The Mission: Impossible franchise remains one of the sturdiest in the history of action films. Against all odds, the series has not only managed to keep churning out movies every 4 years, but to keep them pretty consistently good. And it seems they’ve done it again with Rogue Nation.

So, how does the franchise stay fresh? Well for one thing, they like to mix things up. Every single film is handed off to a different director. While all the previous directors have been heavyweights (Brian DePalma, John Woo, JJ Abrams, and Brad Bird), they took an interesting approach with this one and hired a relative unknown who had already worked with Tom Cruise in the past. I suspect that Cruise has more creative control over these movies than anyone at this point, which is how Edge of Tomorrow co-director Chris McQuarrie got the gig. Still, he does a surprisingly good job.

Like any good M:I movie, it’s action-packed, loads of fun to watch, and littered with plot holes. The cast is phenomenal, with returning favorites like Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg as well as newcomers like Rebecca Ferguson and Sean Harris. They’re great, the action’s great, and… well, that’s about it. What more do you want out of a Mission: Impossible flick? A plot? A mission that’s actually impossible? A reason why Ethan Hunt is still loyal to the IMF even though they’ve betrayed him countless times? Pfffft.

Another thing that makes these movies so great is how genuine they are. I’m sure you know already that Tom Cruise does his own stunts. In this one, he holds his breath underwater for six minutes and straps himself onto the side of a plane in flight, in case you needed another reminder that Tom Cruise is batshit insane. But while most of the action could have easily been done with green screens and jump cuts, it just feels so much more exciting when they’re really happening. That’s why more movies (Jupiter Ascending, Star Wars) are leaning towards practical effects: people enjoy them more.

So overall, I give Rogue Nation an A. I couldn’t have asked for much more. I have a few cool articles on the way, but my laptop is out of commission for a few days so I’ve been writing them on my phone. They’ll be here though. In the meantime, you can like this post if you like it, follow my blog if you like it like it, and follow me on Twitter @BreakingPoorly if that’s what you’re into.