Family Movie Review: Mission: Impossible - Fallout (PG-13)

With each installment, the 'Mission: Impossible' franchise gets more intense and more finessed. 'Fallout,' its sixth film, is packed with amazing action sequences and an effectively twisty-turny plot and takes the series to new heights.

Kernel Rating: 4.5 out of 5

MPAA Rating: PG-13       Length: 147 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 12+. The "Mission: Impossible" films have a pretty set formula at this point, to which "Fallout" adheres: there are numerous action sequences including fighting and hand-to-hand violence; some shoot-outs, one involving a sniper; car and helicopter crashes and chases; the threat of a nuclear attack; characters deaths; some cursing; and some flirting and sexual tension between a few characters.

By Roxana Hadadi

Each "Mission: Impossible" franchise installment is crazier than the last, and "Fallout" is an enjoyable pinnacle of insanity. We've seen Tom Cruise climb skyscrapers with no support gear, jump out of airplanes, run through sandstorms, and do whatever it takes to push his body to the limit, to portray IMF agent Ethan Hunt as the sole person who can save the world from imminent destruction. "Fallout" is more of the same, but this franchise's pursuit of perfection makes each film feel distinct, separate, and explosively thrilling.

MissionImpossibleFallout ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReview"Fallout" picks up where 2015's "Rogue Nation" left off, in which IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Cruise, of "The Mummy") captures international terrorist and rogue operative Solomon Lane (Sean Harris). Two years later, Lane's disciples of the group the Syndicate are now being referred to as the Apostles, and are committed to spreading paranoia, fear, and chaos throughout the world.

They're aided by people who are sympathetic to the idea of a nuclear war wiping out of most of civilization ("There's never been peace first without a great suffering" is a line from one "apocalyptic manifesto"), and so it falls on Hunt and his team to track down three plutonium cores and recover them before they can fall into the wrong hands. But the IMF is also embroiled in an intergovernmental showdown with the CIA, and so Hunt is forced to work with CIA agent August Walker (Henry Cavill, of "Justice League"), an assassin who is tasked with monitoring his actions.

The next two hours are devoted to jumping out of airplanes, infiltrating exclusive parties with weapons dealers, breaking out prisoners, evading snipers, and double cross after double cross. The "Mission: Impossible" franchise has never shied away from goofy stuff like masks and play-acting to snag baddies, and so those more light-hearted elements are juxtaposed with action set pieces that are engaging and over-the-top. You think that car chase is going to wrap up? It keeps going! You think the dueling helicopers are going to run out of fuel? They don't! And the film also does a great job with its supporting actors, in particular Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Monaghan, and new franchise additions Vanessa Kirby and Angela Bassett, who round out the cast and all play off Cruise quite well.

This summer has had a lot of movies with visual spectacle, like Dwayne Johnson's "Skyscraper" and Marvel's "Ant-Man and the Wasp," but "Mission: Impossible - Fallout" is the one that draws you in the fastest, wrings you out with its intensity, and leaves you looking forward to the next go-round. "Fallout" is what happens when a franchise doesn't settle, and it will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time.

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