Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

After four years MIA in the MI franchise, Tom Cruise comes in from the cold in the thrilling Ghost Protocol.

While on a mission in Moscow Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his new team get framed for a terrorist attack. Now rogue and on the run, they have to stop the man responsible from his next strike.

You’ve got to love a guy for trying. Once the shiniest star of the action/thriller genre, he’s been trying his darndest to resurrect his career. And after the forgettable Knight And Day a return to his roots has Cruise back in high flying form. Leaving me in some hope with his (mis)casting as Lee Child’s vigilante Jack Reacher.

Smart move enlisting Incredibles director Brad Bird too. Bird may follow in the footsteps of the likes of De Palma, Woo and JJ Abrams but for his first live action outing he delivers the goods.  Though a nice taut 90 minutes would have served better than the 2hr 13min running time.

Like the previous editions, there are some vertigo inducing action set pieces that quite frankly had me jumping out of my chair (along with the stunning 6 minute preview of The Dark Knight Rises!). At some stages it did feel like they thought up the stunts and then strung them together with some very weak links.

A good support cast helped lift it out of the Tom Cruise show. Simon Pegg returns to delivers the laughs, Paula Patton (Déjà Vu) delivers the looks, and even Sawyer from Lost saunters in briefly for some spy work. But Michael Nyqvist (Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) was dealt a harsh hand with the weak villain role.

Whether we actually needed a fourth instalment of Mission Impossible is a moot point. Bird shows such an assured hand with live action that Ghost Protocol stands alone as a cracking spy thriller.

Clayton Barnett