Washington Post movie critic Ann Hornaday (check out the podcast, "At The Movies with Arch and Ann") always says something along the lines of "judge a movie for what it is and what it is trying to do", or words to that effect. In other words, you can't really compare "Caddyshack" to "Citizen Kane", but that doesn't mean that "Caddyshack" isn't a good movie given how it presents itself, i.e., a lowbrow comedy that will make you laugh, often uncontrollably.
That brings us to "Mission: Impossible - Fallout". I went to this because the trailers that I had seen indicated that much of this movie was filmed in Paris, and, having just been to Paris, I wanted to see those gorgeous locations. To that end, this movie delivered the goods in spades. Gorgeous shots of many Paris landmarks.
I also figured that the movie would give the viewer lots of action, exciting and spectacular chases, cartoonish violence, beautiful people, and a convoluted plot so filled with Maguffins that it wouldn't be worth even trying to follow along. Again, these boxes were checked.
On the minus side of the ledger, the movie was two hours and twenty-seven minutes long. Too long by at least a half hour. It also featured one of the oldest cliches in the history of the movies - a countdown clock that our heroes had to beat in order to avoid....well, I'm not going to spoil it for you. You'll have to see for yourselves what the IMF team is up against. At least the filmmakers didn't include a pretty heroine tied to railroad tracks, or a villain twirling his mustache and saying "Why no, Mr. Cruise, I expect you to die!!!"
Speaking of star Tom Cruise, I have always felt that while he may be a bit of a screwball in real life, I also thought that he was and is a really good actor. (Dustin Hoffman won an Oscar for "Rainman", but Cruise was every bit as good as the brother in that movie.) This is the seventh, believe it or not, installment of this "Mission: Impossible" series, and Cruise certainly pulls it off, I suppose, but he is also now 56 years old, and I am not sure how much longer he can pull off these movies that require such boyish devil-may-care charm, if that time hasn't passed already. Still, he does have the right to cash the checks from these blockbusters for as long as movie producers are willing to give them to him.
So, if you are looking for some mindless movie excitement on a summer evening, this movie fits the bill, but at two-and-a-half hours in length, be sure you hit the rest room before it starts and don't drink a large soda while watching. You will be entertained, but at various points in the film you may also find yourself saying something along the lines of "well, this is just ridiculous".
Two and one-half stars from The Grandstander.