Believe it or not, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is really rather good. Yes, it’s the fourth entry in a franchise that hasn’t given a good argument for its continued existence in about fifteen years, and yes, ‘Ghost Protocol’ sound like two words picked at random by manatees in a tank, and yes, the title commits the grave punctuation offence of both a colon and a hyphen,and yes, it’s nowhere near as good as director Brad Bird’s earlier Pixar efforts, and yes, the Cruiser is nuttier than the complimentary bag of nuts in a goody bag at a nut conference, and yes, his acting here tends to alternate between steely, doing-my-own stunts toughness and million-dollar-smiles, and yes, the plot makes about as much sense as a banana in a sock drawer, and yes, it is roughly half an hour too long.
But despite all those caveats, this unlikely fourthquel is as about as good an action romp as you’re likely to see at the cinemas this year. It’s exactly what popcorn movies should be – exciting, fun, and funny. It has a sprint-like pace and doesn’t let you catch your breath, like a bully is to an asthmatic child. The Cruiser’s much-publicised pottering-about-on-the-side-of-the-world’s-tallest-building is genuinely breathtaking. Simon Pegg is funny too, in a well-balanced, beefed-up comic relief role. Sure, it’s brainless, a little heartless, overlong and endlessly predictable, but by heck if it isn’t a jolly old bit of fun.
Plus, it has a Michael Giacchino score, parachuted in from Pixar duties to reinvigorate that theme. Splendid stuff. Go see it.