It’s not very often that a summer film comes along and blows every other offering out of the water – and it’s even less often than such a film is the sixth entry in a 20+ year old franchise. Yet, that’s exactly what Mission: Impossible – Fallout is: a vibrant, thrilling, tense action movie.
The Mission: Impossible franchise, which started on the big screen back in 1996, has undergone more transformations than almost any other big budget series of films in Hollywood today. Reinventing itself with JJ Abrams behind the camera for MI: 3 in 2006 (complete with a Kanye West credits song titled ‘Impossible’), Tom Cruise and company have constantly pushed the limits of what they can do on film – and it’s resulted in the best one yet.
Audiences have seen Cruise engage in death-defying stunts since 2011, and Fallout is no different, involving the actor piloting helicopters himself. Director Chris McQuarrie masterfully leads the action sequences, cutting down on the lulls as much as humanly possible – every single scene pushes the film forward, without any unnecessary additions. Even when the car chases and gunplay (and there are plenty of both) take a breather, the tension brought on by the mounting twists and turns are every bit as riveting.
Cruise is in fine form as IMF agent Ethan Hunt, who is on the search once more for terrorists that seek to irrevocably change the world for the worse. He’s joined again by Ving Rhames’s Luther – the only other actor to appear in every film in the franchise – as well as Simon Pegg’s tech chief Benji and Rebecca Ferguson’s Ilsa Faust, the MI6 agent who returns from 2015’s Rogue Nation.
Sean Harris returns as Soloman Lane, Rogue Nation’s primary antagonist, and newcomer Vanessa Kirby (Netflix’s ‘The Crown’) is the White Widow, an attractive arms dealer who has a small relation to Ethan’s first adventure back in the nineties. Angela Bassett and Alec Baldwin also give steely performances as the heads of the CIA and IMF, respectively.
All of these actors are wonderfully compelling to watch, especially Ferguson, who gives the badass Ilsa a reticent to do Ethan harm that humanizes her somewhat. Despite that, even she gets somewhat dwarfed by the best addition to the Mission: Impossible franchise yet, CIA Agent August Walker, portrayed with a grim menace by Henry Cavill.
Walker is a bundle of muscles, a hammer to Ethan’s scalpel, and it shows. Ethan prefers to knock out his targets using deception and trickery; Walker prefers to use blunt force to batter enemies into submission. He moves about with barely contained anger, as if violence threatens to explode from his limbs at any possible moment, and it’s accompanied by a playful, knowing smirk all the while. Frankly, Cavill’s turn as an antagonist is so well done, it’s enough to make one forget about Superman.
“Thrilling” is perhaps the best one word descriptor of this film. There are moments in Fallout where so much is going on that it’s easy to forget that you’re holding your breath, only to let it out in a victorious exhalation after Ethan and co. make another daring escape – right up until they gear up for another one.
It’s a wild ride from beginning to end, and your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to see this film on the biggest screen possible, if only to appreciate the incredibly choreographed stunts in detail. If you only go see one movie up until this point in 2018, make it Mission: Impossible – Fallout. You won’t regret it.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout arrives in theatres on July 27, 2018.
You can find Sho on Twitter at @SNSAlli for all kinds of film coverage. Now that sounds like the sort of fallout we can get behind.