The Mission: Impossible series feels a fair distance away from Brian DePalma’s dark, brooding 1996 effort. Five films and nearly two decades in, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has settled into a comfortable, James Bond-ian groove, singing to a hymnsheet of familiar spy beats. Car chases? Check! Tuxedos? Check! Slightly gratuitous shots of disrobed ladies? Check and mate!
It’s hardly breaking any bold new ground. But as Hunt, Cruise is utterly reliable, his commitment to the role – and what must have been a brutal workout regime – never in doubt. The sundry action sequences are again defined by a signature stunt, again ostensibly done by the Cruiser for real; last time around, he swung rakishly off an Emirati skyscraper. This time, he hangs off an A400 Airbus plane, as it takes off, all within the first blistering five minutes – setting a whippy pace which lasts at least until Sean Harris’ whispering bad guy caricature explains his evil schemes.
Still, it’s undemanding fun. The series is starting to get a whiff of repetition about it – Hunt’s apparent immortality and infallibility stretches the definition of ‘impossible’ ever further – but with Cruise at the wheel, it remains nothing if not solid.