Quick Hit: Terrifically paced, the next entry in this franchise may be the best and actually feels like a “sequel”.
After coming off of Rogue Nation, I expected a bit of a letdown. The last few iterations of the Mission Impossible franchise just seem to keep building on each other, with increasingly large set-pieces and even more complex frenetic plots. Eventually there would have to be a comedown and I expected this movie to be it. I was WAY wrong. Fallout, Christopher McQuarrie’s newest entry in the franchise (the first returning director), is probably the most fiercely entertaining entry in the series. And they just announced more! I know I’m excited.
The film picks up exactly where the previous film left off – Solomon Lane is in custody, but his terror network is still causing trouble around the world. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise of course) is tasked with getting some plutonium cores, and in doing so, he endangers the life of his friends. This becomes a recurring theme throughout the film that is a question that other action movies have targeted before, but maybe never as deeply – is it worth it to save one life if the world ends due to your actions? Or should you sacrifice lives in order to save the world? When does it end? The characters attempt to answer these questions (well, mainly Hunt does). These include some returning characters from the previous movie, which is something that has rarely happened in the franchise, and their inclusion gives a strong thread of story that has continued from Rogue Nation.
This is probably Fallout’s strongest point, with two opposite sides of the coin – Henry Cavill plays a CIA agent, August Walker, who has the opposite view point of Hunt – people can be sacrificed for the greater good. It’s a tough view point (there’s an especially strange metaphysical thing going on here when you consider that Cavill struggled with the same question as Superman before coming to the opposite conclusion he has here), and it also has a great contrast between the characters. Hunt is short, older, and is holding to the idea that every life is worthwhile. Walker is taller, younger, and much more violent. There’s a terrific scene in a brightly lit, white, immaculate bathroom that in particular showcases their different styles. It ends with Walker decimating the guy, and there is a surrounding destruction that is unmatched. It also gives us the Henry Cavill forearm gif, so take that as well.
The plot hurtles along, and so does Cruise, despite his age. He reportedly broke his ankle on this film, as he still insists on doing his own stunts, despite the fact they are increasingly more dangerous as the series goes along. But he gives it his all, all the way to the point where he is flying a freaking helicopter. It’s outrageous, but beautifully shot, as are all the action pieces. There’s also an intense variety to the action – it’s not just fist fight after fist fight. There are those, but there are also helicopter chases, motorcycle chases, rooftop chases (ok, so in typing that, it sounds like there isn’t much variety, but there really is!). It consistently makes the heart beater faster and harder.
I don’t know how much more you can ask from an action movie. Mission Impossible: Fallout makes the series more successful than it’s been in years. It asks and answers moral questions, and has some of the most terrific stunts and set-pieces that are out there. I’m giving it an “A-“.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"