Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Screenwriter: Christopher McQuarrie
Starring: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Angela Bassett, Vanessa Kirby, Michelle Monaghan
The regular music plays. The most famous action star on planet Earth looks ponderously into the middle distance. An explosive opener is closely followed by the introduction of the mystery that is to come. The mission, should you choose to accept it: another top notch action film from the Mission: Impossible franchise. Tom Cruise has still got it…
The 6th instalment in the insanely popular spy-action Mission: Impossible franchise promised a culmination of all that had come before it, and in Fallout this has well and truly been delivered. An action film with little comparison by the way of creative action set pieces that is on the level of the Russo Brothers’ Marvel movies in terms of brutality portrayed through stunt fighting, Mission: Impossible – Fallout’s biggest surprise is that its screenplay not only lived up to the exciting, twist-laden standards of its predecessors, but it also managed to gift many of the franchise’s central characters story arcs worthy of their importance to the audience, all the while making room for thrilling chase after thrilling chase, new ideas after re-purposed old ideas, and a whole heap of edge-of-your-seat fun.
As always, the action is driven forward by the insanely brave and arguably dangerously extreme Tom Cruise whose persisting efforts to pull off as many of his own stunts as possible way into his 50s continues to gift the franchise a unique authenticity not equalled in the genre despite the franchise’s outrageous concepts. According to reports, Cruise not only broke an ankle jumping between buildings as a part of a roof top chase sequence, but he also learned how to fly a Helicopter in order to ensure said authenticity; an example of his dedication and passion for his character that truly brings home the Gold for this persisting mega-franchise.
Interestingly, Fallout does follow the same trajectory away from Cruise that McQuarrie’s predecessor Rogue Nation (2015) did, with side characters being given more important roles as the universe of characters expands beyond Hunt’s group and the villains he’s chasing into a landscape of altogether more involved characters, each of whom have their own motivations and therefore a reason to be questioned as a part of the movie’s more mysterious elements. This shift, which like Rogue Nation helps to elevate Rebecca Ferguson’s Ilsa the most – making her arguably the franchise’s 2nd most interesting character behind Hunt himself – is a welcomed distraction from the plight of Cruise’s character, the story of which is far from finished but needs to be shelved from time to time in order to keep interest high in both he and the story as a whole. It’s clever writing matched with effective direction and exceptional editing that brings this to the fore and ultimately elevates McQuarrie’s MI movies to the upper echelon of the franchise’s overall output.
Most people visit a Mission: Impossible movie for the action however, and in Fallout there is certainly no shortage. The MI franchise has seemed to have taken the responsibility of “never before seen” action sequences upon itself in the absence of original, awe-inspiring work in much of the rest of the genre, and it simply never lets up. In Ghost Protocol we were treated to Cruise hanging from the Burj Khalifa in never-before-seen scenes, in Rogue Nation we saw him hanging from an airplane as it took off, and in Fallout we see him jumping from rooftop to rooftop of the London skyline, driving trucks and motorbikes at break-neck speeds past iconic Parisian landmarks and we even see him hang from a cliff edge… again! It’s insane, but you can’t look away. Every instalment of this franchise continues to inspire awe at its stunt work, organisation, creativity and technical achievements and Fallout is the latest in the line.
So see this film if you’re a fan of the franchise or want a few hours of pulsating escapism – you’re guaranteed to get all you’ll ever want from an action movie and you’ll see things you’ve never seen before. Mission: Impossible – Fallout is hardly your high-brow awards season movie and it does run a little bit long in places, but as far as action goes, Fallout has it all.