Mission: Impossible Fallout is ‘the action film of the summer’ says Lewis Pearce.

The Mission: Impossible franchise is a rare beast. It’s a series of films which seems to have only improved in quality with every further instalment. The action bigger, the directing slicker, the stakes higher, these are films which somehow only get better. After the slow but enticing Brian De Palma original and the outrageous and misjudged second film from John Woo, it was the third film in the series which really brought the franchise to new heights. Helmed by JJ Abrams, he added a raw and gritty new approach to Tom Cruise’s now iconic Ethan Hunt and the series has never looked back. Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation (directed by Brad Bird and Christopher McQuarrie respectively) only upped the ante further, cementing the series as one of the best live action franchises in the business.

But nothing can prepare you for the sheer action spectacular which is this sixth instalment. Fallout takes this series to all new heights, now solidifying its place as one of the best action franchises of all time.

Directly following the events of Rogue Nation, we once again follow Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his IMF team who must try and stop a nuclear level disaster following a mission of their own which goes awry.

Tom Cruise is a superstar, an actor whose acting isn’t always top quality but when it comes to action, he’s one of the best that Hollywood has ever seen. Doing all his own stunts is one thing, but here he pushes himself to the limits with some truly awe-inspiring stunt work. This is also the first time which really delves into Hunt’s personal life, leading Cruise to deliver emotion not previously seen by the actor in the role.

This isn’t just the Tom Cruise show however, with great supporting work across the board. Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames continue to have a ton of fun in their respective roles but it’s the females who steal the spotlight. Rebecca Ferguson is once again terrific as is returning face Michelle Monaghan, whilst Angela Bassett and Vanessa Kirby are excellent new additions.

Sadly, the weak link in all of this is Henry Cavill. This was the role which was meant to showcase his acting versatility, but the honest truth is that Cavill seriously struggles. He shines in the action and certainly looks the part but is disappointingly wooden when delivering dialogue. He rocks an American accent which he seems to be trying so hard to nail that it results in zero passion being expressed.

But if you came for the action, there is certainly plenty of it. It’s hefty 147-minute run time can feel bloated on occasions, but it’s needed to provide all the stupendous action that unfolds. The film really does have it all, featuring the best fist fight, motorway chase and helicopter sequence I have seen this year so far.

All of this couldn’t have worked without the beautiful and precise direction of Christopher McQuarrie. He has delivered a breathtaking action extravaganza which has to be seen on the biggest screen possible.

With McQuarrie coming back as the first-ever repeat director for the franchise, this not only feels like the culmination of the previous movie, but a culmination of the series as a whole. It would’ve been the perfect end to finish the series with such a stunning film, but with Fallout’s strong start at the box office it seems this won’t be the last we see of Hunt and the team.

It’s hard to be critical on a genre film so ambitious, but I did feel that the plot became overly convoluted at times and a struggle to keep up with. It also lacks the same level of humour as previous entries, at times taking itself a bit too seriously.

However, aided by Lorne Balfe propulsive score, Fallout is one of the finest action movies I have seen in a very long time. It’s not perfect, but you cannot deny the film of its sheer audacity and confidence in delivering a fun, smart and relentless spy thriller. James Bond, you better be taking notes.

Verdict: A non-stop, action heavy thriller with a star and director working at the peak of their powers. The action film of the summer.

Best Moment: A fist fight in a bathroom is superbly choregraphed and shot. You will feel every punch.

Rating: 8.5/10