If you choose to accept this mission, then you’re in for the best roller-coaster ride in the history of the Mission Impossible franchise.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout starts quickly with a botched job in a parking garage that leads the team on a chase around the globe to stop three nuclear bombs from reaching their targets.
This is a movie that, much like other franchise fare, assumes that you know the characters and the set-up and gets going instead of holding you by the hand. That makes for a fast ride that doesn’t let up until the end credits roll, but it also puts this movie squarely in popcorn movie territory.
Writer/Director Christopher McQuarrie turns in a tight but twisty action movie that is exceptionally solid, inventive, engrossing, and satisfying from beginning to end. Any of the reservations that I’ve had with the other Mission Impossible films were totally removed this time. The only film in this franchise that competes with this one is Brad Bird’s Ghost Protocol, and I think this one is better.
McQuarrie, who is a frequent collaborator with Tom Cruise, was the writer of The Usual Suspects, Edge of Tomorrow, and the screenplay for Jack Reacher. He’s put on the directing hat for Reacher, and the last Mission Impossible movie Rogue Nation.
As a screenwriter his bona fides are well-established, but with Fallout, he’s entered the arena as a quality action director too.
If you’re a fan of the original TV series (I am) then you’ll be excited to know that all the twists, and turns, and double-crosses, and teamwork, of the series has finally, and fully, been realized in this movie. The J.J. Abrams-produced MI movies have increasingly adopted the format of the series. Adopting the dressings of the TV series serves this movie well.
There’s no way to really explain the visceral feeling of the action in this movie. Much has been made of the crazy stunts that lead Tom Cruise did to pull off the scenes in this movie, but it really has to be seen on the big screen to fully appreciate how dynamic it is.
The fight scenes are fun and brutal. The chases are breathtaking. The set pieces are wild. This movie really rocks.
Tom Cruise puts on quite a show this time as Ethan Hunt. There’s no great acting talent that’s necessary here, but he certainly put his 56 year old body on the line to entertain you. He’s as charming and present as usual.
Henry Cavill (as August Walker), and the mustache that destroyed Justice League, is exceptional in the role of a CIA agent who is attached to the Impossible Missions Force to keep an eye on them after the screw-up in the parking garage. Cavill is electric as a foil for Hunt’s toxic masculinity. He’s one of the best parts of this movie, and he plays second-fiddle to no one when it comes to fight scenes. Maybe we should move him further up the list to play Bond next.
By the way, in the spirit of Hollywood spy movies, there are a lot of exceptionally pretty people (men and women) in this film, and everyone is dressed to impress. There’s so much eye candy going on here that you may go into sugar shock.
I really enjoyed the return of bad guy Solomon Lane, who is played with mustache-twirling perfection by Sean Harris. In fact, if there was one criticism I could give to this film is that I would have loved to see more of him and let his character develop more, but honestly, that might have slowed down the action.
Again, I’d like to point out that this is not broad and bold filmmaking that’s going to redefine the genre or anything. Mission: Impossible – Fallout is a pure blockbuster action film that is custom-designed to entertain you for a full 2 hours and 27 minutes, and it does that mightily.
If you like the Mission Impossible films, Tom Cruise, or action films in general, this is seriously one of the best you’ll ever see. I’d highly suggest catching it in a theater with the biggest screen and the loudest quality speakers you can find.