SMOOTH RIDE Paula Patton and Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol
Credit: Joe Lederer

Thanks to his thrilling sticky-glove ascent of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa skyscraper and his daring undercover break-in at the Kremlin, Tom Cruise proved that the Ethan Hunt gig remains his for as long as he wants it. In fact, Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol (2011, PG-13, 2 hrs., 12 mins.) may be the best chapter in the franchise since Brian De Palma’s 1996 original. But watching the new Blu-ray’s EXTRAS, you find out just how easy it is to screw up these kinds of slam-bang tentpole movies with thickets of unnecessary exposition. In the generous selection of deleted scenes, director Brad Bird explains in a commentary track how less can be more — and illustrates this point by showing us a mercifully scrapped opening scene with Michael Nyqvist’s villain that’s so chatty and flat, it’s amazing it didn’t self-destruct five seconds after they shot it. B+

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
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