An enjoyable show of daredevilry
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Direction: Brad Bird
Actors: Tom Cruise, Paula Patton
After a hiatus of five years, super-spy Ethan Hunt, who kayoed the global box office in three movies, has chosen to accept a new assignment. And it's reassuring to see that Tom Cruise is still fighting fit for the fourth installment of the Mission: Impossible series.
Marking the non-animated directing debut of Brad Bird (The Incredibles), …Ghost Protocol strives to make something spectacular out of familiar material. The screenplay is a sort of throwback to the Cold War era. Much like its hero, the plot is constantly in motion bouncing between Budapest, Moscow, Dubai and Mumbai.
Right away we zero in on Hunt (Cruise) who’s carrying out an undercover operation from a Moscow jail. Go figure! But after the Kremlin is blown to smithereens by a mysterious villain, the elite agent and his crack team (Jeremy Renner-Patton-Simon Pegg) are disbanded. They must now carry out their mission — to avert a nuclear war, no less — without any official assistance from the the US government.
To be sure, the baddie brigade has an ice cube's chance in hell to survive. On the other hand, Hunt does the impossible: his periodical escapes from tight spots would even impress James Bond. Though it has less to offer than the earlier editions, the action is plentiful with stunts to knock your socks off. An extended scene with Cruise dangling outside the world's tallest building — the Burj Khalifa in Dubai — holds us in a vice-like grip.
Expectedly, political issues take a back seat to the thriller trappings. Also, the female sidekick role is underwritten and Paula Patton comes across as one-dimensional.
Anil Kapoor is impressive in the small but significant role of a Mumbai-based tycoon. The real star of the show, of course, is Tom Cruise. The astonishingly agile actor also serves as the film’s executive producer.
In sum, Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol makes for a fairly enjoyable popcorn matinee.