Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

Without a doubt, this is the best of all the Mission Impossible movies, including the original. Over the years, the MI franchise had become something of a cartoon of itself. So, it seemed appropriate that Brad Bird should be chosen to helm MI4 Ghost Protocol. As the Oscar winning director of the Incredibles, he made animated cartoons seem very real. Now, he's made Mission Impossible real again. He's injected a fresh breathe of confidence, humor and camaraderie into a series that sorely needed it. He's not only re-invigorated the franchise, he's re-invigorated Tom Cruise's career as an action star. With this movie, Tom is back on top.

You'll notice that there is a lot of the Incredibles in MI4 Ghost Protocol. That's not only because of Brad Bird's influence, but because the Incredibles was a humorous homage to action films. You could say it's the IMF meets the Incredibles. That is not a deterrent. It's a tribute to a director who can think outside the proverbial action box. This isn't the same old, same old. The movie is much more upbeat and doesn't take itself too seriously. Which works to its advantage.

Tom Cruise has never been better. This isn't the brooding Ethan Hunt of previous movies. He's a man on a mission. pardon the pun. To make a complicated story short, the IMF has been shut down and disavowed after a massive explosion at the Kremlin. That explosion is blamed on the IMF. But, it was nothing more than a diversion to steal a nuclear detonator by a terrorist hell bent on ensuring peace on Earth by starting a nuclear war between the super powers. It's up to Ethan, and his cobbled together disavowed team, to hunt down the nuclear terrorist and save the world. simple.

Once you have suspended disbelief, sit back and enjoy. The cast is uniformly excellent. Jeremy Renner plays an IMF analyst suit (with more than desk skills at his disposal) reluctantly recruited into the field. Paula Patton is the former team leader of a mission gone bad sent to rescue Hunt. Simon Pegg is back as Benji, the computer/technology genius. While it may seem like he's there just for comic relief, he is an integral part of the team. There are no dull moments. The movie has a quick pace, fun one liners and mind blowing special effects filmed in glorious IMAX. Paula Patton and Jeremy Renner both have sensational action sequences. Tom Cruise isn't the only actor who gets to jump off buildings. And if this movie is any indication, Jeremy Renner is going to make a fantastic Jason Bourne. This wasn't a vehicle for just Tom. Everyone gets a piece of the action. It's a true throw back to the original TV series.

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