Tom Cruise thwarts apocalypse in Mission Impossible – Fallout

Movie Review: “Mission Impossible – Fallout,” three stars out of four.

Rebecca Ferguson (left) and Tom Cruise size each other up in this scene from “Mission Impossible – Fallout.” Paramount Pictures and Skydance via AP

Associated Press

Tom Cruise delivers in the ridiculously entertaining “Fallout,” his sixth outing as Ethan Hunt.

As for the plot, well, you may chuckle in confusion. It gets unnecessarily complicated. For most movies, this would be a much bigger problem. But because “Fallout” moves so quickly from one crazy stunt to another, it doesn’t matter.

We begin, as always, with a new mission –this time, it arrives in a hollowed-out copy of Homer’s “Odyssey,” perhaps a reference to Hunt’s own journey. We’ll try to boil it down: The evildoers are the Apostles, terrorists who aim to nuke the world’s top religious sites — the Vatican, Jerusalem and Mecca — and bring on an apocalypse. They’re in league with Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), the criminal mastermind from the last film, who stayed alive and now wants revenge against Hunt, not to mention the global destruction thing.

Of course, it’s the stunts that really matter. And the scenery. Paris has always been beautiful, but there’s a certain frisson you get when arriving with Cruise by way of a plummet from a plane onto the roof of the Grand Palais.

The most dramatic stunts were filmed in New Zealand, standing in for Kashmir. Many people go bungee-jumping there; probably relatively few do it from a moving helicopter. We also see Cruise piloting another helicopter into a seemingly irreversible plunge. A climactic physical fight was shot in Norway, on a cliff that drops into a fjord. And Cruise’s 25,000-foot jump from a plane was filmed in Abu Dhabi.

Much ink has been spent analyzing this enduring phenomenon called Tom Cruise, and what motivates him, onscreen and off. “I just want to entertain people,” he said recently. That’s one mission he can still nail.

“Mission: Impossible — Fallout,” a Paramount Pictures release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America. Running time: 147 minutes.