Mission: Impossible — Fallout Pushes The Boundaries of High Octane Thrills
Tom Cruise continues to chase his unquenchable death wish with Fallout, the latest popcorn-munching spectacular from the Mission: Impossible franchise. The film is a fast and fun two-and-half hour thrill ride that will dazzle and delight you with its insane set pieces and gripping stunts.
Fallout is the closest to a direct sequel that the M:I franchise has ever seen, picking up two years after the events of Rogue Nation. The remains of Solomon Lane's organization "the Syndicate" are now a terrorist group named "the Apostles," who seek threaten the world with nuclear devastation through the detonation of 3 plutonium cores. This puts the Impossible Mission Force (or IMF) on the job for another mission, should they choose to accept it.
Writer/director Christopher McQuarrie returns to deliver what can only be described as an all-out blitzkrieg of high-octane, balls-to-the-wall action thrills. Returning with him is the cast of usual suspects, consisting of Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Alec Baldwin, Sean Harris, and the indestructible and ageless Tom Cruise, as well as some new blood, with Angela Bassett and Henry Cavill being added to the mix.
Essentially, Fallout is an amalgam of key highlights from the franchise's previous efforts cranked to 11 that continuously up the ante in imaginative and unexpected ways. Story beat wise, it feels cut from the same cloth as Christoper Nolan's The Dark Knight or Michael Mann's Heat, though not as dark, which is reflected in a lot of the snappy editing. Narratively, it's the usual twisty-turny (yet fairly predictable) espionage plot, but what elevates Fallout slightly above the rest is how it builds off previous films to create more interesting stakes and show new shades to these fairly two-dimensional characters. In that way, it feel somewhat like a superhero film, and if we're being honest, we may as well call Ethan Hunt — or even Tom Cruise — a superhero at this point, right?
Let's fact it though, it's not the story of an M:I film that gets the butts in the seats, it's the action sequences, and Fallout is overflowing with jaw dropping, death-defying action aplenty. What I appreciate about this installment in particular is that it delivers action that we can feel in our core — hence the nods to Heat and Dark Knight. McQuarrie's direction keeps us up close and personal to the action with his camera angles (often times over-the-shoulders), making it feel all the more visceral, serving up punches, speed, and explosions that we can sense in every conceivable way.
Out of the many action sequences, the bathroom brawl and helicopter showdown come to the forefront as the major standouts. The former shows us the subtle differences in approach and personality between Cruise's Hunt and Cavill's August Walker; just as Angela Basset's Erica Sloane puts it: one's a hammer, the other a scalpel. Cavill, who looks perfectly natural sporting the 'stache, is in full-on beast mode here, and while he may not be everyone's cup of tea, he certainly was a welcome addition and one of my favorite aspects of the film.
As far as M:I films go, Fallout is thoroughly enjoyable with franchise highs in terms of story, stunts and set pieces. I don't know how they'll top themselves next, or if they can drag the whole mask bit out into yet another film, but one things for sure: Tom Cruise will still but up to the task of finding new ways to nearly kill himself for our amusement, and for that, we salute him.
Rating: 4.5 crushing blows outta 5.
What do you think? Was Fallout one of the greatest action films ever made? Is it your favorite in the series?! We want to know. Share your thoughts and feelings in the comments below, and as always, remember to viddy well!