There’s action aplenty in this latest edition of the “Mission Impossible” franchise as Tom Cruise delivers one astonishing feat after another under the direction of Christopher McQuarrie. Cruise is celebrated for doing his own stunts, and we see abundant evidence of his stalwart daredevil contributions. As if that weren’t enough, check the film’s end credits for the vast list of stuntmen needed to flesh out the almost non-stop succession of physical action in a variety of international settings.

See Tom Cruise as good guy Ethan Hunt racing through Paris streets on a motorcycle. See him skydiving out of an airplane. See him in the cockpit of a helicopter battling another copter. Watch him in hand-to-hand combat. What’s the mission?

The screenplay by McQuarrie and Bruce Geller (based on the television series) concocts a situation in which plotting villains have harnessed plutonium for a plan to set off nuclear explosions that would wipe out populations. Can Hunt and his buddy operatives get to the bombs before they go off as the countdown proceeds? The situation is complicated by shady dealing, wicked adversaries and agency infighting. Naturally, there are attractive women in the mix, including Vanessa Kirby as the so-called White Widow, and other characters played by Angela Bassett, Rebecca Ferguson and Michelle Monaghan. Among key men in the cast are Sean Harris and Alec Baldwin.

The plot, of course, is broad hokum, but you don’t see this film for the solidity of the plot. Action is an order of the day. One can enjoy Cruise for his fleshing out of his character. One can also find pleasure in his stalwart buddies, the amusing Ving Rhames as the tech-savvy Luther and Simon Pegg as Benji, who looks unassuming but can come through gloriously in the crunch.

Also nestled very importantly in the plot is excellent Henry Caville as Walker, officially assigned to keep tabs on Hunt and oversee the mission. But is Walker what he seems?

There is plenty of tension in the screenplay. And director McQuarrie makes the most of the buildup to the climax. Also count on the signature musical theme to erupt at just the right moments. The vast effort that went into making this “Mission Impossible” edition is evident throughout, including great work by the special effects department. For action fans and “Mission Impossible” devotees there is certainly the payoff. I would say that even skeptics about such movies are likely to find themselves riveted by the sheer intensity and bravado of it all. And certainly by Cruise. A Paramount Pictures release. Reviewed July 27, 2018.

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