Tom Cruise is a short man on a tall building in the fourth instalment in his all-action espionage franchise.
What's the story? Disavowed by his superiors after a disastrous mission in the Kremlin, IMF operative Ethan Hunt (Cruise) must work with a skeleton team to stop a maniac starting World War Three.
What did we think? Bird's impish sense of humour ensures this is a fast and funny thrill ride, albeit one in which there never seems particularly much at stake. The Dubai sequence is the stand-out here and demands to be seen in IMAX - provided, of course, you have a head for improbable, nosebleed-inducing heights.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it? To disregard the negative vibes around Tom Cruise and surrender to the spectacular insanity of his latest outing. If you can do that, M:I:4 will be the ideal way to forget your Christmas indigestion and/or hangover. If you can't, you're better off with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Still with us? Good, because you're in for a treat. After the dark and downbeat M:I:3, Brad Bird's zesty, enjoyable romp is a real tonic that will do much to bolster both this blockbuster series and its star's career. Zipping from Moscow to Mumbai via a pulse-racing escapade up Dubai's sky-scraping Burj Khalifa, its chief accomplishment is to prove the Incredibles helmer is as good at live-action as he is at animation. Yet it also finds Tom bringing a more mature edge to his daredevil alter-ego, forced as it he is to head a fractious team of misfits whose clashing personalities are as much a risk to the mission's success as their malfunctioning equipment.
Yes, things flag rather towards the end. If you fancy some Boxing Day entertainment, though, this fits the bill as snugly as one of the IMF's trademark rubber masks.