"No plan. No backup. No choice. That’s the tagline for Brad Bird’s (The Incredibles) fun-packed instalment of the Mission Impossible franchise. The Peter Pan of Hollywood (Tom Cruise) is back as Agent Ethan Hunt, and he’s not alone in his quest for action, excitement and latex. Jeremy Renner (Avengers Assemble) makes his first appearance in the series alongside our very own Simon Pegg (Star Trek), who gets a beefed-up action role (of sorts) this time out. Paula Patton brings the beauty and the brawn, but not the romance. MI4 is keen to sidestep lustful intent in favour of prison breaks, tower climbing, car chases and gadgets galore.
After a bombing of the Kremlin implicates the IMF as international terrorists, their mission - should they choose to accept it - is to clear the agency's name and prevent the start of nuclear war. The plot is less perplexing than usual but the action sequences remain a series highlight. Tom gets to do a lot of his own stunts, including a nerve shredding – and laugh inducing – climb up the worlds largest building. There are sandstorms, cool cars and misfiring gizmos aplenty, all in the name of slam-bang entertainment. Bird’s move to live action is faultless, and he keeps the film moving with relentless pacing and promising cinematic flourishes. It’s also the funniest mission by far, with gadgets going wrong all over the place and Simon Pegg given his best Hollywood role to date.
Lighter than usual and quite possibly the coolest action movie of 2011, Ghost Protocol is without a doubt the best in the series so far. Which bodes well for future instalments, because on the evidence of Mission Impossible 4, Tom Cruise isn’t getting any older." AW