"Certainly the best offering since the debut production and a return to form for the franchise…"

If you’re a fan of the Mission: Impossible franchise, then rest assured, as Ghost Protocol, the fourth instalment of the esteemed series, remains faithful to its predecessors, featuring relentless action, suspense and unremitting anxiety, all in true Mission: Impossible style.

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) escapes from a Russian jail, thanks to the help of his newly-formed team, only to discover that Russian narcissist Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist) is planning a nuclear attack on Earth.

Therefore, alongside the technician Benji (Simon Pegg), the attractive Jane (Paula Patton) and researcher Brandt (Jeremy Renner), Ethan and co. must stop this treacherous attack, yet must do so as rogue fugitives, as the team are being held responsible for the bombing of the Kremlin, touted as American terrorists attempting to provoke war.

It’s non-stop action from start to end, taking place in a variety of cities worldwide. Most notably, the remarkable scenes in Dubai, as Ethan attempts to climb the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world - a scene not so enjoyable if you are a sufferer of vertigo. All of this is then followed by a riveting chase scene, set against an untamed snow storm.

However, the action is complemented well by a sharp, often witty script, mainly exploited by Benji, as Pegg offers the film some much needed light-heartedness and flippancy, breaking up the action succinctly with comic relief.

The feature also looks spectacular, mostly a result of seeing the film at the IMAX cinema. Having seen the film on such an immense screen, perhaps this review is somewhat rose-tinted as a result, but nonetheless it looks incredible and is certainly worth shelling out that little bit extra to view the production on an IMAX screen.

To coincide with such an aesthetically gratifying experience, the film is slick and highly superficial, perhaps a little too much so. It gets to a point at times when it becomes quite laughable at how slick such seemingly implausible situations prove to be. If Ethan is walking down the street on bare feet, if he needs a pair of shoes, he finds a pair of shoes. Are they the right size? Of course they’re the right size.

Director Brad Bird, who also directed Pixar’s The Incredibles, is clearly enthused by his previous project, as Ethan and his team almost seemed as invincible and insuperable as the animated family.

Much of the improbability and coolness comes via Cruise. As resourceful and efficient in the role as ever, I have my reservations as to whether they’ll be able to squeeze another Mission: Impossible out of him. Now 49 years of age, there is only so many more buildings he can climb before his hip gives way. Although, a fifth instalment could potentially be called’MI5’, and such an undemanding and palpable title may prove all too tempting to commission.

On a side-note, I was quite amazed at just how low-down Cruise’s nipples are on his torso. Perhaps another reason not to participate in a fifth film as they certainly aren’t going to get any higher.

The film also goes on too long, and towards the end, tedium strikes. The film also has a typically placed Hollywood finale, with unnecessary sentiment, seeming out of place in an otherwise quite unemotional production. 

Yet it doesn’t attempt to be anything it isn’t, it’s just unrelenting action, and good natured too. It would be incredibly easy to pick holes in it, as some of the life-threatening scenarios are quite literally impossible to come out of, but it’s simply a bit of fun, and not worth the effort of nit-picking.

I’d say Ghost Protocol is more of an enjoyable night in the cinema rather than a well-established movie, but you know what you’re getting with the Mission: Impossible series and this is certainly the best offering since the debut production and a return to form for the franchise.

There are also lots of long-winded words and phrases that are difficult to understand, but to be honest; you really don’t need to in order to enjoy the feature. In fact, I still don’t quite know what Ghost Protocol actually means…