Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his associates are all that are left of the US secret organisation, IMF, which is disbanded after the bombing of the Russian Kremlin. Hunt must now save a set of nuclear codes from falling into the hands of one Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist) who plans to attack the US in order to cause anarchy. Read the Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol review for more.
Business rating: 2 / 5 stars
Star cast: Tom Cruise, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Michael Nyqvist, Vladimir Mashkov, Anil Kapoor.
What’s Good: A few action and stunt sequences; the performances of Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg; the scale of the film.
What’s Bad: The lacklustre script; the slow pace of the drama.
Verdict: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is an average fare but it will do above-average business at the Indian box-office due to the heavy promotion and the Mission: Impossible brand name.
Loo break: A couple.
Watch or Not?: Watch it for the stunts but do not expect it to be as good as the earlier films in the Mission: Impossible series.
Tom Cruise and Bad Robot’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is a film in the popular Mission: Impossible series of spy stories.
The film starts off with agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) being rescued from a prison in Russia by IMF agents, Jane (Paula Patton) and Benji (Simon Pegg). While Jane is a previously known accomplice of Hunt’s, Benji, a technical mastermind, has just been promoted as a field agent. The trio tries to penetrate the high-security Russian Kremlin in order to obtain the secret codes to a nuclear bomb that has fallen into the hands of the terrorists. If the terrorists, led by Prof. Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist), find the codes, then they might use them to trigger a nuclear attack against the USA in order to further cause a nuclear catastrophe.
However, on finding that their secret mission has been compromised, Hunt and his associates abandon the mission and leave the Kremlin. Seconds after they get out, a wing of the Kremlin is bombed. Injured, Hunt is taken to the hospital, from where he escapes. However, a Russian police officer, Sidorov (Vladimir Mashkov), starts tracking Hunt’s movements from then on. On the other hand, the IMF, Hunt’s secret spy organisation, is blamed for the Kremlin bombing and is thereby disbanded by the US government. IMF secretary (Tom Wilkinson) informs Hunt about this. Soon, the secretary is murdered, but his associate, Brandt (Jeremy Renner), joins Hunt’s group. Now, Hunt and the other three agents decide to track the terrorists down at any cost and get the nuclear codes. They fly to various parts of the world, including Dubai and India in order to fulfill their objective. Are they able to obtain the codes? Are they able to stop the terrorists from detonating the nuclear bomb? Is Ethan Hunt able to get the IMF back on its feet? All these questions are answered in the rest of the drama and the climax.
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Review: Script Analysis
First things first: when a film belongs to a franchise, comparisons with the previous film/s in the franchise are inevitable. And this is where Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol falters slightly. While the first two films of the franchise were not just great entertainers but also had very good scripts, the third, Mission: Impossible III, just about passed muster. However, in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the spy plot doesn’t quite take off. Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec’s story, based on a television series created by Bruce Geller, might have seemed interesting on paper but the way it has been depicted on the screen leaves something to be desired. For example, the sequences of Ethan Hunt’s daring escape from the Russian prison, or his clever entry into the Kremlin, catch the audience’s attention but fail to satisfy their appetite for intrigue and excitement. Many action and stunt sequences, the Burj Khalifa cliffhanger included, wow the audience but stand in stark contrast to the rest of the drama which looks rather boring at times.
What’s more – unlike the previous films, where the inner machinations of the IMF were fully exploited by the writers – Ghost Protocol offers no such thing for the viewer to look forward to. Tracks instead, of Brandt (as the mysterious outsider who joins the team), and of the truth about Ethan Hunt’s wife (is she dead or not?), do not compensate for the loss of the excitement caused by the absence of the internecine spy-wars. Moreover, the villain of the film, Hendricks, is just not given enough screen time to establish his persona. Instead, a lot of screen time is spent on the internal discussions of the four agents, which, after a point of time, gets tiring to watch. The screenplay, also by Appelbaum and Nemec, is well-written in the first half of the film, but it starts dragging in the latter half. In fact, as a consequence, the film seems longer than its running time of approximately 130 minutes. The dialogues are okay at places and good at some others. The lines penned for Benji are sure to please the audience.
Now the highlights: the film uses a lot of high-tech gadgetry, masterful visual effects and loads of spy jargon to keep the lay viewer engaged most of the time. Besides Ethan Hunt’s breathtaking stunts, the sandstorm chase sequence of Hunt and Hendricks, the climactic fight between Hunt and Hendricks in the multi-storeyed car park, and the countdown to the missile explosion are very exciting. This and the slightly complicated plot gets confusing for many after a point of time but they are more than compensated for by the very well-done action and stunt sequences. For those who have never before seen a Mission: Impossible film, this one will seem like a good fare. But for those who have known better, Ghost Protocol will disappoint.
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Review: Star Performances
Tom Cruise does a fine job as Hunt. He is absolutely brilliant in the stunt and action sequences. However, his charactersation is not as interesting as that in the previous Mission: Impossible films. Paula Patton is effective as agent Paula. Simon Pegg brings a smile to the viewers’ lips every time with his hilarious dialogues. Jeremy Renner is competent as Brandt. Michael Nyqvist does alright in a small role. He gets very limited scope. Vladimir Mashkov (as the Russian police officer) is just okay. Anil Kapoor (as Brij Nath) leaves a mark in a light and small role. Tom Wilkinson (as IMF secretary), Léa Seydoux (as Sabine) and Josh Holloway (as Hanaway) are alright. The others offer average support.
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Review: Direction & Technical Aspects
Brad Bird’s direction is suited to the script he has at hand. He shines in the opening sequence as well as in all the stunt and action scenes but fails in keeping the narrative fast-paced and engaging at all times. Michael Giacchino’s background score is effective. Robert Elswit’s cinematography is very good. He has captured the sights of the various cities depicted in the film very well. Technically, the film is brilliant. Production designer Jim Bissell has done an excellent job. The visual effects (by Industrial Light & Magic) are superlative. Editing, by Paul Hirsch, is sharp.
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Review: The Last Word
On the whole, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is an average entertainer. Riding on the back of its brand name and the heavy promotion, it should do above-average business in India.
Update – Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol opened at an IMAX theatre in Mumbai on December 14, 2011 in special paid preview shows. The opening collections of the film were very good.