With all due respect to Vin Diesel and the Fast & Furious, Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible is the best original franchise that’s still ongoing today. Twenty-two years after the first Mission: Impossible debuted, the franchise continues to get better, the stunts and stakes ascending further into the stratosphere.

The older Tom Cruise gets, the crazier and more impressive his stunts become. And in Mission: Impossible—Fallout, he pulls off some of his best work yet, all in the name of entertainment. Whether he’s riding a motorcycle around the Arc de Triomphe or performing a daring HALO jump, you can’t help but marvel at the 56-year-old actor’s commitment to his craft.

This is part of our “Best of” series. For more, check out our Best Videos Games of 2018 and Best Movies of 2018.

Ever since 2011’s Ghost Protocol, there’s been a dizzying and inceasing tempo to the Mission: Impossible franchise. There’s barely a quiet moment in Fallout, but it never feels overwhelming. After a slow but brief opening, the movie becomes a series of jaw-dropping set pieces that are strung together by clever twists and thrilling espionage. All the while, Cruise is running wildly at full speed, because that’s what he does.

Like Rogue Nation, what makes Fallout so enjoyable is how it doesn’t try to be anything other than Mission: Impossible. It uses the same tricks—there’s even a meta acknowledgement of the face-swapping technique these movies continue to rely on—but they’re what make the franchise so great. Fallout somehow manages to refine the Mission formula so that it doesn’t feel tired. We’re left wanting more.

While Cruise’s HALO jump and high-speed chase through Paris is exhilarating, Fallout really comes into its own thanks to Henry Cavill’s August Walker, a brutish CIA assassin who essentially acts as Cruise’s babysitter. One of the movie’s best scenes involves Walker and Cruise’s Ethan Hunt fighting a man in a nightclub bathroom. How many times have we seen this? Yet, it’s done with such surgical precision that it’s one of the franchise’s most iconic moments.

Fallout doesn’t busy itself with present-day politics or over-complicated mysteries. Instead, it takes a typical action formula and commits wholeheartedly, something that’s exemplified by Cruise’s nonstop drive to entertain. Just when you think the Mission franchise can’t get better, the next installment outdoes the last.

One day, Cruise will be unable to run the way he does, like how Liam Neeson became too old for Taken. But, until that day arrives, let’s hope Cruise and the Mission series can keep it up, because it’s just so damn entertaining.

  • Release Date: July 27, 2018
  • Box Office: $791 million
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%
  • Director: Christopher McQuarrie
  • Starring: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Vanessa Kirby

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