MOVIE BUFF-ET: No falloff for Cruise in solid sixth movie in ‘Mission: Impossible’ franchise

Paramount Pictures

Say what you will about Tom Cruise, but the man knows how to make entertaining movies, and his latest “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” is no exception.

The film is the sixth in the franchise and the second directed by Christopher McQuarrie, and taken on its own, the movie is a fun thrill ride that offers great action sequences and enough intrigue to keep viewers satisfied through its prodigious 2-hour and 27-minute running time.

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Cruise, who broke his ankle making the movie, famously does his own stunts, and it noticeably pays off in the thriller that once again places his character at odds with the government as he works to save the world from a nuclear threat involving the three stolen plutonium cores by a terrorist group known as the Apostles.

If the plot sounds familiar, it basically is, but the details and most importantly with this film, the action sequences are different and decidedly fantastic.

The story echoes both the fourth and fifth films in the series “Ghost Protocol” and “Rouge Nation,” which are my favorite films in the series. It’s amazing how the franchise improved film to film after the second film in the series.

While I would rate “Fallout” as a step down from the previous two adventures, I have to admit it’s fun to see Cruise in this role every three years or so, reuniting with team members Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, and Alec Baldwin.

McQaurrie again does a standout job directing several stunning action set pieces and chases that are sure to please fans; however, the pacing between them does plod to a degree.

Joining the cast are Henry Cavill (Man of Steel) as August Walker, a CIA assassin whose job is to watch Hunt’s crew and to take it down if necessary, and Angela Bassett as Erica Stone, the new CIA Director, who is concerned about Hunt’s lack of discipline and predilection to ignore orders.

Cavill cuts an impressive physical presence, towering over notoriously short Cruise, but his character is fairly bland. That may have been the intent, but blandness has also been a critique with his performances as Superman. Bassett fairs better and her performance excels in scenes with Baldwin’s Alan Hunley, the former CIA Director.

Minor complaints behind, I enjoyed this movie. It’s not the best of the six films — though some reviews are labeling it as such — but few franchises deliver as solid of a product and an exciting time at the theater this deep into a franchise as ‘Mission: Impossible — Fallout.”.

(PG-13) 2 hr. 27 min.
Grade: B