Tom Cruise lays claim to be The Last Great Movie Star in this bombastically entertaining action thriller that takes an already-stellar series to giddy new heights.

Although the franchise has always sought to make the stakes personal for Cruise's superspy Ethan Hunt, Fallout incorporates the character's history more integrally this time around, making this very much the On Her Majesty's Secret Service of the Mission: Impossible films.

The specific plot machinations are as ridiculous as ever, but Cruise's boundless on-screen charisma and highly-evident action chops ensure you'll never question anything.

Fallout features two notable franchise firsts: a returning director (regular Cruise collaborator Christopher McQuarrie, who also wrote the screenplay) and a returning villain (Sean Harris' Soloman Lane).

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Both gambits work well – McQuarrie's command of the large-scale set-pieces is astounding, wringing every possible thrill out of the relentlessly inventive action sequences. Harris is a snivelling, ratty delight, but not necessarily the only antagonist in the movie.

Henry Cavill's ruthless CIA enforcer August Walker makes for a welcome foil to Hunt, and the frisson between the two characters wonderfully enhances the film.

Much has been made of Cruise's willingness to muck in and do his own stunts, of which there are more than usual, including an already-famous leap between two buildings that broke the star's ankle.

Although viewers might not have necessarily discerned that Cruise is doing his own stunts if it wasn't the centrepiece of the film's marketing campaign, there is no denying that the sequences gain an enhanced tactility thanks to the lead actor's willingness to put his own body on the line.

This tactility permeates the entire movie, a grand action affair that simply must be enjoyed on the big screen.

Starring:

Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg,

Director:

Christopher McQuarrie

Running time:

147 minutes

Rating:

M (Violence)

Verdict:

Over the top in the best way possible.