It’s now been 22 years since the first Mission Impossible film. I remember seeing and thoroughly enjoying Brian De Palma’s spy thriller in the cinema at the time, but I never expected the franchise to be going strong all these years later, especially after the sequel was a big disappointment.

In retrospect, it seems like a good decision to have taken a five year break after the adequate third entry in the series, because since then Tom Cruise as IMF agent Ethan Hunt and his team have served up three brilliant stunt-filled action movies.

Mission Impossible : Fallout is pretty much a direct sequel to Rogue Nation, bringing back the villain, Solomon Lake (Sean Harris) and MI6 agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) as well as regular cast members Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg. I don’t think it quite hits the heights of the previous movie but it is still head and shoulders above the rest of the summer blockbusters. The plot involving missing plutonium cores is as convoluted as you would expect and the action set pieces are terrifically handled by returning director John McQuarrie.

In fact it is those sequences – Ethan jumping from a plane, being chased on a motorbike in Paris and doing the chasing on foot in London – that are the highlights. The climax even manages to involve that hoary old chestnut of cutting wires on a bomb as the digital timer ticks down and still be brilliantly exciting.

I also enjoyed some subtler moments, such as a scene of Ethan following Ilsa that felt like a De Palma homage and there were a few decent laughs, especially during a superbly choreographed fight in a toilets.

Admittedly there isn’t much scope for the cast to show their acting abilities and Cavill is as wooden as ever. Also there are some clumsy moments in the script as a couple of phrases are overused for supposedly comic effect, but those are minor gripes. This is top-notch entertainment and I’m already anticipating the seventh entry in the series.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10