Review: Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Lalo Schifrin's Mission Impossible theme is surely the finest TV or movie theme music ever, conjuring up expectations of ridiculous amounts of excitement. No film, let alone an MI film, could live up to it, but Ghost Protocol probably comes closer than any of the previous three.

It's been a restless series, each instalment heading off in a radically different direction from what preceded it: well that didn't work, let's try something else.

The third was a cracking action film but hampered by the decision to give Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt a domestic life and asking the audience to emotionally invest in its outcome.

With Cruise's box office appeal on the wane, this one leaves nothing to chance – it's remorselessly entertaining.

While the Bond films have gone in the direction of copying the down and dirty style of Bourne, MI 4 goes back to Roger Moore 007 era.

If you miss the days when Bond walked into a remote monastery to find it was an MI5 base staffed by M and Q, then this is the film for you. It's is a modernday The Spy Who Loved Me or Moonraker: a preposterous, lighthearted, gadget-packed, globetrotting romp with tourist boardprompted action sequences and a tissue-thin plot about stopping a mad man intent on nuclear war.

After a dazzling animation career (The Iron Giant, Ratatouille, The Incredibles), Brad Bird brings flair and originality to live action.

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Like The Dark Knight, some sequences have been shot using IMAX cameras and the results (if you see them on IMAX) are spectacular.

The movie moves at a relentless clip, hurtling towards an impressive and inventive climax in Dubai.

Pity then that the film still has another 40 odd minutes to go after that. In its aftermath, the pace sags for a few minutes, which shouldn't be a problem. But, in a movie like this, where breathless momentum is all, any moment for reflection is a bit of a killer and it never really recovers.


Director: Brad Bird

Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Anil Kapoor

Length: 133 mins