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Mission: Impossible — Fallout

Tom Cruise delivers in this action bonanza

When an IMF mission ends badly, the world is faced with dire consequences. As Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) seeks to complete his original assignment, the CIA questions his loyalty and his motives. Hunt finds himself in a race against time, hunted by assassins and former allies while trying to prevent a global catastrophe. <<© Paramount Pictures >>

IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise: American Made) neutralized one major threat when he captured former intelligence agent turned terrorist Solomon Lane (Sean Harris: Possum). But Lane’s network of operatives, The Syndicate, remained free to cause chaos. Their latest mission, crafting three nuclear devices, will cause worldwide disaster.

            Unless Hunt can stop them.

            He and his team fail in their first assignment, preventing The Syndicate from retrieving three containers of plutonium. Can they clean up their mistakes?

            The CIA thinks not.

            CIA director Erica Sloan (Angela Bassett: Black Panther) has concluded that Hunt lacks the killer instinct. She turns to her top agent, August Walker (Henry Cavill: Justice League), whose method is to kill his way through missions. Now the two agents have new enemies: each other.

            Funny, fast-paced and packed with fantastic action, Mission: Impossible— Fallout is a great summer popcorn flick.

            Writer/director Christopher McQuarrie, who directed the last movie in the Mission: Impossible franchise, has a knack for complex action capers. He gives us plenty of twists and turns, and while most of them are fairly obvious (you’ll guess the identity of the baddie long before it’s revealed), they are breezy fun. The plot turns are less about telling the story than alluding to the television series that inspired the franchise. The kitschy 1960s’ throwback keeps this spy thriller from going too dark.

            McQuarrie excels when he’s got Cruise running for his life, whether he’s swinging from a helicopter midair or barreling through the streets of Paris in a thrilling motorcycle chase. McQuarrie knows just where to place the camera to ramp up tension and make the audience gasp and cheer as Hunt ducks out of another tight scrape.

            Cruise, who is almost manically sincere in every role he plays, goes through his greatest action moves. You’ll enjoy his hilarious running form, his indignantly shouted speeches and his death-defying stunt work. After six Mission: Impossible films, Cruise could probably play the part of Hunt in his sleep, but he doesn’t. Instead, he is constantly in the moment, just as intense and ready to leap off tall buildings as he was when the franchise began.

            Less impressive is Cavill, who is so stiff and blank-faced that he sucks the energy out of his scenes. With his chiseled jaw, lots of muscles and imposing height, he looks the part of physically menacing rival. But he fails to deliver the skill of a man who bashes through CIA problems with his bare hands.

            For great action and a plot that doesn’t tax your brain, Mission: Impossible — Fallout is well worth the ticket. Take a break from the rain for a few hours to watch Tom Cruise prove that he’s still in top form.

Good Action • PG-13 • 147 mins.


~~~ New this Week ~~~

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies

            The Teen Titans are tired of being ignored by superhero franchise films. They’re superpowered, they’re young — yet they get no respect.

            Robin (Scott Menville), who fancies himself the leader of the Teen Titans, tries to change that.

            Based on the hilarious cartoon, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies should be a razor-sharp look at the fun and foibles of the superhero genre. Be ready for lickety-split references, well thought-out comedy and even some character development. As the Teen Titans say: If Aquaman can get a movie, anyone can!

Prospects: Bright • PG • 92 mins.