MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL (2011)

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Ethan Hunt is back!!! Ghost Protocol starts off with a bang as we see an IMF agent falling dead in the opening sequence and then swoosh back to the Russian Frontier where Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise ) is imprisoned. He escapes from the prison with the help of Benzi (Simon Pegg) and Jane (Paula Patton). Once free he is quickly assigned a mission to infiltrate the Kremlin and come out with a document which holds the vital information about Cobalt, a shady terrorist who is up to no good. Ethan successfully infiltrates the Kremlin but is outdone by  Cobalt (Michele Naqvist) who triggers a blast in the Kremlin and frames Hunt for it.

This incident brings the US and the Russians on the verge of a nuclear war. Ethan and his team escape but as they are framed for the attack on the Kremlin, the President of US disbands the IMF and initiates the Ghost Protocol. It is now left to Ethan and his team to hunt down Cobalt and get to the root of the sinister plot that he is hatching without any help from the agency or the Government. As of now, they are rogue agents and only have each other to fall back on.

MI movies always come in with a  lot of expectations tagged to them. Over the years it has gathered immense fan following who have pinned a lot of hope on the latest offering from the stable. The movie has its share of pluses which on subsequent viewings have far outweighed the cons for me. I didn’t like this film at all on the first go but with every subsequent viewing, I have enjoyed this film even more. To start with, as is the case with almost every MI movie, Ghost Protocol moves at a breakneck speed with the audience getting very little time to actually analyze the film’s shortcomings. We all know that the MI series has always delivered in terms of entertainment and Ghost Protocol is no different. It is uproariously entertaining for most of the part if one is ready to leave their brains at home. Don’t try to make any sense out of the proceedings for then you are bound to miss out on the fun. Just sit back and let the visuals and action take over your senses.

Ghost Protocol boasts of some sensational cinematography and editing which contributes to a great extent in making the action that much more enjoyable. As I began watching this film, the first thing that I noticed which made me aware how well the film was edited was Ethan’s jump from one floor to another which is shown in two cuts each complementing the other in a manner that gives you a clear view of the full motion of the action. This is cut remains the benchmark based on which the rest of the film is edited. the fact that Tom Cruise performs most of his own action sequences allows the cinematographer the added advantage of getting certain angles and close-ups that wouldn’t have been possible without him.

Getting to the action which normally forms the crux of the MI movie, it is relentless and breathtaking in certain cases. But what I found even more good about it in this film was the fact that the action was an extension of the screenplay and drama and never for once felt forced. On the contrary, each and every set piece is carefully choreographed and stitched seamlessly to the time and situation.  The whole Kremlin episode is done beautifully. The computer graphics to recreate an alley was awesome and something that I hadn’t seen before. At least not at that level. The blast and the following escape from the hospital are wonderfully filmed as well.  But what takes the cake is The Burj Khalifa sequence where Ethan performs a death-defying feat to get his hands on certain codes. the following sandstorms and the chase sequence through it is also something that you don’t see every day. The wonderful performance of Cruise and as also that of the whole team breath life into this sequence. Another thing that I noticed was that most of the tension in the action sequences is derived from broken gadgets that are in most cases critical to a particular situation. I loved this aspect of the film.

Coming back to the performances, Cruise stands out as Ethan and he is a picture of confidence all the way through. He looks apt in the action sequences and strikes up a wonderful partnership with Jeremy Renner who plays Brandt. Renner, The Hurt Locker fame, hasn’t had the right roles coming his way which would catapult him to greater heights and unfortunately, Ghost Protocol will also not do him much good even though it seems to be a step in the right direction. He has a short role and ends up being Cruise’s sidekick but towards the end, he makes his presence felt. On the other hand, Simon Pegg, as Benzi from MI3 has a much more fleshed out role in this film. His personality, as well as his act, has been beefed up. That goes on to show what a series of hits could do for you. Paula Patton is ravishing to look at and moves like a sleek ninja through her action sequences.

Michele Nqvisht’s Cobalt once again re-affirms the fact that Mission Impossible franchise has a very poor choice in villains.  Nqvisht is average not because he is a bad actor but because the character leaves him nothing to work with. Cobalt remains absent for most of the duration popping up here and there for a minute or two at most. This antagonist and will not be able to hold a candle to MI3’s Davian played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. I frankly didn’t understand what Anil Kapoor was doing here which also brings me to the biggest issue with the film. its ending is very petered out and after what we get to experience for the 80 % of it’s run-time, the climax feels weak.

Having said all that, The biggest question is whether MI: Ghost Protocol was worth the wait or not and the answer is a Yes. it has all the elements that made MI films endearing and a lot more. its speed, its action and above all its edge of the seat thrills make Ghost Protocol a worthy addition to the franchise and easily one of the best Mission Impossible films of all times. it is much more in line with the first MI film and successfully recreates its charm at the same time greatly amplifying the action and the thrills. This is a film that will be enjoyed by one and all.

Rating : 4/5 (4 out of 5 Stars)

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