HOLLYWOOD—I don’t know a franchise where you have sequels that can be uneven. The first “Mission: Impossible” was fun, “Mission: Impossible II” was 10x better, “Mission: Impossible III” was terrible. After that we thought the franchise wouldn’t bounce back, but we got the fantastic “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” which I loved. That success was followed up by “Mission: Impossible – Rouge Nation” which was mediocre, but now we have “Mission: Impossible – Fallout.”

What can I say about “Fallout?” It was utterly fantastic, sensational and easily one of the best flicks in the franchise and that’s after six entries, that is screaming a lot America. So why does this franchise continue to excel when so many others falter? Two words: Tom Cruise! This guy is the epitome of what it means to be a Hollywood action-star, and at the age of 57, Cruise is proving he is always game to take the audience on a journey from start to finish, as CIA agent Ethan Hunt.

This mission introduces some new faces with Angela Bassett, Vanessa Kirby, Henry Cavill and Wes Bentley. What is so fun about this latest entry is that it finds a way to take elements from previous flicks particularly the fourth and fifth installments and implement them in this latest chapter. Hunt who after thwarting the plans of his enemy Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) in “Rogue Nation,” is attempting to stop the remaining members of The Syndicate, who have now formed The Apostles from implementing a terrorist attack by utilizing plutonium cores.

Some might find the plot slightly intricate and to a degree that holds true, but the web is not that layered to where you can’t follow the story if you’re paying attention. Tired of Hunt and his crew constantly taking matters into their own holds, the new Director of the CIA, Erica Sloane (Bassett) instructs August Walker (Cavill) to follow Hunt and his team as they attempt to retrieve the three plutonium cores. That mission introduces hunt to the White Widow played with perfection by Vanessa Kirby. Cavill brings a character to the franchise that is elusive and a bit of a mystery. He’s like Ethan Hunt, but his physicality is 10x larger making him a massive threat to Hunt and his team of allies which includes Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), Benji (Simon Pegg) and Luther (Ving Rhames).

“Fallout” presents this great mystery of allure; as a spectator you don’t know who to trust, who is loyal and who is about to deliver a surprise you never expected. “Mission: Impossible” is known for delivering curveballs and this latest entry delivers a ton of surprises that keeps the viewer on the edge of his or her seat from start to finish.

The script, written by Christopher McQuarrie is clever, original and paced with perfection. Just to note people, McQuarrie is the same guy who penned the script and directed “Ghost Protocol.” That is all I need to know to sell me on the seventh entry in the franchise that I’m certain will happen in the near future. If it’s not broken don’t try to fix it, when will Hollywood learn that valuable lesson?

When I think of action, the visuals and stunts in “Fallout” do not disappoint. Cruise is in top shape, even after breaking his ankle attempting to perform a stunt where he jumped from one building to another. That bathroom fight sequence is amazing, and that helicopter scene during the climax is exhilarating, epic and a thrill-a-minute. Hands down “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” is the best action flick and the best sequel I’ve seen in 2018. Tom Cruise and company have another hit on their hands America.