Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

December 16, 2011

License to thrill

Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 10:35 pm

December 16, 2011

Cast: Tom Cruise, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Michael Nvqvist, Anil Kapoor

Director: Brad Bird

Midway through Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Tom Cruise’s character, secret agent Ethan Hunt is seen scaling Dubai’s 2,700-foot Burj Khalifa with nothing more than a pair of sticky gloves. Anyone suffering from a fear of heights would be advised to shut their eyes during this breathtaking but also vertigo-inducing sequence that’s been filmed in IMAX, and is believed to be performed by Cruise himself. As the camera stares down from the 130th floor of the world’s tallest building to capture Cruise making his way up unsteadily, more than likely you’ll be clinging to your armrest.

Ghost Protocol is easily the most enjoyable of the four Mission Impossible movies, not least because it borrows the best elements of each of the previous films and fuses them to create a fast-paced, clever, and – believe it or not – humorous adventure. Applying the same “no limits” mantra that he used to turn The Incredibles and Ratatouille into such distinctly original and imaginative enterprises, animation veteran Brad Bird, making his live-action debut here, happily sacrifices plausibility for the sake of fun and thrills. What Bird also brings to the table is that genius Pixar touch, turning Hunt and his fellow IMF agents into a variation of the superhero family from The Incredibles.

Hunt’s team on this new mission comprises tough-as-nails newbie Jane Carter (Paula Patton), gadget-guy Benji (Simon Pegg reprising his role from MI:3), and mysterious desk analyst William Brandt (Jeremy Renner). Together the team must overcome all manner of obstacles – including being disavowed by the US President when they’re (falsely) blamed for bombing the Kremlin – in their pursuit of crazy Russian businessman Kurt Hendricks (Michael Nvqvist), who’s determined to blow up the world.

Bird sets the tone early with a cheeky jailbreak scene in Moscow, that’s followed by a nifty sequence in which Hunt and his team penetrate a private vault at the Kremlin using a virtual-reality trick to get past security. The wall-to-wall action continues as the team heads to Dubai for that dizzyingly brilliant skyscraper break-in sequence, and a breathless foot and car chase in a blinding sandstorm. It all ends in good ol’ Mumbai (recreated in Vancouver and Dubai, sadly) where Hunt and his nemesis duel it out at a fancy parking garage with moving platforms.

Despite its improbable plot and frankly preposterous scenarios, Ghost Protocol races along briskly with earnest performances from its central players, until it arrives at that schmaltzy climax. There’s some pleasure to be had watching Anil Kapoor in a cameo as a sleazy Indian billionaire, who sportingly lets Patton’s character take him out in a few quick moves.

Shot and edited with remarkable flair, Ghost Protocol is a treat for the senses. Cruise, who’s pushing 50 but hasn’t lost any of his charm, makes a convincing action hero, exuding warmth, humor and vulnerability to humanize the part. But the film belongs to its captain, director Brad Bird, who recognizes exactly what the franchise needed for a jumpstart.

I’m going with three-and-a-half out of five for Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. It’s exactly the kind of film that goes very well with a bucket of popcorn!

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. Awesome Movie…Loved it…
    I Thought You Will Give it 4* but u gave 3.5*….
    its ok but it deserves 4* !!
    Seriously After A long Time i have watchd a good movie….

    Comment by Lalit — December 16, 2011 @ 11:38 pm

  2. shades of Ram Lakhan in Ghost Protocol…but sadly anil paaji didnt say ‘kya hua’ when his ass got kicked…awsm movie…

    Comment by Shankz — December 17, 2011 @ 12:20 am

  3. Movie was just ok…..

    Other than some awesome action sequences…………..

    Burj Dubai was utilised to its best…..

    I didnt understand why they used the name INDIA when there no scene from INDIA……..

    Comment by Muzeeb Shaik — December 17, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

  4. such an engaging movie it is!
    a spy movie far better than any james bond movie or its own m:i series..
    dont miss dis!! **** frm my side.

    Comment by ricky — December 17, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

  5. Awesome….but sadly Anil Kapoor is wasted in his role as an Indian billionaire with nothing to do but get his ass kicked…..i must say he is such a wannabe hollywood star….

    Comment by Sanjeev — December 17, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

  6. Watching MI4 was a treat,the most fun I’ve had,after Inception and Sherlock(am talking of the way they were shot)Cruise Controls.. Definitely!…Gorgeous man!

    Comment by Reema — December 17, 2011 @ 7:14 pm

  7. Tom Cruise awsome!!!! Burj Hotel Scene was so brilliant.. was holding the chair while the scene playing…. Really a five starrer movie..

    Comment by Amit Ranjan — December 17, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

  8. Cant believe you giving 3 and half stars to this movie! Whats wrong with you Masand??
    Am myself a film student and been following u from long time, but since last month either ur reviews are paid or u lost ur charm
    Not coming to this website again.

    Comment by rishabh — December 17, 2011 @ 11:17 pm

  9. Very well reviewed Mr. Masand . . . You knows the hollywood better than any critic in india….i m big fan of hollywood with very good knowledge of hollywood. i never get satisfied with others review on hollywood movies but by only urs….The movie is awesome and it should have deserved 4 out of 5…

    Comment by Sajid Mathupotra — December 18, 2011 @ 3:56 am

  10. good movie

    Comment by shahique — December 18, 2011 @ 6:47 pm


    Comment by SAUNAK DAVE — December 18, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

  12. I cannot believe Rajeev that you didnt come down heavily on Anil K for taking up the role….

    Comment by Aditya — December 19, 2011 @ 6:28 pm

  13. Sir, I believe you are becoming the best critic of India…i have been continuously following you and it’s good to see you give each movie what it deserves, as a critic…good work.

    i have also given MI4 a 7/10….the movie was amazing but lack some script…i have reviewed the movie on imdb.com

    here’s a link:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1229238/reviews-87

    i would be obliged if you visited my blog site and commented on my progress…till then keep blogging. kudos.


    Comment by Harshal — December 21, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

  14. Sir I have been your follower but this review dissapointed me big time. Almost all its action is hard to believe and even amateurish sometimes. But it gets three and a half just because it is an Hollywood movie? lets see what u say about don 2..

    Comment by Sahil — December 23, 2011 @ 3:53 pm

  15. bakwas movie….they didnt show a single car with right hand drive…their creative team gone to sleep when they arrive to fake india…it looks like they add the end of the script without thinking anything and thak anil Kapoor at the last moment. so they can get a huge openning in india…the story did not need to end at India….it sucks….up to duabi….it was good…but at the end they shit everywhere….i dont know how come it gets this rating…

    Comment by runa — December 23, 2011 @ 8:21 pm

  16. awsome review
    ok movie 1 timer

    Comment by sagar jack — December 24, 2011 @ 2:48 pm

  17. The movie starts with the excellent jail sequence and it was quite evident with the first sequence that it’s going to be one hell of a ride…
    And the thrill came more frequently as the film progress. The new found team does pack a punch with Paula and Simon providing early thrills. The dialogues were funny and well written and i was bowled over by the use of the technology.
    The projection scene was so excellent that it gave me more thrill than a roller coaster ride, and the Secret Identity Of the Jeremy Works Well.
    The Story Written Is A much Better One (Considering early MI series Movies), loved The Breathtaking Sequences And The Special Mention To The “Burja Khalifa” Sequence, It Does Gave Me Goosebumps And I was About To Fall From My Seat If Tom Cruise Wouldn’t Have. The Directors Transition from Animation to Live Action Was Evident in His Style Coz Tom Cruise Literally did Super Human Acts in the Film Although. Very Impressed With His Direction And Mention For Editing Team To Make It So Interesting To Watch.
    Now the Problems in the Movie, the Script Was Somewhere Sloppy and the Villain’s Character was Poor. The Face Off Scene (Tom Cruise Vs Villain) Was Good Too But It Was Hard To Digest That Character.
    But Never The Less It’s the Most Enjoyable MI and The Fusion And Mixture Does Paid Off, And Last But Not The Least Anil Kapoor Did a Good Cameo.
    The Film Belongs To The Cast And The Director And To Tom Cruise,
    He Is Close To 50 But What A Joy to See Him Doing The Dare Devil Stunts….
    My Rating Would Be 8/10

    Comment by Navneet Singh — December 25, 2011 @ 12:16 am

  18. I thought Jeremy Reener gonna kick Cruise;s ass but no.
    Simon pegg is great as always. yeah good movie

    Comment by priyabrata — December 25, 2011 @ 3:32 am

  19. The review is right on the money…It has to be the action movie of the year… Hands down.. Total paisa wasool entertainment…. GO CATCH IT.. !!!!!

    Comment by Sajin Anand — December 25, 2011 @ 5:11 am

  20. Was this a favourable review because it was a Tom Cruise movie or did u get carried away? Absolute trash of a movie. You may say “leave your brains at home and enjoy the action” – wasn’t even engaging. Just by having a background score that forever tries to build up a climax, u can’t get the audience at the edge of their seats. Overhyped, Overcooked.

    Wish you were brutally honest, like otherwise.

    PS: The burj khalifa stunt was the only part worth it.

    Comment by Ravi — December 25, 2011 @ 7:49 pm

  21. awesome is the word…

    Comment by nandini — December 29, 2011 @ 6:40 pm

  22. The Burj Khalifa stunt was indeed performed by Tom Cruise himself. We had been there while the shoot was going on and were a witness to it.

    Comment by Narayan — January 1, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

  23. The movie was watchable but i feel Anil Kapoor’s character was too childish for a ”sleazy billionaire”.

    Comment by geek — May 14, 2012 @ 4:28 pm

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