It has to be said, if Tom Cruise gets top billing in the closing credits of “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol”, then Burj Khalifa requires at least a mention, considering the monumental structure and its significance in the film has taken on a life of its own in the lead up to its release.
Setting aside our own vested interest in the world’s tallest tower, what with Burj Khalifa being our next-door neighbour, kudos goes to Brad Bird’s slick direction, coupled with Cruise’s crazy antics that figuratively breathe life into this steel and glass juggernaut that dots Dubai’s skyline.
Of course, “MI4” – as it’s popularly known – isn’t all about the landscapes or the pretty facades that manage to lure an audience. It in fact boasts a plot and a racy screenplay (and by this we don’t mean the sexual kind), which should effectively see the adrenaline junkies throng to the cinemas to catch the action in its full IMAX glory.
Being one of the select audiences in the world to watch this film, even before its world premiere in Dubai on December 7, the responsibility is immense to get the review just right, without too many spoilers peppering the proceedings.
The film opens in Budapest, where an IMF agent is assassinated while attempting to retrieve documents containing nuclear codes. Cut to Moscow and a prison break is in progress to extract Agent Ethan Hunt (Cruise) to save the world again from a catastrophe.
Twenty minutes in, the Kremlin is blown to smithereens and the United States and Russia find themselves on the brink of nuclear war.
With the American President evoking ‘Ghost Protocol’, Ethan, along with his fellow field agents Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), Jane Carter (Paula Patton) and Brandt (Jeremy Renner) are left with no choice but to catch the bad guys before they are branded terrorists.
Of course, the fate of the world hanging in the balance is an added incentive to hurry along.
Following a trail that leads up to a Russian operative named Cobalt, the foursome embark on a mission that takes them across the desert sands and into the very heart of Dubai’s ‘Burj Hotel’ – as the structure is tagged in the movie – to pull off a few snazzy stunts that involve Cruise literally lunging out of a window nearly 100 stories high in set of deft moves that would even put King Kong to shame.
With the clock ticking and the body count rising, Ethan must escape a sandstorm that has engulfed our city, stroll through the Deira Creekside to dig up some dirt on Cobalt and rush off to the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Hotel on The Palm, which is disguised as an Indian palace, to unearth a satellite code from a telecom tycoon, played by Bollywood’s Anil Kapoor.
Frankly, all this should sounds just as exhausting for the audience, as it is for the on-screen characters, who don’t even seem to have time for a bathroom break. But Bird helms a tight ship, which gives Ethan and Co just the right amount of leeway to unravel the plot without things going awry.
Full marks also go to Pegg, who instils just the right dose of humour in all the effective places to ensure it’s not all blood and gore from start to finish.
Having said that, no film is ever without flaws and some of the ones in “MI4”are glaringly obvious to the international audience, what with Patton’s Agent Carter sporting a disguise with her Burj Hotel tag spelling her name as ‘Pradeep’; honey, no fairer sex we know of has ever been christened that.
That little fact could have been pointed out considering 10 minutes into that sequence, her name tag miraculously disappears from her lapel.
Even the scenes depicting Mumbai sport its set of mistakes, but rather than being pedantic, we choose to see “MI4” the way it’s meant to be seen as: A complete entertainment package that will strike box office gold from producers Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot.
Bottom line: Catch it in IMAX for all the thrills and chills and don’t forget to whoop and holler along with the crowd when Burj Khalifa shines bright on the silverscreen.
Sheikh Mohammed @ Diff red carpet