Mission:Impossible Ghost Protocol

When JJ Abrams took the reigns of “M:I III,” he brought his penchant for meet cute romance between Tom Cruise’s super spy and his love interest Bridget Moynihan. It worked well as a new dynamic.

Now noted Pixar director Brad Bird takes over with his own touch of tongue in cheek wry humor courtesy of Simon Pegg, as well as a little bit from Cruise and some side characters.

This is a great installment featuring a fun prison break moment, followed by an energetic credit theme sequence featuring Lalo Schifrin adventurous theme song. From there Bird offers up challenges like putting a spin on the now familiar ID retina scan by any typical spy computer plus shootouts, running-lots of running-a sandstorm, a Kremlin covert operation and a climactic chase for a briefcase within a weird multilevel movable parking garage.

The main centerpiece reaches for the sky however with the world’s tallest (I think) building, the Wiz Khalifa in Dubai. I love that scene. Not just because Cruise is doing the stunt of climbing the glass tower himself, but it screams of hilarious moments that belong in Bird’s other great accomplishment, “The Incredibles” films.

Pegg is great against the reluctance of Cruise’s straight man along with an out of touch Jeremy Renner. There’s a sticky glove that won’t work for Cruise as he scales the outside of the building but Bird milks the joke while also using Renner who is of no help but invites nervous glee.

I don’t try too hard to piece everything together in the M:I films. Other than Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Abrams’ film) the villains have not been altogether memorable. The breathtaking action is much more fun than the stories. Something is always happening. This happens in nearly every installment of the 22 year old franchise (save for John Woo’s short changed “M:I 2”).

This is a franchise that hasn’t tired out including the most recent chapter “Fallout” from this past summer. Hope it stays that way.

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