It is a testament to McQuarries work on that film, that he becomes the first director to return to the franchise. Episodes one to five all had different men at the helm. This time, a botched mission leads Hunt and his team into a race against time to recover three stolen nuclear warheads, however their efforts are hampered by the involvement of the CIA who, doubting Hunts motives, assign an agent to shadow their every move. Henry Cavill joins the cast as said CIA Operative August Walker, a muscular powerhouse who provides an interesting foil to the diminutive and resourceful Hunt. Angela Bassetts CIA chief Erica Sloan sums it up perfectly when she describes Walker as a Hammer compared to Hunts scalpel. The plot is complicated but engaging, cleverly linking events from previous films into the narrative, with Sean Harris returning as the villainous Solomon Lane and Rebecca Ferguson reprising her role of British agent Ilsa Faust. Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames also return as IMF team members Benji and Luther. As with many of its predecessors, the story becomes more and more convoluted as things progress, but the films rapid pace and inventive action set pieces make it a thrilling watch. The ageless Cruise again performed many of the stunts himself. In fact, production had to be halted for seven weeks when the actor broke his ankle leaping from a building. The story also adds a personal angle to proceedings as Hunts wife Julia, played by Michelle Monaghan, is reintroduced as the despicable Lane. This pinpoints, Hunts compassion for others as a weakness to be exploited. Clocking in at nearly two and a half hours, the film is at least 20 minutes too long, but its never boring and viewers will no doubt find themselves feeling exhausted by the time the nerve shredding finale has concluded. If gritty realism is what youre after, you may want to look elsewhere. Fallout is preposterous in places, yet still undeniably entertaining. An ambitious, adrenaline soaked summer blockbuster.