Tom Cruise (as Ethan Hunt) saves the world one more time, and it won't be the last, I can guarantee it!
In this sixth instalment of the 'Miss. Imp.' series the implausible and needlessly convoluted storyline is again the 'hook' of an excuse on which to stage spectacular, prolonged chases, interspersed with fights - fists, sharp implements, guns - in which Cruise never has to pause to take a breather, his shots are bang on target while his adversaries always seem to miss, and any injuries are shrugged off as not consequential enough to slow him down. It's the same scenario in every one of this series, which is not to say that it's less than thrilling because I can't imagine that anyone demanding 'action' will feel let down.
Locations are (mainly) Paris, London and Kashmir, where Cruise is out to find and render useless three plutonium bombs(!) which have been masterminded by a crazed anarchist (Sean Harris) who is already set on destroying three of the world's 'holy' cities - Rome, Jerusalem and - was it Mecca? There's considerable argy-bargy between the American CIA (represented by Alec Baldwin and Angela Bassett) and British MI6 which got me lost very quickly, and is why Simon Pegg is on board (for 4th time) to assist Cruise on his mission - he and Ving Rhames (again, his 5th appearance) have now become regulars in the series, though the latter doesn't have that much to do or say other than loom in the background as a reassuring presence, Pegg having the more substantial role.
Once again we have the device of facial masks being removed to reveal that the character we thought it was turning out to be someone else. This is getting a bit tired now, I feel. Also, all those regulation injections in the neck - truth serums and God knows what else. Oh dear! And in the mix now there's Henry Cavill whom Cruise tows along on his mission with some reluctance.
This is Christopher McQuarrie's fourth feature film as director, he also having directed the previous M.I. - he's also the writer. He does fill in all the boxes as required, even if coherence in this two and a half hour film may not be its strongest suit.
I did feel quite caught up by all three big chases which did get my pulse racing at times, though not all the time. The challenge for McQuarrie was to do something a bit different from what we've seen before in countless thrillers like this. The actual mechanics of the chases may have a couple of original touches here but the formula is the same as it's always been - only with Lalo Schifrin's unexceptional motto theme blasting out every few seconds to pin it down to Miss. Imp. in case we forget. And as for Cruise doing all his own stunts (and breaking an ankle in the process - a moment at which I cringed) it really was an astonishing achievement for him.
I don't think I got as much out of this as for some of the previous M.I.s, though all the others have more or less merged into one in my memory. I know I liked the first (1996) but as to putting the rest in order of liking I'd need a refresher, though wouldn't be keen on seeing any of them for a second time.
This film does what you'd expect and it can't be faulted on those grounds. Whether you'd class it as superior, solid entertainment would depend on what gives you a buzz. My own rating speaks for itself..............6.
(IMDb.................8.4 / Rotten Tomatoes.........also 8.4)
2 hours ago