The collaboration of director J.J. Abrams and Tom Cruise in 2006’s Mission:Impossible III marked a vast improvement over John Woo’s awkwardly trendy, over-stylized sequel six years prior. Also referred to as Me:Too, Woo’s crossover effort seemed self-indulgent for Cruise and unnaturally trigger-happy for the series, a flash-in-the-pan box office juggernaut to follow the success of Brian De Palma’s sleepy 1996 noir-based original. So here we are at number four, ditching the Roman numeral for the mysterious subtitle Ghost Protocol, which sounds vaguely like something out of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six collection. With the hope that director Brad Bird would continue the momentum given to the stalling franchise by Abrams five years earlier, I found myself succumbing to some pretty high expectations. Thankfully, just a few minutes in to Ghost Protocol‘s opening prison break sequence, I felt assured that disappointment was not imminent. Thirty minutes later, when Cruise’s Ethan Hunt is sprinting from the grounds of the Kremlin as it bursts apart in a succession of massive explosions reminiscent of War of the Worlds, I found myself already praying for an M:I5.