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Mission: Impossible - Fallout (IMAX in some cinemas)


Stars: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Alec Baldwin, Angela Bassett, Sean Harris, Vanessa Kirby, Michelle Monaghan, Wes Bentley

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

You've got to hand it to diminutive dynamo Tom Cruise. If it's action you want, then the pocket-sized superstar is your man, here taking his passion for doing his own stunts to almost foolhardy extremes. He broke his ankle in a rooftop leap making this one, and the only surprise is that somewhere along the line he didn't break his neck.

And breakneck action is what keeps on coming here, from a breathless and prolonged car and motorcycle pursuit round Paris to a stunning helicopter duel over the Himalayas at the end that seems even more vertiginous when the IMAX screen drops down to its full depth.

Cruise makes sure that the big screen's claim to 'see a movie or be part of one' assumes full validity here, as he hurtles along on foot (boy, can he run), clings to helicopters or dodges death on the highway and by-way. Each sequence ramps the tension one step higher than it's been seen before.

The plot runs like a James Bond reject but who cares; 'three plutonium cores have been stolen from a missile base' (so careless) and are to be used for a far more nefarious purpose than simply blasting out a chunk of the world.

Ethan Hunt's (Cruise) mission, should he accept it (did you ever doubt it?), is to hand over a notorious evil mastermind (Harris, looking more like a redneck backpacker) to those who want him, in exchange for those cores. Of course, there's cross and double-cross, and the 'mysterious' villain is obvious, although the film makes little effort to hide his identity from the start.

Of Hunt's old gang, Benjy (Pegg) and Luther (Rhames) are along for the ride, each of them schooled to reply to harried spymaster Baldwin's pleas for details of their plans to achieve the impossible with 'I'll figure it out' or 'We're working on it', flying like Cruise, by the seat of their pants.

The girls, Ferguson (as Hunt's ex), Monaghan (as his wife of unknown whereabouts) and Kirby (Princess Margaret from The Crown), as the 'white widow', are all good, with Kirby a real find as the femme fatale who smiles seductively as she plots against you.

And there's even a Bondian finale, as the action switches between that helicopter battle and the race to defuse two plutonium bombs with seconds left. 'The countdown cannot be stopped,' gasps Harris - and if you'll believe that, you'll believe anything: the best Mission: Impossible film to date.

David Quinlan

USA 2018. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour by deluxe.
147 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 13 Jul 2018