Film review by Alasdair Morton
Starring: Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton | 12A | 133mins

Identikit Bond this is not. Ghost Protocol, outing number four, is lighter and has a marked sense of humour – perhaps no surprise with The Incredibles director Brad Bird at the helm for his live action debut – and this works very well indeed, delivering a thoroughly entertaining action blockbuster.

Cruise’s Ethan Hunt is on the trail of some stolen nukes after the bombing of the Kremlin leads to the closing of the IMF, which in turn forces Hunt and his team renegade in order to clear the name of the agency. But plot is less the point here than it is the characters and set pieces. Simon Pegg delievers his trademark bufoonish routine, with satisfying results; Paula Patton is the team’s steely addition; and Jeremy Renner the analyst with a secret who’s thrust into the field. They all take a back seat to Cruise, who is in the best form he’s been in for some time. He nails the humour and throws himself – quite literally – into the action (a sequence aside Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, is jaw-dropping).

While the film is a tad long, and a sandstorm set piece drops the ball slightly (very little can actually be seen), this is still a return to form – and refreshingly free of any shaky-cam, rapid-edit Bourne-isms too. Mission accomplished, Mr Bird.

Good for: Seeing King Cruise at the top of his game. 4/5