By DARLA HIGGINS
Over the years, it has become common knowledge that Tom Cruise does his own stunts for his high-octane action films.
In “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” those stunts include jumping 25,000 feet out of an airplane (a trick he had to film nine times to get right); dodging scary Paris traffic while on a high-speed, helmet-less motorcycle chase; and doing lots of jumping. Boy, can this man jump.
We seem him taking a running start in order to leap from one London high-rise to another – a stunt that cost the actor a broken ankle, but he chose to limp onto the building and finish the scene anyway.
The only logical explanation for all of this is, of course, that Tom Cruise is a robot. If he’s not, that’s half of what makes this Mission so enjoyable. The following thought is sure to run through most viewers’ heads: “He’s actually doing that!”
Robot or no, it’s impressive.
In the sixth installment of the MI franchise, Cruise reprises his role as Ethan Hunt, an agent with the secret and resourceful IMF, or Impossible Missions Force. The group’s mission this time – should they choose to accept it – is to keep a suitcase full of plutonium from landing in the hands of a group called the Apostles (a.k.a., the bad guys).
The storyline includes a romantic flirtation or two, but that doesn’t get in the way of the movie’s true identity: a cinematic thrill ride. Of course, moviegoers have plenty of action films to choose from these days, but what sets MI apart (besides its ageless star) is the fun element of surprise. Delivered via masks.
Two characters make references to Halloween twice, as some disparage the IMF’s tendency to use disguises. Hey, it’s fun for the audience. While it’s tempting to point out a favorite masked moment in this film, that would be wrong. Just be ready for them.
Those scenes give our action hero at least a minute to catch his breath. It’s been noted that Cruise, at 56, is six years older than Wilford Brimley was in the 1985 movie Cocoon – which, fittingly, is about a group of folks who discover a fountain of youth.
But they still couldn’t leap across real buildings in a single bound.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout is rated PG-13 and is 2 hours and 28 minutes long. For showtimes, see the Marshall Cinema ad on this page or go to Jimplecute1848.com.
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