What  difference four years and a new director makes. Tom Cruise returns to his franchise role of Ethan Hunt in the new Mission: Impossible film Ghost Protocol, but the real star of the trailer is director Brad Bird. Known for his work on Pixar films like The Incredibles and Ratatoulie, Ghost Protocol is his first live action film, and he’s got it. Joining Cruise are faces like Jeremy Renner and Tom Wilkinson, while returning is – at least – Simon Pegg. Check out the trailer….

 

When Jeremy Renner joined the franchise, there was talk he was there to replace Cruise – who will be 49 on July 3 – partly because Cruise’s star was on the wane after the two years of nonsense that came from marrying Katie Holmes, and talking at greater length about his religious beliefs. But though the third film was considered disappointing domestically, globally the film made money. This trailer suggests there may be another mole in the operations – which has been a running plot in these movies – but little is actually known of the plot.

What is known is the action in this trailer, and it looks impressive. As with the still above, there is a scope and coolness to this trailer that seemed missing from the last film. The franchise itself has been hit and miss. The first film is more enjoyable for director Brian De Palma doing a more mainstream take on his interests as a filmmaker, the second tamed John Woo, and the third film launched (awkwardly at that) J.J. Abrams as a film director. But Brad Bird seems the absolute right choice for this material, and there’s a number of great money shots here. And the best way to revive stardom is to make a good movie.

Does this excite you?