this movie (also a Tom Cruise production) is mainly to cruise Cruise to the forefront, and it works big time. Thanks to Brad Bird for a toothsome big-budget action spectacle!