The splendid action sequences of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol has got thumbs up from the international as well as Indian reviewers. The story, however, is a routine affair. And what about Tom Cruise's performance and Anil Kapoor's cameo?
Expect some all time action sequences from the latest installment of Mission Impossible. The story, however, doesn't impress. "There are three sequences here – a break from a Russian prison, a hazardous climb up the tallest building in the world in Dubai, and a climactic fight in an automated multi-storey car park in Mumbai – that rank among the best not just of the year, but of all time. It’s these that make Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol superior to the other films in this series, and very much worth the price of admission. See it, if you can, on an Imax screen, where the stunts are breath-taking," writes Chris Tookey.
"The story, regrettably, is a routine affair that never departs from formula. The shape of the screenplay and cheesy attempts at flippant wisecracks are familiar from too many Bond films, and it’s curious to see a modern film still peddling a view of Russian-American relations that dates from the Cold War. No one’s going to pretend this film is deep or meaningful but, at its best, it really is pretty awesome," continues Tookey.
Want to know how India is portrayed in the movie? Says Sukanya Verma, "Unfortunately, the most exciting aspect of Ghost Protocol turns out to be a major letdown. The Mumbai bits, most of which turn out to be Canada (Vancouver Convention Centre), are ridden in tedious clichés and shoddy detailing women strolling on the street dressed in out-of-date, rich zardozi salwar-kameezes, board signs written in what looks like a Kannada script, billboard advertisements of Coca Cola Zero and a state-of-art multi-level parking with mechanical lifts. And then there's a lecherous billionaire Brij Nath (Anil Kapoor) and his India-on-a-platter themed grand bash that does very little to contest this culture rut."
The film however is a complete entertainment package. "20 mins into Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol: Sleek action, sleeker technology. They make espionage look so cool," Jhinuk Sen writes.
Brad Bird's direction gets thumbs up from all. "Cruise may be the star here, but Bird's the story, a director who's only making his fourth movie and, remarkably, just his first live-action feature. This is the best of the 'Mission Impossible' movies, far better than Brian De Palma's original, No. 2 by John Woo and even the franchise's previous high with No. 3 by J.J. Abrams, who stuck around as producer on this one," according to AP.
"For all the complexity of the action and gimmicks, Bird and screenwriters Andre Nemec and Josh Appelbaum (executive producers on Abrams' 'Alias') wisely tell a simple, good-guys-against-bad-guys story. They keep Cruise surrounded by a tight, capable supporting cast in Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton and Simon Pegg, who co-starred in 'Mission: Impossible III', " says the AP review.
Peter Howell of Toronto.com feels something has changed in the fourth part and for the better. "Ghost Protocol is the fourth movie adaption of the 1960s Mission: Impossible TV series. Tom Cruise stars once again as fleet-footed Impossible Mission Force agent Ethan Hunt, but something has changed, and for the better. Instead of the convoluted dramas of impossible missions past, this is more of a convoluted comedy."
"It actually feels like a series reboot, which likely has something to do with director Brad Bird’s Pixar past — he directed The Incredibles for the ’toon factory, and he’s brought some of that antic superhero sensibility to his first live-action assignment," says Peter.Los Angeles Times
Kenneth Turan is all praises for Bird's "stylish" job and making it a rich visual experience. "Bird has done a stylish and involving job here, turning in an entertaining production that's got considerable visual flair, especially in its action-heavy Imax sections. Many of "Ghost Protocol's" key action sequences were filmed with that 65 mm camera. There are only 27 minutes of Imax footage in the film, but every one of those minutes counts, which is one reason why Paramount chose to open this film in Imax theaters Friday, five days before its general release. For a film with these kinds of visuals, it must have been an easy choice."
"What is in those cards is another unswerving performance by Cruise, whose onscreen commitment to the role is key to making these two-fisted tales — not to mention lines like "nobody leaves this hotel alive" — believable. If Rhino the hamster in the animated "Bolt" ate danger for breakfast, Hunt eats it for lunch and dinner too," writes Kenneth Turan.The Times of India
The "exquisite stunts and the high-decibel action" has impressed Nikhat Kazmi who writes, "Action has always been the high point of the Mission Impossible series. But this kind of action: Wow! The new film is essentially a relentless roller-coaster ride that doesn't give you a moment to sit back and keeps the adrenalin pumping to dizzy heights as Tom Cruise gets on his regular mission of saving the world, one more time. And once again, he has nothing on his side, not even his government, other than his physical prowess, his ability to perform the most death-defying stunts and an abundance of sheer luck which redefines the word 'impossible' as 'possible'."
"But essentially it is the exquisite stunts and the high-decibel action set pieces which create magic on screen. Performance-wise, Cruise is in total command of the drama which boasts of several engaging twists and turns. A word about Anil Kapoor: he plays playboy Brij Nath with a penchant for pretty girls and shady deals, in a comic vein. It is just a bit more than a blink-and-you'll-miss role as Patton unleashes her charms on him," writes Nikhat.Time Out Dubai
Rob Garratt however feels the film gets "tangled in its toddlers’ jigsaw puzzle of a plot that it barely scales the heights of a small skyscraper."
"In its towering scope and ambition, it resembles Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, from which star Tom Cruise famously abseiled during filming."
"The spaghetti-hooped plot might befit the audience of director Brad Bird’s previous work – kids’ movies Ratatouille and The Incredibles – but here it’s little more than a cursory device to move from one thrilling set piece to another. It’s exhilarating to watch an increasingly-weathered Cruise dangling from a heavily-CGI’d Burj, but no one’s really sure why he had to climb out of the window in the first place. How he ended up moments later in the midst of an impenetrable sandstorm in Satwa is little more convincing," read the review.Vancouver Sun.com
Interestingly, Katherine Monk feels Tom cruise's appearance in the film is "distracting" and even "bizarre".
"This fourth Mission: Impossible movie goes some distance in helping Cruise get his action mojo back, but for all the crafty gadgets and gorgeous locales, there’s something off in this Vancouver-shot spectacle — and it’s more than the fake Seattle street signs."
"It’s the undeniable feeling that Tom Cruise has lorded over every single shot to make sure he looks good. Whether it’s the right eye light to accentuate his azure blue irises or the casual toss of his perfectly treated hair, Cruise’s appearance is so manicured, it’s distracting. At one point, it’s even laughable, as we watch Cruise and co-star Jeremy Renner check into the Burj Khalifa hotel in Dubai wearing tailored silk suits and sunglasses. We’re used to seeing super-spies in fine apparel with deluxe accessories, but Cruise kicks it up a notch, ensuring all the surrounding décor, including his co-stars, sets off his look."
"It’s all part of Cruise’s bizarre screen presence, which lands somewhere between teen-boy crush and small-town preacher, which, untrustworthy as the type may seem, appears to be the key to reaching mainstream America," the review reads.New York Times
"It’s fitting that Mr. Bird, the director of the Pixar movies “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille,” has taken over the reins of the franchise for his live-action directing debut. The “Mission: Impossible” movies belong to that outlandish, sometimes cartoonish class of action adventures in which lesser, Bond-like heroes walk or race from fiery explosions in between locking and loading, kissing and killing, and killing some more. The films, spun off the 1960s television show, fondly remembered for its rubber masks and Lalo Schifrin’s brilliant, pulsating theme music, added Mr. Cruise, who in the 15 years since the first installment has tumbled from his top spot as the world’s biggest movie star to lag behind neo-action figures like Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp," writes Manohla Dargis.
"Mr. Cruise may be somewhat down (certainly his smile has dimmed), yet he’s scarcely out. That’s partly because of Mr. Bird, who has given this movie a self-aware levity that’s intended to clear away the bummer blues of the last “Mission,” five years ago. Directed by J. J. Abrams, who is also a producer of this movie, the third film skewed the series too dark with a nihilistic baddie (chilled to shivering by Philip Seymour Hoffman) and a nightmarish torture scene. It also burdened Mr. Cruise’s character, Ethan Hunt, with a wife (Michelle Monaghan), an unwise move — American action heroes, latter-day fantasies of our native rugged individualism, walk alone, not down the aisle — which suggested that the soon-to-be-remarried Mr. Cruise was borrowing a chapter from his own life," says Manohla.DNA
Anil Kapoor who's playing a cameo in the film doesn't get much limelight according to Daniel Pinto. "Ghost Protocol is a pacey action thriller that doesn’t look over its shoulder, especially in the Dubai scenes. When in action, ‘past his prime’ aren’t words you would apply to Tom Cruise. (So what if his hair is a bit unkempt and his face is a bit weathered? ) While the rocksteady Renner, the ever-funny Pegg and the gorgeous Paula Patton put up solid performances, don't expect Anil Kapoor as the sleazy millionaire playboy Brij Nath to get the lion's share of the limelight."