By Christopher Spall www.thesetonian.com

In a world run by James Bond, there are few spy movie franchises that can compete, but the “Mission: Impossible” series does a superb job of standing on its own. In the 15 years since theatergoers saw Tom Cruise hanging by wires in the first film, the franchise has spawned three sequels, including the most recent addition, “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.”

Image from imdb.com  Tom Cruise hangs out of the tallest building in the world - the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai, India - for a scene in "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol." Cruise allegedly performed this stunt and others without the use of a stunt double.
Image from imdb.com Tom Cruise hangs out of the tallest building in the world - the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai, India - for a scene in "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol." Cruise allegedly performed this stunt and others without the use of a stunt double.

As the fourth film in the series, “Ghost Protocol” attributes a large chunk of its success to the new and innovative direction taken in both story and special effects. Directed by Brad Bird, “Ghost Protocol” begins with Agent Ethan Hunt, played by Tom Cruise, being framed for a bombing he did not commit. Hunt and his team become a rogue unit out to stop a madman whose aim is to incite global nuclear war. What follows is a race across the Middle East and Southern Asia with car chases, countless combat sequences and climbing the world’s tallest skyscraper.

As the face of the “Mission: Impossible” series, Tom Cruise delivers yet another memorable performance, thanks in part to his ability to tackle huge stunts. Cruise consistently brings a level of focus and intensity to his performance. Hunt’s team members are played by British comic actor Simon Pegg, Paula Patton of “Precious” and Jeremy Renner, Oscar-nominated star of 2009’s “The Hurt Locker.” More info

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