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American films

Mission: Impossible – Fallout film review: Tom Cruise back in best outing yet of the espionage action series

The sixth in the Mission Impossible series, Fallout is full of outrageous stunts, exotic locales, an engrossing plot and nerve-shredding tension, while Tom Cruise’s continuing quest for realism proves utterly mesmerising

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 July, 2018, 7:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 July, 2018, 11:13am

4.5/5 stars

Twenty-two years since Tom Cruise first played super spy Ethan Hunt, the actor is back for a sixth outing which could well be the best of the series.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout is full of outrageous stunts, exotic locales, an engrossing plot and nerve-shredding tension, with writer-director Christopher McQuarrie serving up an old-fashioned action movie that draws from earlier episodes and, somehow, puts a new spin on familiar tropes.

Searching for three missing plutonium spheres, Hunt is joined by his IMF teammates Benji (Simon Pegg) and Luther (Ving Rhames), as well as a CIA brute, August Walker (Henry Cavill), who is there to oversee the mission. Also in the frame is a British broker named The White Widow (The Crown’s Vanessa Kirby) and terrorist Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), Hunt’s nemesis from the previous instalment Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation .

There’s even time for familiar female faces – fellow spy Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) and Hunt’s lost love Julia (Michelle Monaghan) – to reappear in a story that carefully balances global peril with personal high stakes.

The first director to return for a second Mission movie, McQuarrie moves the story along from the streets of Paris to the rooftops of London to the mountains of Kashmir with ruthless efficiency. It’s a blueprint for high-adrenaline cinema.

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Cruise, who broke his ankle performing one jump during production, takes centre-stage in some remarkable set pieces. Whether he’s skydiving, riding a bike through the streets of Paris, fighting an assailant in a bathroom or flying a helicopter through treacherous canyons, there’s something utterly mesmerising about his quest for realism.

While the plot does, somewhat conventionally, come down to a couple of bombs needing to be defused, it’s how the film gets us there that counts. Factor in much-needed comic relief from Pegg and some sheer nuttiness from Sean Harris as the prophet-like terrorist mastermind, and Mission: Impossible – Fallout is a gargantuan blockbuster, the best movie so far this the summer.

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Mission: Impossible – Fallout opens on July 26

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