‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ Review
This is the 6th film in the Mission: Impossible franchise. Writer and director Christopher McQuarrie returns for this companion piece to his 2015 Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, as of course does mega-star Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt. Hunt’s team of Benji (Simon Pegg) and Luther (Ving Rhames) returns, as does bad guy Solomon Lane (a glowering Sean Hayes), and MI6 agent Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson). New to the scene is Agent August Walker (Henry Cavill, Man of Steel), a hulk of a man who doesn’t share Ethan’s belief in brainy strategy. Also appearing are Angela Bassett as a CIA toughie, Michelle Monaghan, Wes Bentley, and Vanessa Kirby (“The Crown”) as White Widow.
Most fans of this franchise have likely accepted that the stories are overly intricate – this one is unnecessarily jumbled – and they just enjoy the clamorous ride to an ending that typically has something to do with a bomb and saving the world. It’s the action and stunts that drive ticket sales, and this one has the most extreme and over-the-top action sequences we’ve seen yet. Even though there is a familiarity to some, the stunts are still quite impressive; and yes, Mr. Cruise, now in his mid-50s, still performs his own stunts. This includes the leap between buildings where he actually suffered a broken ankle, shutting down production for a few months. The jump where he was injured is included in the film. And fear not, the Cruise Sprint is in full force on numerous occasions. Sadly, there is also a quick shot of a Ving Rhames jogging which is painful to watch.
The film opens with a wedding day nightmare, but quickly moves to what fans want – globetrotting, chase scenes, slick advanced technology and wacky stunts. The streets, bridges and landmarks of Paris are on spectacular display, while the chase scenes occur on foot, on motorcycle, in cars, and in helicopters. Crazy stunts include HALO jumping, rock climbing and dangling from an elevator shaft. There is a relentless brawl scene in a men’s room where Hunt gets face-planted into a porcelain sink (a la Casino Royale) and thrown through a wall. Thanks to the magic of Hollywood, five minutes later, he has nary a scratch and looks as debonair as James Bond ever has. However, it’s the final helicopter sequence through the mountains and cliffs of Kashmir that provide the signature moments of the film. Even with the nod to Jurassic Park, it’s a breathtaking scene.
Running nearly two and a half hours, this is the longest of the Mission: Impossible films, and Ethan Hunt remains, along with Maverick in Top Gun (sequel filming now), the best fit for Tom Cruise the actor and celebrity. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for Henry Cavill. He’s blessed with extraordinary genes – just not the thespian types. Whether you can follow the story or not, only the most stoic would claim you will find this anything less than an adrenaline rush…should you decide to accept. Plus, it still features one of the best theme songs ever – especially powerful with today’s phenomenal theatre sound systems…Thanks Lalo Schifrin!