‘Mission Impossible — Fallout’ is the best flick of the summer

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At 56, Tom Cruise would seem better fit for a Carnival Cruise than for the high-octane ass-kickery of agent Ethan Hunt.But in the superb “Mission: Impossible — Fallout,” Cruise seems more energetic than he did back when he jumped on Oprah’s couch.

Here, Cruise leaps, parkour-like, across London rooftops. He jumps out of a plane at 25,000 feet. He pilots a helicopter through the mountains. When the 57-year-old Roger Moore starred in “A View to a Kill,” he spent most of that movie in front of a green screen pretending to snowboard.

Not Cruise.The actor’s complete willingness to treat his body like a crash-test dummy is part of what makes “Mission: Impossible” the best ongoing action series out there. The other is its simple, high-stakes setups.

“Fallout,” for instance, could have been titled “Mission: Impossible — Find the Nukes.”Hunt’s mission, which he chooses to accept, is to recover three plutonium cores for sale on the black market.

The IMF, his intelligence agency, has learned they’ll be used by a boneheaded scientist to build weapons to forge a new world order. “The greater the suffering, the greater the peace,” the madman says in his wacko manifesto.

Hunt’s geek squad (Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg) tracks the plutonium to Paris, where it’s to be sold by a broker called the White Widow (Vanessa Kirby).Kirby, who played Princess Margaret on “The Crown,” is smashing as the Widow, a character whose big, searching eyes betray either genius or lunacy.

 

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