Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Rated 4.0

With Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol, the Bond franchise has plenty to sweat about as director Brad Bird (The Iron Giant, The Incredibles) delivers one of the most awesome action flicks to roll off the assembly line in years. The story is nothing special: Once again, the Impossible Missions Force is framed for some international debacle that Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his able team must lone wolf their way through to rectify before all hell breaks loose. Actually, they need to work through all hell breaking loose before even worse happens. Some glorified hacker sets about securing Russian nuclear launch codes so that he can clear the global batting order and set Mother Nature to work playing clean-up. But that’s just a slim scenario that lets Bird frame one action sequence after another, played out with amazing assurance and a fidelity to traditional filmmaking. None of that shaky-cam and cut-per-second editing bullshit that passes for action framing these days. Bird’s vision evokes Hitchcock at his most assured, sharing a lavish attention to the mise-en-scène and well-oiled mechanics of suspense. That’s to be expected from an animator, but the pleasure is that he exceeds expectations. Cinemark 14, Feather River Cinemas and Paradise Cinema 7. Rated PG-13 C.B.