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Tom Cruise Outruns Time in ‘Mission Impossible: Fallout'

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Rating: 4.0/5.0

CHICAGO – By any reasonable account, Tom Cruise should be entering into a phase in the “Mission Impossible” series not unlike the latter James Bond films of Roger Moore… appearing in closeups and letting the stuntmen do the rest. However, Cruise continues to outrun the ravages of time, and his stunts only seem to get crazier in the sixth film, “Mission Impossible: Fallout.”

The latter installments of the series – four, five and now six – are for my money the superior ones. The sixth film of this reliably entertaining franchise doesn’t have the immediate “WTF” factor of the last installment where Cruise clung to the outside of a cargo plane during takeoff in the opening scene, but after the relatively slow start it picks up the pace and never lets up.

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Cunning Stunt: Tom Cruise in ‘Mission Impossible: Fallout’
Photo credit: Paramount Pictures

In “Mission Impossible: Fallout” Cruise’s IMF agent Ethan Hunt is on the trail of stolen plutonium, and the followers of super villain Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), the terrorist Hunt caught in the last movie. Here he’s forced to actually break Lane out of custody in order to stop a potential nuclear catastrophe. This plot is the usual convoluted jumble of spy games and the old rubber mask trick the series has relied on since the 1990s. But it’s a slick stylish way to string audiences along from one stunt to the next while that timeless and tireless theme song plays on.

Hunt is joined by MI6 agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) who shares Hunt’s need to live life on the edge and knows how to kick ass all by herself. Benji (Simon Pegg) and Luther (Ving Rhames) are also reliable and welcome returning members of the IMF team. Walker (Henry Cavill) joins this time as a CIA tag-along who prefers to let his fists do most of the talking, while keeping an eye on Cruise’s Hunt and pursuing a theory that the agent may have been left “out in the cold” by his government one too many times and has snapped.

Each Mission Impossible film has at least one memorable set piece, and Cruise makes the most of a helicopter chase through the mountains of Kashmir, along with an amazing motorcycle chase through the streets of Paris that is as on-the-edge-of-your-seat thrilling as anything the film’s star has ever done. It’s the immediacy of Cruise’s pathological need to defy expectations and do his own stunts that brings this series the wall-to-wall action. It’s a signature excitement as he risks life and limb… including actually breaking his ankle, and that appears to be the take they used in the film.

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The IMF Team in ‘Mission Impossible: Fallout’
Photo credit: Paramount Pictures

It is the fourth film, “Ghost Protocol,” that for me remains the series high point, but there is no need for homework involving this chapter. Just simply sit back and watch Tom Cruise dangle in death-defying heights for our amusement, and enjoy what a good summer popcorn movie can be.

“Mission Impossible: Fallout” opens everywhere in on July 27th in IMAX, 3D, RPX and regular screenings. See local listings for specialty theater and show time options. Featuring Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Michelle Monaghan, Alec Baldwin and Angela Bassett. Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie. Rated “PG-13”

HollywoodChicago.com contributor Spike Walters

By SPIKE WALTERS
Contributor
HollywoodChicago.com
spike@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2018 Spike Walters, HollywoodChicago.com

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