Evergreen action hero Cruise returns in latest ‘Mission Impossible’

Mission Impossible: Fallout, with Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson and Alec Baldwin. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie.

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CRUISE AND THE CREW: The Mission Impossible team returns in ‘Fallout’, now showing at Rosehill Cinema. From left are Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and Luther Stickwell (Ving Rhames)

IF you’re not a zealous fan, keeping track of the Mission Impossible movies can be difficult.

Especially the most recent two movies before this one, Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation, kind of blend into each other in memory, but you know they are basically about a tightly-knit team of secret agents saving the world.

One constant is that Tom Cruise never seems to age, and he’s always running. A standard feature of all his action films is that he spends a lot of the time sprinting. In Fallout, there’s a high-drama parkour pursuit with Cruise’s character, Ethan Hunt, running and jumping over rooftops in London.

It’s also reassuring seeing the re-appearance of team members Luther Stickwell (Ving Rhames) and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg).

Another returning face is villain Solomon Lane (Sean Harris). Two years after Hunt captured Lane, the remaining members of his organisation The Syndicate have reformed into a terrorist group called The Apostles.

Hunt’s mission (if he accepts it, of course) is to intercept the sale of three plutonium cores to the group, who are acquiring them for mysterious criminal called John Lark.

The mission goes wrong, and Hunt chooses to save Luther’s life over securing the plutonium. The worst outcome is expected, as Lark has already shown his willingness to use weapons of mass destruction by unleashing a smallpox plague in Kashmir.

One constant is that Tom Cruise never seems to age, and he’s always running.

At this point the CIA steps in and Hunt is forced to work with CIA assassin August Walker (Henry Cavill moving away from heroic typecasting) in another attempt to retrieve the plutonium.

It’s an awkward team-up, and the impetuous Walker soon gets Hunt into trouble. Their mission is to infiltrate a fundraiser party in Paris, find John Lark and take his place before he does a deal with the arms dealer known as the White Widow (Vanessa Kirby).

One of the best action scenes – in a movie filled with action – is the fight between Hunt, Walker and Lark (or who we first believe to be Lark) in the men’s bathroom at the Grand Palais. Lark is getting the better of them until the surprise appearance of MI6 agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), another face from previous MI films.

With his gadgetry needed to impersonate Lark damaged, Hunt does it on the fly, making a deal with the White Widow that necessitates freeing his old foe Lane from an armoured convoy in Paris.

One of the best elements since the first movie is the subterfuge and not knowing who to trust, and Hunt himself is implicated as a master manipulator as the action moves to London and then a final showdown in Kashmir.

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