The first trailer for Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol was released in front of Transformers yesterday, and despite my hatred of the title (Ghost Protocol? Wasn’t that a Tom Clancy video game series like 10 years ago?) it looks awesome. The series thus far has been fantastic, save for MI:2 which was completely different than the rest of the series, and not in a good way. The first chapter was a complex and smart thriller directed by Brian de Palma, filled with great dialogue, double crosses, and incredibly tense scenes like the one with Cruiser dangling an inch above the floor while suspended from a cable. The second, directed by John Woo, erased all audience goodwill with an incomprehensible and overlong movie that completely overused the cool mask trick and substituted any dialogue with bike chases, leather jackets, and doofus 90’s haircuts. The third (directed by the always great J.J. Abrams) brought everything that we loved from the first, even bringing in Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman as the villain and underrated hottie Michelle Monaghan as the love interest. Say what you will about Tom Cruise (he’s a dick, he’s weird, he’s a scientologist, he jumps on couches, he is a full blown crazy person, etc), but the guy just cranks out hit after hit, going back to classics like Risky Business and Top Gun all the way to today. The fourth (coming out in December) is directed by Brad Bird, the director of two Pixar movies (which all are incredible), was written by J.J. Abrams, and co-stars Jeremy Renner in a role rumoured to become the lead as the series continues. With the talent involved, and with the preview showing what seems like a complex and taut thriller, MI:4 looks to finally restore Tom Cruise to global superstar status and hopefully into finally making the long rumoured Top Gun 2.