Usually, a movie franchise runs out of steam after the third go around, or even the second (Speed 2: Cruise Control, anyone?), but the Mission: Impossible films—based on the TV show that ran from 1966 to 1973—actually became increasingly better after number three with its fourth installment, Ghost Protocol. The latest in the series, Fallout, is the sixth Mission: Impossible movie, and it's the best to date.
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his Impossible Mission Force members (Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames) have to capture anarcho-terroist Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) and then trade for a case of plutonium. New to the IMF is assassin August Walker (Henry Cavill), whom Hunt doesn't trust. Standing in Hunt's way is British agent—and old flame—Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson). Her job is the assassinate Lane.
Fallout has all the trappings of a traditional spy thriller, from double-crosses to the heroes having to make the decision of whether to cut the red or green wire on a bomb as a digital readout counts down, and the many chase scenes are given a beautiful and perfect rhythm, thanks to sensational stunts matched with brilliant camera work and editing. The helicopter chase finale is incredible, and, once again, Cruise does his own stunts. In fact, he even fractured his ankle in a scene where he was leaping from building to building, and production had to be shut down for seven weeks. The payoff, though, is clear: Seeing an actor do his own stunts really makes for exciting shots.
Writer/director Christopher McQuarrie doesn't only know how to put an action scene together; he also doesn't forget about creating characters who make sense. Hunt is a super spy, but not a mad killer, and he doesn't want to get innocent people killed. He penchant for wanting as little collateral damage as possible makes for some interesting moments.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout is an exuberant, near-perfect action-spy-thriller and is the most fun I've had at the movies this summer.