FRIDAY, JULY 27, 2018 -- There are two separate scenes in Tom Cruise's latest episode of Mission: Impossible, that may have you quietly asking yourself a silly question. I'll answer it for you now so that you can sit back and enjoy the literal non-stop action of the film. Rebecca Ferguson and Vanessa Kirby are both 5'7", the same height as Cruise...so he didn't have to wear lifts in his shoes.


Hollywood shoots around Cruises height in most of his action films, audiences apparently wouldn't go for a short action hero (though most are). Consequently when he's standing around just chatting in a scene, directors tend to avoid shots of him standing next to someone taller than he. So you won't see scenes of him standing eyeball-to-eyeball with Ving Rhames, Alec Baldwin (both 6'0"), Simon Pegg (5'10") or Henry Cavill (6'1"). But he does have two such scenes with Ferguson, Kirby and Michelle Monaghan - also 5'7"; good fit.


Now that I've gotten that piece of trivia out of the way, get ready to enjoy perhaps the most entertaining of all the MI films; "MI-Fallout" has more action than ever with a just thick enough plot loosely woven around it. In fact, the plot is so routine, you don't even concern yourself with it. News flash: Diabolical secret organization that has connections everywhere plans on destroying half the world population with nukes made from black market materials. Ho hum.

The black market material in question are three canisters of weapons grade plutonium which Ethan Hunt (Cruise) let slip through his fingers in the first fifteen minutes of the film. He loses it when he decides to save his colleague Luther (Rhames) from gun point. This doesn't set well with big federal boss lady Erica Sloan (the extremely sexy looking Angela Bassett - 5"4") who scolds IMF director Alan Hunley (Baldwin), insisting they take along super stud CIA assassin August Walker (Cavill) to monitor the activities. And if necessary - kill Hunt.


From there, the story takes on the old cat and mouse routine; only with one mouse and several cats - CIA, a secret organization called the Apostles; and Hunts old gal pal Ilsa (Ferguson). During the course of trying to get the plutonium back he encounters a blonde arms broker calling herself White Widow (Kirby) and his old nemesis Solomon Lane (Sean Harris - 6'0"), whom he nabbed in "MI-Rogue Nation".


That's the story with about two hours of foot chases, motorcycle chases, helicopter chases, bathroom fights, underground shootouts, and other far-fetched but truly entertaining action. It may be more action than the 56-year old Cruise has displayed in the 22-years since the first MI film. So it seems only fitting that he gets to fight superman (Cavill).


Director Christopher McQuarrie certainly has a eye for staging the action, taking scenes that have been used before and making them nail-biting and fresh. Bruce Geller (creator of the original series) would be proud. But more importantly to Tom Cruise fans, he knows how to film the diminutive star so that he seems bigger than life.


The film runs two hours twenty minutes, but it doesn't feel like it. Moreover, this is one of the few films I would recommend seeing in the IMAX format if it's available.


"Mission: Impossible - Fallout" is perhaps the most action packed of all the MI films and will thrill those who want to live on the edge of their seats watching Tom Cruise take on the big boys.   -- GRADE B+ --   GEOFF BURTON