The year: 1996. In between From Dusk til Dawn and Independence Day came yet another 90s TV to movie adaptation, Mission: Impossible. As you can see 22 years later, it certainly succeeded as the sixth installment in the franchise was released, Mission: Impossible – Fallout.
Being the sixth in the franchise surprisingly still presents a lot of firsts with the first recurring director in Christopher McQuarrie, first recurring leading female in Rebecca Ferguson’s Ilsa Faust, and the first recurring villain in Sean Harris’s Solomon Lane. However, did the return of many key roles lead to a movie as fun and exciting as Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, or do we have another Mission: Impossible II on our hands. Let’s delve into that.
So, as with the last few Mission Impossible instalments, both the best and the most intriguing parts of the film are the stunts. Tom Cruise has stated that audiences can tell when things are faked or done on green screens, which is why he always insists on doing crazy stunts. Well, after Rogue Nation, no one thought he would up the ante of hanging on the side of a plane. Well, to the surprise of many, he has done by free-falling from the bottom of a helicopter, jumping from an airplane, and jumping from rooftop to rooftop, even breaking his ankle at one point. All of these stunts contribute to some of the most breathtakingly beautiful and best action scenes of the year.
However, Fallout isn’t just shiny action scenes. Like its predecessor, Fallout has an extremely strong story with many twists. Multiple scenes, which I believe are better watched than read about, have great twists which enhance the fun and enjoyment of the film. It isn’t just all twists however, the story itself is strong, with good character development and just enough comedy to maintain a light tone.
The lighting and the use of shadows in particular is amazing, especially in one action scene, where the shine (or lack there of) is just superb. The cinematography is also great, as there are shots in Paris, London, and India where the sweeping landscapes are sublime. This is in the top five most beautiful movies of the year for me so far.
The film’s characters are another positive. While in Mission: Impossible II the characters had no memorable qualities, in Fallout, both new and returning are much more memorable and have more depth than in the past. We have CIA agent August Walker, a somewhat menacing figure with predictable (and I believe even mentioned in the trailers), if intriguing twist. We also have added depth to Ethan Hunt, Secretary Huntley, and Luther, as you feel more connected to all of them than in previous instalments.
Now of course the movie is not without it’s flaws. The first to come to mind is the pace of the film. For about the first 90 minutes or so, Fallout feels like it’s still in the first act. While it is a 147 minute movie, that still is over sixty percent of its runtime.
I suppose my biggest problem with the movie is a bit of an odd one. While I naturally can just attribute this to my own high expectations, this movie left me feeling entirely… satisfied. I got exactly what I was expecting in regards to a majority of the general plot, minus some really fun twists as stated above, but the movie did just feel as expected. I was expecting something great, that’s what we got, but not anything more.
However, I still really enjoyed myself. I’ve already seen it twice, it’s that good. I wouldn’t say it’s the best Mission: Impossible, but it’s up there with the best of them. Mission: Impossible – Fallout has some amazing action, intriguing storytelling, and gorgeous visuals which combine to make a must see movie for any fan of action flicks.
:star: :star: :star: :star:
When it comes to action, the Mission series is up there with the very best and always has been. In this instance, it is partly down to Christopher McQuarrie’s excellent directing choices and set design, but praise can also be firmly given to Cruise who always does his own stunts. This lends such a sense of realism to proceedings that it has to be seen to be believed. One scene in which Cruise broke his ankle in real life is so impactful, it was left in the final cut. See if you can spot it.
There are some negatives however. Some of the twists are signposted from the off and like its predecessor, Fallout is a long film. At just shy of 2 hours 30, it simply doesn’t need to be this hefty. This results in some pacing issues towards the middle act, but these are rectified as Cruise flies towards an exhilarating finale atop a mountain.
Overall, Mission: Impossible – Fallout is yet another confident entry into a series that keeps giving us entertaining movies. Tom Cruise really is the best action star in the world and your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to jump on the bandwagon and go and see this film. You’ll have a blast.
:star: :star: :star: :star: