But getting to the silver screen before any of them is Tom Cruise starrer M:I:III, which is not to be mistaken for a Roman numeral. Despite its development troubles, Tom eventually found a couple of wildcards in his producer trousers and managed to replace Oscar-winning where-is-he-now Kenneth Branagh with Oscar-winning he's-so-hot-right-now Philip Seymour Hoffman as the archenemy. Then after a heavy weekend of watching Alias DVDs in his pants (we've all done it) Tom recruited J.J. Abrams as director, who temporarily handed over the reigns of overrated TV show Lost to take the job.
These masterstrokes from Tom are evident right from the word "go", as the film opens with an incredibly tense, shocking and captivating sequence that will have you on the edge of your seat before you've even got comfortable. It also effectively maps out the premise of the film: Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has upset Owen Davian (Hoffman) by upholding the law, so Davian has kidnapped his girlfriend. Oh yes, M:I:III – this time it's personal.
OK, so the plot might not be wildly imaginative or satisfying, but movies like this are rated on explosions out of ten. Abrams has created a film that is jam-packed with action and suspense, and the bottom line is that it's thoroughly enjoyable. Hoffman is astounding as the uncaring, immoral bad guy – in fact he's so good at being bad that you don't really want him to meet his demise at the end.
It's also worth noting that Simon Pegg (Spaced, Shaun of the Dead) makes an appearance in the film as a technical genius at IMF (basically a carbon copy of Alias' Marshall), and provides some much needed comic relief as he walks off with his scenes in his pocket.
And if you're not convinced that all the action and suspense will hold your attention throughout the film, why not try counting the significant action events in the film? Personally, I had a go at keeping track of the number of explosions (eleven), the number of times someone hung off a building (three), the number of times someone was thrown through a window (eight) and the number of times the Cruiser got hit in the face (only 6? and you call this action...).
You couldn't ask for a better opening to the summer season than this blockbuster, unless you were after some sort of actual substance, thought provocation or something equally crazy. But if, like me, you're glad of a well-executed adrenalin rush, then this is the one to see – for now at least!