If Tom Cruise’s name ever made it into the dictionary only one word would be needed as a description: hit.
Well, that’s the perception at least. For the past decade many of his films have struggled with the critics and the public, but taking on the role of Ethan Hunt back in 1996 has proved to be one the smartest moves of his career.
5 films and almost $3bn later, the M:I franchise continues to go from strength-to-strength with the release of number six, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, showing the series is in no danger of running out of steam any time soon.
Even though Cruise’s broken ankle managed to claim much of the spotlight during filming last year, this is set to be another box office demolition job.
Hunt and his boys are back – Benji (Simon Pegg) and Luther (Ving Rhames) – and the perhaps the best way to navigate the convoluted plot of Mission: Impossible – Fallout is to remember they’re the good guys.
This is a loose sequel to Rogue Nation, with bad guy Solomon Lane’s (Sean Harris) back in the frame with vengeance on his mind.
Solomon and his army of soldiers referred to as The Apostles, need to get their hands on some plutonium so they can arm and detonate their nuclear weapons to bring about a new world order.
Hunt, as ever, is the only one that can stop them. Of course, it’s never going to be that easy.
Complicating things further is the presence of CIA operative August Walker (Henry Cavill) and the reappearance of MI6 agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson). Cue a lot of car chases and Cruise getting in some serious sprint action.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout weighs in at hefty two-and-a-half hours, making it the longest of the six films so far. You’ll feel the runtime in places but only when there isn’t any high-adrenaline action pulsating on screen – which isn’t very often.
Director Christopher McQuarrie picks up where he left off in Rogue Nation moving from one audacious set-piece to another. Whizzing through Paris, London, and Kashmir, there are nods to classic car chases from the likes of The French Connection, and references back to iconic Mission: Impossible moments.
The story also calls back to Hunt’s personal history and shows an agent who now looks his age, even though he could still somehow chase down Usain Bolt.
This is built into the narrative to show a man who is still a lunatic ready to risk his life for the greater good, but becoming equally aware those aches and pains take a lot longer to heal up nowadays.
Cruise is 56 now and will be close to, if not actually, 60 by the time the next film is released, so he probably has one, maybe two of these left in the tank.
This is Hollywood’s own James Bond and it will continue running long after Tom’s little legs can no longer carry him. But if it can keep up the excitement levels of Mission: Impossible – Fallout then they’ll have very little to worry about.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout is out in UK cinemas today