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  • Released today on IMAX screens, and nationwide next week on December 21st - Mi4 is the third

  • sequel to the hugely successful live-action adaptation of the classic 60's CBS TV series.

  • Tom Cruise returns as IMF super-spy Ethan Hunt, who surprise - has once again been disavowed

  • by the American government that employs him - forcing him to stay off-grid, and hunt down

  • a Russian terrorist hell bent on starting World War III with stolen nuclear launch codes.

  • Joining him on his globe-trotting action-packed search for the bad guy is Jeremy Renner, Paula

  • Patton and Simon Pegg reprising the tech-nerd role of Benji from the previous film. The

  • stakes have never been higher for the gadget-loving IMF team, but gone are the personal threats

  • against his wife from MI3 - replaced instead by a cold urgency to prevent an atomic war.

  • Which is perhaps the film's only misstep... removed from the context of the earlier movies,

  • Hunt's character receives little back-story here. But this is an action thriller, not

  • a dramatic Oscar-contender. And thrilling this film is - the cold open features Hunt

  • fighting his way out of a Russian prison... capped off with an explosive escape on his

  • command, "light the fuse" - and in comes the iconic theme music... and director Brad Bird

  • doesn't let off the throttle from there. Utilizing some incredibly imaginative and uber-cool

  • tech gadgets, Hunt and his team make the best of the exotic locations they visit -- including

  • a Spiderman-esque climb up the world's tallest building, The Burj Dubai - made even more

  • impressive when you learn that Cruise himself performed the act without a stunt-double.

  • [CLIP] Other tricks include chain-main armor that allows it's user to float over it's accompanying

  • magnet-holding rover, chasing enemies through an Arabian sand-storm on close-range GPS,

  • and using an advanced projection screen Wille-Coyote style to give Kremlin guards the illusion

  • of an empty. The spy-work is fun, clever, and inventive - a scene where the IMF team

  • has to fake a meeting with two bad guys simultaneously resembles some of the best elements and misdirection

  • from your favorite heist films. Meanwhile, the action and chase sequences are explosively

  • pulse-pounding, brought to life by a wonderful score from producer JJ Abrams' long time collaborator

  • Michael Giacchino's intense soundtrack. The stunts, although ridiculous, are refreshingly

  • routed in a world of realism, unlike the previous installments, where flying a helicopter through

  • the chunnel was commonplace. Maximizing the all of the impressive advantages of the giant

  • IMAX frame, Bird does a fantastic job of filling every one of them with exquisite detail and

  • emotion -- rarely does the viewer lose sight of the action on-screen. Like all great blockbusters

  • though, "Ghost Protocol" never takes itself too seriously - with just enough breaks in

  • the battles to make you smile at some of the more light-hearted moments. When operating

  • undercover, using the names of celestial bodies as codenames, Benji quips, "Why do I have

  • to be Pluto? It isn't even a planet." Tom Cruise is no stranger to loud, big-budget

  • films, but this is perhaps his best effort to date. "Ghost Protocol", a "Thrilling and

  • adventurous show-stopper". That was my review, now let's read some of yours - from the few

  • people who also watched this film on opening day.

  • Here's the Rate-O-Matic to rank "Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol"... a NINE and an EIGHT.

  • I'm a sucker for a well-paced, and fun action movie, and this movies absolutely delivers

  • on all accounts, I thought it was AWESOME, and my pick for best in the series. If you're

  • curious about my thoughts on the previous three, I wrote some short 5-word-reviews for

  • each in the description below. As for those who had a chance to see this film already,

  • you agreed: praising the high-wire stunts and intense action scenes, with everyone able

  • to overlook Cruise's bizarre personal life - scoring the film a GREAT.

Released today on IMAX screens, and nationwide next week on December 21st - Mi4 is the third

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