Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Director: Brad Bird
Starring: Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Jeremy Renner
While the Dubai media circus was almost enough to have most wish the worst, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol is probably the finest edition of this spy-thriller franchise to date.
The action starts in Moscow, moves to Dubai and ends in India - and rarely pauses for breath - with Cruise's Ethan Hunt and his team forced to go rogue in order to prevent Kurt Hendricks (Michael Nyqvist) unleashing a nuclear holocaust on the world.
Dubai gets the lion's share of the billing and serves as an impressive backdrop for the most memorable scenes, notably Cruise's Spider-Man-like antics on the Burj Khalifa, which are likely to have the slightest vertigo sufferer shaking (particularly if viewed in Imax) and fully justify the past year's fuss. Renner's first MI outing is solid, and underlines why he is lined up to fill Bourne's shoes, while Patton plays a fierce leading lady with nifty combat skills.
Pegg, the only non-Cruise returnee from the last affair, sees his tech-whiz Benji Dunn promoted to field agent and offers comical buffoonish breaks between the near-relentless action. Making his live-action debut, Bird (The Incredibles) has given this 16-year-old series an impressive reboot, and, so long as Cruise (who will be 50 next year) is still willing to worry his insurers, there's no reason why it shouldn't continue.