Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

Directed By: Brad Bird

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

It's hard to believe that it's been five years since our last outing with Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and the Impossible Mission Force (IMF).  Having seen the latest installment in this famed action series, I have only one thing to say.  Tom Cruise has still got it!

Agent Jane Carter (Paula Patton) and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) break Agent Hunt (Cruise) out of prison in Moscow to find out that they must infiltrate the Kremlin to recover some nuclear launch codes that were lost on a previous mission.  While at the Kremlin trying to locate the launch codes, a terrorist compromises their mission and bombs the Russian landmark.  The terrorist steals the codes, and the IMF takes the fall for this act of terror.  The president invokes ghost protocol disavowing all members of the agency.  Hunt and his team are all that's left of the IMF, and they are unofficially tasked with stopping the terrorists from using the launch codes and provoking nuclear warfare between the US and Russia.

Given that it's been a while since Tom Cruise has reprised his role as Ethan Hunt, director Brad Bird decides to up the ante and make the impossible even more impossible.  The explosions are bigger, the stunts are more dangerous, and the risks of failure are more apocalyptic than ever in the storyline.  Most of the bumps and bruises that Hunt takes would kill a man in real life.  This man just gets up and brushes the dirt off his shoulders before going to kick some more ass.

With the Mission: Impossible movies now spanning several decades, you have some substitutions in casting that have taken place over the years.  This time around we have Paula Patton, Jeremy Renner, and Simon Pegg.  Paula Patton and Jeremy Renner make great additions to the film and play their parts well.  They both have some great potential to be big players in the franchise in the future.  The standout, however, is Simon Pegg.  Reprising his role from Mission: Impossible III, Pegg is absolutely hilarious as Benji.  Making his character a newly promoted field agent was the best decision screenwriters AndrĂ© Nemec and Josh Appelbaum could have made.  They took his humor on the road with Agent Hunt and brought plenty of laughs along the way.

With any Mission: Impossible flick, you're going to get some great action sequences and plenty of awesome stunts as Hunt and his agents trot the globe, but this is the first time that we have Tom Cruise and company in IMAX. I must say that it's phenomenal.  Whether in Moscow, Dubai, or Mumbai, Brad Bird has created a great cinematic experience that will leave you adding a few destinations to your travel wish list.

Though some of the back-story on what's taken place in the life of Agent Hunt over the last five years is muddled, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol will not let you down.  The film is firing on all cylinders.  If they're not delivering an adrenaline rush, this great cast is bringing big laughs.  This latest Mission: Impossible flick gets a 0.03% rating.  Some wine coolers will do.