Sixth time’s the charm!
One would think that the sixth film in the Mission: Impossible franchise is when things would go down the slope, especially after the three previous chapters were a hit after hit due to the fact that the action scenes Tom Cruise star in are incredible. First it was the Dubai building scene, then it was Cruise hanging to his life on a cargo airplane. Now he’s doing stunts after stunts in the new installment of the franchise. I thought to myself “There’s no way they can top the previous films, they’re gonna drain this franchise soon”.
Man, am I glad to be wrong!
Without bringing up major spoilers, Mission: Impossible Fallout (Directed by Christopher McQuairre) starts a few months after where Rogue Nation left off. The Syndicate is done, but a group of terrorist called “The Apostles” threaten to set off three nuclear bombs in three different locations in order to bring peace (“The bigger the pain, the bigger the peace”, as they say). When things go south for the IMF team, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) must race against time in order to find three plutonium that were taken by the Apostles before the bombs are detonated. While Luther (Ving Rhames), Benji (Simon Pegg) and IMF Secretary Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) are up for the call of duty, the CIA steps in to intervene in the mission. Erica Sloane (Angela Bassett) assigns Agent Walker (Henry Cavill) to join Hunt and personally get the plutonium. With a big scale scenario, lots chase sequences, mixed with plot twists along the way, you get a Mission: Impossible movie. Is the film any good? YES! Is it perfect? Almost. Does it really matter? Absolutely not.
The biggest highlight of Fallout is the action. It sounds repetitive (especially with the M:I films), but the action set pieces are amazing. Every single frame from a chase, fight or action sequence that occurs in the film is brilliantly designed to wrap the audience and say, “Hey, what you’re seeing is real”. These well constructed and directed stunts, accompanied with a great score by Lorne Balfe, extremely well-edited sound mixing, and one the most beautiful cinematography work (Rob Hardy) I’ve seen in years, made my, and the audience’s, jaw drop. You feel the intensity of every inch of movement, punch, run, and tiredness they bring to the screen. They aren’t just action scenes for entertainment purposes, they’re there to move the plot further.
Another highlight of Fallout is that it still manages to keep its “espionage style” identity. There’s plenty of twist and turns that grounds the film’s core idea of a classified group that deals with impossible missions. I do have to admit that the film does repeat the whole, “The government is not helping out, we’re on our own,” idea from the previous two films, but it isn’t a major turndown. It still works for this film, but I’m afraid that a fourth time will not suffice if they want to continue producing more movies.
But my favorite action sequence of the film has to be the Paris chase sequences. I saw this film in IMAX 3D, and I implore everyone to do the same. Again, the stunts itself made by Cruise are amazing, especially when it’s him on a bike on the opposite side of the road while cars rapidly pass him by, but the shots and the score that accompanied them brings it full circle. And I haven’t even talked about the colorization of this film. I could go on about the production level of the film, but it’s best to experience it.
If at this point in your life you don’t believe that Tom Cruise is the best action star in Hollywood, this film will change your mind. Cruise is so dedicated to his stunts that he’ll risk his life for the art of entertainment, and it’s visible through the film. The part that hit the most was the scene where he jumps a building and he injured his foot. When that scene appeared and the shot kept rolling I was mind blown how they didn’t cut out the shot of him limping.
This man will literally die for our entertainment, and while I wish he would slow down a bit, I appreciate the fact that he does it because he respects the audience. It’s very easy to just set up a green screen, and some layers and textures and call it a day, but it’s those details of realism that helps captivate the viewers into believing that everything they’re seeing is real, because almost everything is.
Henry Cavill was a delight to see in this film. His character might not be the most impressive of the franchise, but he really stepped up for this role as Walker. The stunts he pulled in the bathroom scene had me in shock of how raw and realistic it looked. I’m honestly looking forward to seeing him in more action films (and anxiously waiting for a Man of Steel sequel), because he showed more potential as an action star in Fallout than in any of the DC films he’s starred.
Seeing the recurring cast from the previous films was also fun. Benji and Luther are still the hilarious partners in crime, Ilsa is still the badass female agent, and even Hunley was great to see on the field. I also love the small comedic moments in the film. It has a darker tone than the others, but it’s never too aggressive on it. At times, the film has fun with itself and brings some moments that made audiences chuckle.
Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), once again as the villain, was greater than ever. He was menacing in Rogue Nation, but wasn’t anything grand in the scale of the franchise. Thankfully, he stepped it up here. I don’t want to spoil anything, but something happened at the third arc of the film that took his evil schemes on a whole other level. It’s a shocking reveal that will have most fans of M:I gripping their seats, because it raised the stakes on the plutonium/bomb issue the characters are trying to resolve.
The only part that lacked for the film is the plot. It’s pretty predictable for the most part, and if you’ve ever seen a movie with the same premise then it’s easy to pick out what’s going to happen through it. The reality is that these movies aren’t made to reinvent the wheel. The premise and how it’ll end is not the main focus, and instead it’s how the narrative, along with the action, will take these characters to the finish line.
Mission: Impossible Fallout is the biggest Summer Blockbuster of the decade. The sixth film in the franchise that treats moviegoers with respect while still bringing a lot to the table. From now on, Fallout will be the modern action film to study for directors or movie buffs alike. It’s not just “mindless popcorn action flick in July”, it’s an intelligent movie in general. The action set pieces, the mind blowing cinematography and the beautiful score are more than enough for the fans of the M:I franchise, who will love this film, and action film fans will adore the heck out of it.
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Review Written By: Christian Quiles