Cruise remains in control of ‘Mission: Impossible — Fallout’

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For a franchise that seems to exist solely to keep the aging Tom Cruise from having to do a superhero movie, the latest “Mission: Impossible” movie nonetheless delivers a high-flying, hard-fighting action movie star.

Cruise is in fine form in his sixth return as Ethan Hunt in “Mission: Impossible - Fallout”.

The franchise has become legendary for all the ways that
Cruise, despite being nearly 60, will put his life and limbs on the line to pull off out-of-this-world stunts.

He broke an ankle filming this movie and it shows in just how big and dangerous the actions scenes look.

It’s just too bad that the rest of the film doesn’t live up to the action.

In “Fallout”, Cruise and his spy buddies, Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg, must go once more into the breach of espionage when a trio of nuclear warheads fall into the hands of the international criminal underworld — and it’s partially Cruise’s fault.

The search for the warheads leads to all manner of daring escapes, fisticuffs, double crosses and high octane action scenes.

At one point, Cruise tries to ram a helicopter with another helicopter. It’s as thrilling as it sounds, and that’s the sort of action that the “Mission: Impossible” movies hope defines the franchise.

But the story of searching for those warheads is not particularly interesting or engaging.

The story is enough to string us along from one action scene to the next, but few people are going to be leaving the theater in awe at the writing in “Mission: Impossible - Fallout”. It’s all standard spy stuff.

There’s nothing in the story to really make you think or put you on the edge of your seat.

Fortunately, along with the thrilling action scenes, Cruise and his returning co-stars are more than game to at least be entertaining.

Cruise has mastered the art of the movie star smolder and does not look his age.

Rhames and Pegg make for great sidekicks, and the camaraderie between the three of them makes for a solid core in “Mission: Impossible - Fallout”.

There are a couple of female characters in the movie, even ones returning from previous films, but none of them are as instantly iconic and memorable as Cruise, Rhames and Pegg.

The much-hyped new addition to the case — Henry Cavill as CIA Agent Walker — mostly just plays the part as written. He fulfills his duties in the movie, and that is enough.

“Mission: Impossible - Fallout” has two out of three parts to make a great film. The action is exciting and unlike much else you’re going to be able to see in theaters. The core cast is entertaining to watch together. But the story is little more than an excuse to get us from one action scene to the next.

“Fallout” is a movie that is comfortable with being the sixth installment of a seemingly never-ending franchise. It doesn’t rock the boat or change anything about the franchise.

It just tries to deliver something bigger and more fun than you’re expecting.

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