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:: Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Tom Cruise is back! Forget the fact that he jumped on Oprah’s couch. In fact, forget anything that you may think makes Tom Cruise a little loopy because Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol reminds everyone that Cruise is a great actor and still after all these years can pull off a damn fine action movie. This is the action movie of the year.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol actually goes back and tells a story roughly similar to what we saw in the first film – something major happens, Ethan (Tom Cruise) is blamed and is out on his own. This time the Kremlin is bombed and it appears that Ethan and his crew of Jane (Paula Patton) and Benji (Simon Pegg) are responsible. While they are out in the cold they are joined by Brandt (Jeremy Renner), an IMF analyst that obviously has a secret. Then in a bid to save the world (and clear their names) the crew embark on a journey that takes them to Dubai and India to stop nuclear terrorist, Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist) seeing out his evil plan.

Much of the credit for this film working has to go to director, Brad Bird who, despite being a surprising choose to direct the film, actually pulls it off wonderfully. Bird is known as a director as animation yet here manages to direct what of the most spectacular action sequences ever brought to the big screen. You may think I’m being generous, but please who wasn’t impressed by the skyscraper sequence that just happened to be filmed on the side of one of the world’s tallest buildings.

Like the rest of the Mission Impossible movies, as well as the TV show, there are moments of this film that require you to leave your brain at the door (such as the fact there are pay phones that double as IMF phones) but for the most part this is a spy thriller that works, obvious by the fact that my only major gripe is that when you watch it in IMAX you can always tell when something stunning is about to happen because the black of the letterbox keeps changing size.

As I mentioned earlier this is the film that shows that Tom Cruise is once again back at his game but also is the latest of a string of action films that actually requires its cast to put in some acting effort as well. While poor old Michael Nyqvist seems to have got the dud end of the stick playing a baddie with no character development (add it to Abduction and you’re beginning to be typecast Mr. Nyqvist), Pegg, Renner and Patton’s class really shines through… the latter also announcing herself to a wider audience. The mix of good acting ability and great action sequences just makes this film even better.

Clearly the best action of the year here’s hoping that Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol puts enough bums on seat to see that a new film in the franchise goes into production because it truly deserves it.