With Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, we're getting the best Bond movie since Casino Royale in 2006.
The franchise has gradually refined its combination of jaw-dropping action set pieces and sleekly cool world of espionage into something that's approaching pop perfection.
Of the many heists and grabs that litter the movie, none is as blatant as the deft, irrepressible manner in which Ferguson, displaying a light smile and a brisk way with a knife, steals the show.
You don't overcome the "impossible" by thinking it over a little more carefully. You overcome it through the application of sheer, unvarnished willpower, a quality that Cruise has always possessed in abundance.
Everything, even Alec Baldwin's tight and itchy turn as a CIA buzzkill, is mere window-dressing to Cruise's attempts to kill himself on-screen.
Writer-director Christopher McQuarrie, whose action movie skills are at best high-adequate, compensates by being good at interpersonal stuff. He can make us feel for the characters as something more than action toys.
The most reliable blockbuster series going: Five films, some weirder than others, but not a stinker in the bunch.
"Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" is industrial-strength, stunt-stuffed, thoroughly soulless, yet eminently watchable cinema.
"Rogue Nation" is pretty much like most of the "Impossible" movies in that it's an immense machine that Mr. McQuarrie, after tinkering and oiling, has cranked up again and set humming ...