Everything old is new again this summer, as many familiar characters and beloved titles — some more than 50 years old — return to the big screen.
That means superheroes, of course, and summer officially began with the second “Avengers” film (opened on May 1 and is still in theaters) and continues with “Ant-Man” and “Fantastic Four.” We’ll also see sequels to Seth MacFarlane’s “Ted” and the Channing Tatum vehicle “Magic Mike.” Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” will get a new sequel.
A family guide to recent movie releases:
In “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation,” Tom Cruise runs faster, fights harder and flies higher. At 53, the actor seems more intent than ever on cementing his beleaguered star power, and he invests so much into his fifth outing as the tireless super-spy Ethan Hunt that he wins you over. For much of the film’s two hours, you forget about the real-world Cruise and all the problematic baggage he carries and just marvel at his efforts, even if they bear a whiff of desperation. Yes, that’s really Cruise hanging off the side of an airplane in the stupendous prologue that opens the movie. Yes, he really did have to hold his breath for long stretches during one of the film’s mammoth setpieces, this one set underwater.
And yes, that really is Cruise hurtling through the streets of Morocco on a motorcycle, roaring after the bad guys. There is evidence of CGI trickery everywhere, but never anything as distracting as the videogame artificiality of, say, “Furious 7.” Cruise and his frequent collaborator Christopher McQuarrie (who wrote “Valkyrie” and “Edge of Tomorrow” and also directed 2012’s old-school “Jack Reacher”) adhere to the proven formula of the “M:I” franchise: Put the hero in a series of impossible, over-the-top predicaments that look as real as possible, then let Cruise’s lock-jawed intensity sell the show.