Six films in, the Tom Cruise-led action franchise continues to deliver

When the TV series “Mission: Impossible” rebooted for the big screen in 1996, it didn't really feel like the sort of franchise that had the legs for six films. Of course, “The Fast & the Furious” sure didn't seem like a potential franchise either, but box office money talks.

Here we are a little more than two decades later, and Tom Cruise is still defying the Suppressive Persons and haters as a 56-year-old action star.

And in the sixth installment, “Mission: Impossible - Fallout,” this series continues its fine tradition of releasing movies that are wildly entertaining, stunt-packed popcorn flicks that you can enjoy and almost immediately forget. And that's not a bad thing.

You won't need a refresher on where we last left Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and the gang. One of the great things about these movies is that their mission briefings provide the perfect opening for exposition. “Your plot, should you choose to accept it…”

Hunt is joined by the remaining members of his IMF (Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Alec Baldwin) on a mission to retain some black market plutonium that could fall into the wrong hands. The mission goes awry, and we face the slight global dilemma of some missing nuclear components. Oopsie.

Hunt gets a reluctant partner/rival in Walker (Henry Cavill), a CIA agent assigned to the job of hunting down the lost plutonium.

So, yeah, basically it's another “save the world” plot. You know the drill.

While some of the early superlatives about “Fallout” being among the best action movies in years may have turned my expectations nuclear, there's no denying it was a fun ride.

Ever since this series got a needed jolt with a third chapter directed by J.J. Abrams, these movies are all about wild, death-defying stunt set pieces. And “Fallout” has some doozies, from a high-altitude plane jump to a motorcycle chase scene in Paris that's among the best in years.

And, again teaming with director Christopher McQuarrie, it's Cruise in these sequences, not a stunt double.

McQuarrie keeps the action sequences, international intrigue, romantic subplots, etc., humming along at the perfect pace — one that doesn't give you too much time to think.

It would be a great way for this series to go out with (another) bang, but honestly, who would mind another one of these?