MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL is quite a breath of fresh air, especially after the last episode in the series (review here). Who would have thought that the fourth in the series would turn out to be not only the best in the series, but one of the best films of 2011? Especially considering that it is director Brad Bird's first live-action feature, and the two screenwriters were predominantly TV writers before this. Such a peculiar pedigree has brought new life to the series.
The film is true to the TV series in that it is much more of a thriller than an action film, although all of the action sequences are spectacular. There are two reasons they work so well. One is that every beat in every sequence is tied to the plot, and is not just some goofy throw-away gag (as has become the trend in other action films). The other reason is that many of the stunts are real, or at least appear real, in that the actual laws of physics are being followed. I'm really sick of action films where people and objects seem to ignore gravity, and all the action sequences are go highly CGI'ed that nothing seems real.
Oh, and the sound design was great!
If you ignored this movie because you didn't like the previous films in the series, please take the time to see it!