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Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One review – Tom Cruise does it better

Seven films in and nothing about M:I, from the star’s incredible stunt skills to the silly-serious tone, is showing any sign of slowing down

Already, the keynote stunt has become a legend: the one on the poster, the one he reportedly did – for real – six times in one day before he was satisfied. Tom Cruise’s compact body floats free of the motorbike as it drops to earth from between his diamond-hard thighs, having launched him with a throaty roar off an unfeasibly high cliff-edge; he sails through the sky, pulls the ripcord on a nifty little parachute, and swoops down towards … the speeding Orient Express, fully intent on the traditional carriage-top punch-up. We gasped in the audience. Someone behind me went: “Oh shi-i-i …” Carly Simon should have come in with a new song: Fair Enough, Somebody Does It Better.

This outrageously enjoyable spectacle has compelled my awestruck assent with its sheer stamina, scale and brio: the seventh in the Mission: Impossible action franchise with Cruise starring as Ethan Hunt, the mysterious, superfit leader of a top-secret intelligence/combat unit called the Impossible Mission Force, brought in by a shadowy US government agency when they want deniable stuff doing. Their initials of course are IMF, and in this film they finally get round to doing the gag about them not being the International Monetary Fund, the one we reviewers have been doing for years.

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