Truly the sequel to the first Mission: Impossible and a great one at that. It manages to take ques set up from the initial storyline and take them to new places. Right from the beginning you are brought into this extremely intense spy thriller that never lets its guard down. This takes the character of Ethan Hunt and makes him more vulnerable than ever before; by giving him something to lose. J.J. Abrams has taken this series back to its roots and makes it a lot more realistic than its action-oriented sequel.
This picks up with Ethan Hunt finally being able to have somewhat of a normal life. Then he is quickly plunged into a cat and mouse game that leaves him fighting harder than ever before. He becomes less of a spy and more of a blockade by the end, due to the fact that his will to protect his wife from harm is unbelievable. When pitted against the criminal mastermind Phillip Seymour Hoffman, he is constantly tested and thrown into "impossible" situations. Tom Cruise continues to play this character in such a perfect and memorable way, it's hard to see why it's not more recognized.
J.J. Abrams directs action in one of the best ways possible. It looks unbelievably realistic, but he's almost able to get away with more than most due to his free-flowing camera techniques and fluorescent color palette. There is so much time put into the characters and story that these unreal moments appear to be completely warranted. Not many people could get away with scenes like a self-shocking or grenade launcher bridge sequence, but this does with ease.
I think most people would agree that this is just a ridiculously cool movie that brings the best parts of the first two movies together into one extravaganza. This is certainly more of a spy thriller and in the same vein as the first, but manages to bring more action to the table than you might expect. It's one beautiful looking movie that is just as fun as anything close to it in the genre.