Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to expect more of the same from MISSION:IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL, only better. First time live-action director Brad Bird applies his skills as a brilliant helmsman of animated films like THE IRON GIANT and THE INCREDIBLES to this fourth outing in Paramount’s profitable franchise, and energizes what might otherwise be a rote sequel of stunts and spectacle. The result is a tour de force of action sequences and some moments of genuine suspense which makes this sequel worth a trip to your local IMAX theater and enjoy. M:I hasn’t grown any deeper, but it’s surely gained stature.
A crackling, energetic script avoids bogging down in character as did J.J. Abrams’ previous, highly likable entry in the series, preferring to let the action reveal Ethan Hunt’s latest personal dilemma rather than have him emote his woes in scenes that halt the juggernaut. The writers and Bird make clever use of Tom Cruise‘s appeal while downplaying his star status, a tactic which yields his most effective (if narrowest) M:I performance yet. Charging forward with story at full-throttle makes GHOST PROTOCOL the most similar entry to the classic TV series in tone and thus the most successful of the high-tech superspy franchise yet.