Tom Cruise and J. J. Abrams successfully continue gadgets and explosions filled spy series.

Director: Brat Bird | Stars: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg

Budget: 145 million | Box office: 693 million

IMDB: 7.4| Metacritic: 74

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

I went to see the movie with one thought in mind – surprise me! And despite sticking to the same tried and trusted formula, it really did. Not with a story of course, this never was a strong point of the series, but the settings and action sequences are quite spectacular, some characters interesting and some spy equipment is really innovative.

I was afraid it will be much worse, because it seemed a wrong decision to give such a big budget and high profile action movie to an animation director, even a double Oscar Pixar darling Brad Bird (The (Incredibles and Ratatouille). But Mission Impossible and such are usually more production based movies, so power producer Abrams and Tom Cruise himself probably had the main votes.

I liked the fact that Ghost Protocol in essence is composed of three parts and main locations. Sometimes such movies tend to jump too much from one place to another trying to imitate quick pace and danger. Here such a bit slower pace works much better and such way the team could give much more attention to each segment and play it right.

The main star object and one of the biggest reasons to watch this movie for me was Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world, which looks astonishing even in the pictures. I always love when iconic buildings are used in the movies, they help to improve even a bit mediocre films, like Kuala Lumpur Petronas Towers in Entrapment. So the newest Dubai icon, finished just couple of years ago is a really perfect location for such movie. The long episode and thrilling climbing scenes are really impressive.

Opening locations in Moscow give a nice touch too. But here comes the best surprise of the movie. Tom Cruise is lucky often getting to play with the coolest gadgets. The famous interface in Minority Report will soon become a reality, and here he has a bit more down to earth invention, which is used in creative and fun way. There are few more cool gadgets, and one of those – BMW electric powered hi-tech car i8 will be on sale (for quite rich early adopters, of course) in 2013. As a product placement example it was one of better cases. Not quite like the Audi RSQ from I, Robot though.

The team of Ghost Protocol actors worked wall also. Tom Cruise basically plays himself, as is the British comedy star Simon Pegg. The girl‘s story seemed less interesting, but Jeremy Renner‘s character was really intriguing and cool. I really don‘t mind seeing him as a lead in future Mission Impossible titles, as Cruise will stay only as a producer.

At least that‘s what the rumors say, but I have little doubt that we will see another sequel or two. The original TV show ran for seven seasons, so there should be enough ideas to develop.