You know that story about how, if you put a frog in a pot of water and bring it to the boil, the poor creature, because its body temperature rises with the heating water, is unaware that it is being boiled to death? Watching Tom Cruise is a bit like that. He is a fine actor, there’s no getting away from it (eg Rain Man, Collateral, American Made) but there is a tipping point in movies such as this – usually at about the one-hour mark – where, like that dying frog, you realise what an insufferably conceited tool he is. Director Christopher McQuarrie has backed up from M: I – Rogue Nation (2015) with an even bigger and better adventure for the indestructible Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and, carp as I or any other non-fan might, it is an impressive example of what can be done with smoke and mirrors in the cinema today. This time around Ethan’s task is to track down the Apostles, a sinister outfit that has nefariously obtained a dangerous amount of plutonium, and save us all from being blown to Kingdom Come. It is pretty much ‘as you were’ as far as plotting goes, but the stunts are absolutely brilliant, as is the photography of Rob Hardy – some of the aerial shots are breathtaking. Over time, the series has also, if not softened, then become a more ‘human’, with Simon Pegg included to add a note of much-needed levity and Michelle Monaghan returning as Ethan’s wife, Julia (from M:#4 – I had forgotten all about her). Tom screaming through Paris on his motorbike before surviving a head-on with a car is pretty specky, but that is nothing compared to him clinging to a cliff-face as the film approaches its climax. It is hard to argue that this is not the best yet of the Mission: Impossible franchise, but that is not to say that it is everybody’s cup of tea. It’s not mine – so just call me Kermit.
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