As ridiculous as they come, Mission Impossible: Fallout is utterly ludicrous and absolutely predictable, but it's still riotously good fun.

For someone who’s never seen a single Mission Impossible film in their life, the prospect of reviewing the much awaited Fallout instalment of the high-octane action series is a daunting one. In its latest instalment, Fallout follows agent, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise), as he jets around the world trying to track down some pesky nuclear-ready Plutonium that’s gone awry. 

There are likely more subplots that fans of the series will note as deeply important to the central thesis of the MI narrative, but for basic clarity, if the bad guys get the weapons, the world goes bang. Vanessa Kirby is sultry as the White Widow, a charity-worker come arms broker who is or isn’t evil but seems to have a lot of thugs at her disposal, and Sean Harris is largely comatose in chains as bad-guy, Solomon Lane, who Hunt let live in the last film because he’s such a good guy, guys. 

Mission Impossible is not James Bond. It serves little purpose to compare them, but, like Mission Impossible itself, not everything has to have a point, rhyme or reason. Hunt is more like a cartoon school-boy as he takes on the world. It’s lucky that at every possible opportunity to kill him, the assassin takes a long hard look at the victim before someone else manages to pop him off first. He’s also got more lives than a Buddhist cat, which is handy since every five minutes he seems to be hanging off a cliff.

Like James Bond, though, Hunt manages to evade the inevitable paperwork. Running around Paris (nabbing all the city-wide landmarks in the space of a two minute car chase), managing to sprint across Blackfriars bridge without attracting the attention of the authorities, and causing a major explosion every five minutes seems to cause no mass panic or even a raised eyebrow. Surely someone would have tweeted about a man standing on the top of the Tate’s chimney, no?

Speaking of facial hair, it’s rather hard to take Hunt seriously as an action hero when he’s standing next to Superman. Henry Cavill is an anatomical beefcake, and in Fallout it’s rather a shame that most of his talent is channelled into his biceps. Like most of the film, his lines are peppered with cheesy throw downs, and unfortunately when his big moment does come towards the end of the film, it’s all rather clunky.

Yes this is all very cynical, and yes it’s also a ludicrous critique of a film in which the lone field agent is solely responsible for saving the world as if intelligence systems work like that any more. But that’s what Mission Impossible is. So at the same time as being absolutely ludicrous, it’s also riotously good fun. Predictable, silly, fun.

★★★★☆

Mission Impossible: Fallout is screening at IMAX screens across the UK from Friday 25th July.