‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’ Review
‘Ghost Protocol’ is an adrenaline-filled ride with inventive action scenes, a strong ensemble cast and strong direction that makes it the most thrilling ‘Mission: Impossible’ yet.
After a five year hiatus, Tom Cruise is back in action with another instalment of his new franchise that has the added glitz of Dubai. And ‘Ghost Protocol’ is an adrenaline-filled ride with inventive action scenes, a strong ensemble cast and strong direction that makes it the most thrilling ‘Mission: Impossible’ yet.
The story once again follows the IMF on a covert mission to infiltrate the Kremlin to find out terrorist information. But when the Kremlin is bombed, the team realises that they’ve been framed and all of them have now been disavowed. It’s now upto Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise), Agent Carter (Paula Patton), Benji (Simon Pegg) and a mysterious new analyst Brandt (Jeremy Runner) to travel to Dubai in order to stop a world-threatening terrorist attack from taking place.
While I’ve never been a big fan of the ‘Mission: Impossible’ series, they’ve been extremely successful action films that each feel different to one another and are almost like self-contained stories on their own. With this instalment, things once again feel different as the tone is darker and the film is set years after the events of the third film. The stakes this time around are higher than they’ve ever been and the team finds itself without the cushion of a safehouse or backing of the IMF in general. They’re on their own and are wanted men, which adds a whole new dynamic to the film and makes the proceedings feel fresh. But in another way, it also directly connects back to events in previous movies especially towards the end. Saying more would be a spoiler, but let’s just say that fans who have been following the series will like that little touch.
This is by far the most action-packed and thrilling instalment in the franchise that aims to outdo itself in that department. Once again, the action here is globe-trotting and is set in Moscow, Dubai and Mumbai. But the set-pieces are truly memorable this time. The difference this time around is that the focus isn’t just on action and spectacle in itself, but genuine suspense as well. Credit goes to director Brad Bird to stage some of the most arresting sequences in the film that truly hook you right in with the characters’ peril. One great example of this being a particular stealth sequence in the Kremlin that is inventively written and provides nail-biting tension and suspense at the same time. The use of sci-fi gadgets is a risky affair for some movies as they tend to become too over the top or just lazy excuses for solving the plot, but here the gadgets have their own rules that have to be adhered to and feel more real than they should be considering how far-fetched the technology is.
Of course, the movie’s been selling itself on the fact that it’s set in Dubai and most importantly an action scene on the Burj Khalifa itself. And to all us folks in Dubai, this is a dream come true. And I’m happy to report that the Burj Khalifa sequence in Dubai is not only the most thrilling setpiece you’ve seen all year but also stands as one of the most well-edited and staged sequences in quite some time. It’s a monumental achievement for the film to chart that territory and not feel gimmicky at the same time, while actually integrating it into the plot beautifully. The hotel action scenes that follow continue on with the momentum and deliver a fantastic sequence that stands as the highlight of the film. Truly, the film has delivered on its promise in that sense. A minor quibble would be the sandstorm sequence that soon follows which feels way too overblown and somewhat unnecessary to the narrative, but more Dubai spectacle is never a bad thing. Another complaint would be that the sequences in Mumbai are not as powerful as the one that came before them and it feels like the film is running out of steam towards this point.
The entire franchise belongs to Tom Cruise and suffice to say that there can be no ‘Mission: Impossible’ without him. The man puts his heart and soul into the film and is extremely engaged throughout the movie with a performance that delivers exactly on what the film requires both in terms of intensity and emotional heft. All his stunts are performed by him alone and it’s great to see an actor putting so much into his craft which in turn makes our experience with the film even better. Jeremy Renner is the new addition to the franchise who has a surprisingly large role this time around especially in the third act. He’s competent as an action hero and manages to give a great performance as expected. Paula Patton is strong and looks the part of a physically built female agent and it’s great to see that they actually went for a built actress this time around and made the role all the more convincing. Simon Pegg is one of the highlights of the film as he manages to use his dry sense of humor to inject fun into the most intense of situations, managing to get a laugh every single time. Anil Kapoor was pretty wasted since he only appears for around five minutes of the movie in a pretty throw-away role despite from what we were led to believe.
‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’ is an excellent action movie that puts new life into the franchise with its quality action scenes that will stand the test of time. Anyone looking for a strong blockbuster to watch this holiday season should look no further.