Our film critic David Edelstein reports on the latest in the unstoppable espionage franchise:
The sixth "Mission: Impossible" movie with Tom Cruise keeps getting good reviews, and I have to ask the question: Why is this ridiculous series so strong? ? Is it the premise? Or is it the annoying, but amazingly gifted star?
There are a few clues in the original TV incarnation that ran on CBS from 1
When Tom Cruise took control of the title in 1996, he kept Schifrin's theme, but confused the teamwork concept, making his character, Ethan Hunt, a lone wolf.
The director was the greatbut Cruise was the muscle.
And for the second movie, he hired Hong Kong hotshot John Woo to make him a super cool kung fu hunk. He looked like a donkey, but the movie went well.
For J.J. Abrams & # 39; Mission: Impossible III, Cruise went back to the team idea. Ving Rhames had been aboard from the start, but now Simon Pegg was a Comic Chatterbox, which helped him out.
But it was number 4, "Ghost Protocol," that turned "Mission: Impossible" into an event. The director was animator Brad Bird of "The Incredibles" a genius who showed how the best plans can become worst-case scenarios.
Christopher McQuarrie's # 5, "Rogue Nation," was almost as good, bringing Swedish-born actress Rebecca Ferguson, who stole the film. But that was okay, because the goal was different. People had started disliking Cruise after his couch-jumping antics with Oprah and public affiliation with the Church of Scientology. Suddenly, the goal of "Mission: Impossible" was to make him vulnerable .
This is also the theme of the latest movie "Mission: Impossible – Fallout", again directed by McQuarrie. The script is "Mission: Impossible to Follow," but the movie is still fun, with whiplash and a lively ensemble, including Ferguson (hurray!) And Henry Cavill as a rival who radiates his beauty.
While Cruise fights against an apocalyptic organization called the Apostle, we re-register how he has suffered for us and will suffer more, feel every blow, and finally lift the face of a cliff after a helicopter accident that would kill a smaller one paid actor
I admit that I do not find Cruise particularly appealing, but I have no doubt why he is a star and why this new film has been so successful: no one gets more or less involved so many possibilities that nothing is impossible.
For more information:
More from David Edelstein:
Story by Aria Shavelson.
© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.