The long wait is finally over as Tom Cruise finally returns to the celluloid to reprise his epic role of the enigmatic IMF agent Ethan Hunt. The brilliance of Mission: Impossible III was marred by the infamous sacking of Tom Cruise by Paramount's owner and movie mogul Sumner Redstone, who blamed Cruise's bizarre sofa-hopping TV antics, and intransigent support of Scientology for movie's relatively poor show at the box office that resulted in losses of up to £75million in revenue. The sordid incident ensured that the wait for the next installment of the franchise had to be a long one. The half a decade lull that ensued saw Cruise's career sunk to a new nadir with movies like Lions for Lambs (2007), Valkyrie (2008), and Knight and Day (2010) failing to impress at the box office, while his contemporaries and coevals continued to tumble records at the box office, attaining new heights of fame and stardom. It is indeed ironic that Cruise's most impressive show in this interim has been his well-disguised cameo in Ben Stiller's Tropic Thunder (2008) in which he plays a the foul-mouthed, hot-headed, half-bald studio executive. But, every coin has the other part that completes the picture. While the things have been going a bit rough on the professional front, Cruise's personal life has finally been witnessing a much needed sense of calmness and stability. Such stability on the personal front can often lift a person's morale providing him with a sense of rejuvenation that can help him fare well in all the facets of life. Tom Cruise's rejuvenated self is pretty much apparent in the latest installment of the MI franchise, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol.
Ghost Protocol takes the viewer on a roller coaster of a ride from Moscow to Dubai, all the way to Mumbai, never allowing a breathing space, keeping him on the edge of the seat throughout. MI GP is indeed the quintessential action extravaganza that the ardent lovers of the genre perpetually anticipate to devour upon in order to satiate their ever growing hunger for unremitting action and adventure. Ethan Hunt is back in all his glory with some newly added dimensions to his old daredevilry that had established him as the greatest contemporary to Ian Fleming's larger than life human incarnate. As seen with Bond in Casino Royale, the key men behind the MI franchise have made conscious efforts to make the caricature of Hunt more vulnerable to danger and crises, and hence more human. MI GP delivers everything that an action-movie lover craves for: suspense, intrigue, passion, daredevilry, razzmatazz, and much more. The adrenaline filled action is well complemented by the dazzle of the geeky gadgets on display and it is this synergy that makes MI GP an incredibly sublime experience. The tremendous reputation that the high octane franchise carries meant the newly appointed director Brad Birdmostly renowned for his animation flicks The Incredibles and Ratatouillehad his work cut out for him. Brad Bird has indeed been up to the task and has lived well to the expectations of Cruise and the entire production team led by J.J. Adams, who directed the third movie of the series back in 2006. Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol is packed with a plethora of action sequences that includes a shootout in Budapest, an escape sequence from a Moscow Jail, a sandstorm chase in Dubai, and a classic brawl in an automated parking garage in Mumbai. However, the sequence that stands out is the one in which Tom Cruise climbs the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa by clinging to it from the outside using suction gloves, giving the Spiderman a run for his money.
After the splendidly executed siege of the Vatican in the third installment, Ethan and his IMF team are on the lookout for some classified information pertaining to a Russian extremist Kurt Hendricks, which takes their quest to Kremlin. The covert mission goes awry as their plan is sabotaged by the personal intervention of Hendricks, which turns the tables on Cruise and his team rendering them sequestered and helpless. The questionable events that unfold at Kremlin, forces the US President to invoke the Ghost Protocol leading to the disavowal of IMF. Ethan and his team, which includes the computer geek Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), agents Jane Carter (Paula Patton) and William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), despite their severe handicap are the only hope left at preventing the diabolical duo of Hendricks and his stalwart Wistrom from fulfilling their demonic mission of global destruction through a nuclear war. Simon Pegg as Benji is spot on with his persiflage, and his nonchalance adds a much needed levity to the otherwise tense plot. Paula Patton as Jane Carter is a treat to the sore eyes: her imperial gait, upright posture, predatory agility, dusky complexion, steamy mystique, athletic built, curvaceous figure, and apparent haughtiness make her an object of envy for males and females alike. Her ethereal presence undoubtedly leaves a lasting impression on the viewer. The introduction of Jeremy Renner as William Brandt adds another layer of intrigue to the plot of MI GP. Brandt's enigmatic part allows Renner to depict a wide array of emotions that his previous roles couldn't offer. The over-hyped inclusion of veteran Indian actor Anil Kapoor in the MI GP cast is undoubtedly movie's greatest disappointment, especially from the perspective of Indian cineastes, as the actor fails to make an impression during his ephemeral performance.
Overall, MI GP has managed to raise the bar for the Action genre. Indian movie-makers, who have recently started to delve into the genre, can look to take a note or two out of MI GP in order to iron out the usual glitches. Despite the occasional lack of coherence in the plot, MI GP works quite well at almost all the levels and promises to be a great entertainment. 8/10