'Mission: Impossible - Fallout'
"Rogue Nation" director and writer Christopher McQuarrie proves he is one of the best action movie directors working right now by reinventing his visual approach here in a very Pakula/Gordon Willis way while being the only filmmaker to ever return for another installment in the "Mission" franchise. 22 years since the first film hit theaters, Tom Cruise is still running and jumping and hanging off things better than you or anyone could possibly imagine. The stakes are, on paper, impossibly high (nukes are in the hands of bad men) but they are also very familiar. McQuarrie's script has fun subverting all the expectations surrounding the "been there, done that" feel of the exposition-dragged plot, and his execution of the majority of practically shot action scenes give McQ bragging rights over the Bond movies. Especially that third act finale involving two helicopters and Cruise hanging off one of them in glorious IMAX. Seriously, the last 20 minutes or so are worth paying to see this movie twice. "Fallout" is both this franchise's "Skyfall" and "Spectre," striving for the greatness of the former while stumbling occasionally into the ho-hum, cartoony nature (and gritty color palette) of the latter. It's not the best "Mission," but it is -- pound for pound -- one of the best action movies of this or any year.