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Cruise tops himself in new 'Mission: Impossible...'
What's in with Justin
mission imp
There are plenty of explosions and various vehicle chases in "Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation." - photo by Studio photo

At the age of 53, Tom Cruise is, beyond debate, the most exciting and fearless actor to watch doing amazing stunts, mainly because we wonder how much he’s going to top what he’s done before.

That is no more evident than in “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation,” the fifth installment of the highly successful franchise. Not only does this film provide the most sensational, awe-inspiring stunts and action sequences for this series, but it also gives us the best “Mission” to date.

Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt, head of the IMF — or Impossible Mission Force for those keeping track at home — who’s on the trail of a criminal organization known as The Syndicate, a kind of “anti-IMF,” as it’s said at one point. Syndicate members are basically trained to do what Hunt and his team do, only the exact opposite.

Alec Baldwin costars as a CIA director who wants to disband the IMF, but allows them their last blast by tracking down and capturing The Syndicate. So, once again, Cruise assembles his band of brothers back for another mission: Brandt (Jeremy Renner), computer-savvy Luther (Ving Rhames) and wise-cracking Benji (Simon Pegg).

The movie gives us the typical action sequences that are breathtaking despite their level of ludicrousness or preposterousness. The opening sequence sees Cruise jumping onto an A-400 airplane as it takes off, with Cruise hanging outside the door at 5,000 feet.

Another sequence has Cruise diving into an underwater power station and holding his breath for three minutes.

With these types of movies, it’s not like we go to see them for the great writing or solid acting, although there’s plenty of both to be had with this entry. No, these movies are all about the stunts and the action sequences, which deliver sensationally. They could rival anything from a “Fast & Furious” movie or even “Transformers.”

Cruise continuously tops himself with this franchise, and it makes me tingle with extreme anticipation for what he’s going to do for the inevitable sixth movie — or as it will be called in England, “MI6.”

Grade: A

Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence and brief partial nudity.

Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.

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