12/26/2011 06:13 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast: Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

2011-12-26-38511323712788a13478crv2_410.jpgWhat says Christmas Spirit more than nuclear holocaust, life-or-death chases in an automated car park, and scaling the world's tallest building? Maybe that's why Paramount scheduled the release of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol for this most festive of seasons. Or maybe it's that it's just plain fun. Stripping the IM force down to leader Tom Cruise -- aided and abetted by Paula Patton, Simon Pegg and new recruit Jeremy Renner -- and paring the story down to a struggle to prevent a megalomaniacal terrorist from triggering WWIII, the film (under the direction of animation vet Brad Bird, here making his live-action debut) unpacks some of the baggage accrued in the previous installments to become a lighter, wittier exercise in epic action.

Cinefantastique Online's Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons discuss their reaction to all the chaos, exploring how director Bird fares in his first foray in the tangible world, considering Tom Cruise's future in the franchise and evaluating whether the IMAX format makes the Impossible Missions seem even... uh... impossibler.

Also: Larry delivers his verdict on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Steve gives his reaction to the The Dark Knight Rises prologue screened at MI's IMAX venues.