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Mission: Impossible Fallout(2018)
Directed by: Christopher McQuarrie
Starring: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavil, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Angela Bassett, Michelle Monaghan, Wes Bently, Alec Baldwin
Rated: PG-13 for Violence and Intense Sequences of Action, and For Brief Strong Language
Running Time: 2 h 27 m
TMM Score: 4 stars out of 5
STRENGTHS: Action, Writing, Memorable Villain, Higher Stakes
WEAKNESSES: Expositional Dialogue, Suspension of Disbelief Required
After a mission goes wrong and three cores of plutonium go missing, and Ethan and his team scramble to try and recover them.
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise, Born on the Fourth of July) is back for round six in what is perhaps his most frenetic adventure yet. Gun fights, motorcycle chases, plutonium, oh my! This film is a fuse that ignites with a flash and the beginning and races towards its explosive ending without ever stopping to catch its breath. This entry takes elements of almost all of the previous installments and seamlessly weaves various plot points into this movie, providing closure and answers to some storylines, while opening up new possibilities for further (probable) sequels. The stakes are higher; Solomon Lane (Sean Harris, Macbeth (2015)) feels like a real bad guy in this movie; characters we love return; there’s humor, action, and loads of excitement. What’s not to love?
The Gang's All Here
In my review for Rogue Nation, I talked about how the Mission: Impossible franchise has gotten increasingly better about giving every member of the IMF something to do. It feels as if we’re actually watching a team work together vs James Bond, who is essentially a one-man army. This film does an even better job of giving everyone something to do than the previous ones. In Rogue Nation one of my complaints was that Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction) felt like he was just there because he’d been there for the other films as well; in this entry, Rhames is actually quite central to the plot. In fact, every character is needed for something- even Michelle Monaghan (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), who plays Hunt’s ex wife. The fact that everybody has something to do, and the relationships built in the previous ones continue to grow, makes it feel like this team is used to working together; they know what each member is good at, and they attack their missions based on their specialized skills. They feel like a team that’s been working together for a while, and that chemistry is half the fun of these movies. As far as acting goes, everybody did a perfectly fine job- these aren’t Oscar winning movies, they’re summer blockbusters- so don’t expect a Daniel Day Lewis style performance from Cruise. For a Mission Impossible movie, though, they did great. Rebecca Ferguson was, in my opinion, one of the best parts of Rogue Nation, and she’s fantastic in this one too. With the way cinematic universes have been going, maybe we’ll get an Isla Faust movie; she’s cool and collected enough to warrant her own standalone film (and that’s coming from a guy who’s sick of cinematic universes). Simon Pegg is of course wonderful as Benji- this is his fourth film in the franchise, and I’d hate to see him leave anytime soon. Newcomers to the franchise, Angela Bassett (Contact) and Henry Cavill (Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice) are good too. Cavill is given far more to do as the CIA agent assigned to help Hunt and his crew, and he’s got a great screen presence in this movie; far better than in the DC Universe.
High Stakes, Twist After Twist, and Memorable Villains
The biggest thing that sets this movie apart from some of the others is the high stakes, and the believability of those stakes. There are a few times in this movie when McQuarrie (whom wrote and directed both this entry and Rogue Nation) really plays with your expectations, and he details what the fallout would be if these bombs were to go off, or what would happen if the characters were to go through with their plan a certain way (I’m trying to be as vague as possible, because the surprise of these scenes really makes the movie more enjoyable). The detailing of the consequences, while heavily expositional, helps the viewer really understand how dire the circumstances really are, and it does make the film more intense.
The twists in this movie (none of which I will detail) come frequently and are executed with impressive prowess. Though the twists come one after another (sometimes multiple twists in one scene within a minute or two of each other) it’s never hard to tell what’s going on, or who is who, who’s on what side, and what the consequences for the twist are. Everything in this movie is well-defined; we know why things are happening and what will happen if something changes. As far as plot goes, this is probably the easiest Mission Impossible movie to follow (though none of them have been remarkably complicated).
If you’ve seen a poster or trailer for this movie, then you know that Solomon Lane returns. When I first heard that, I was a little bummed. He didn’t really do much for me in Rogue Nation, so I sort of wondered why he was returning for this one. Well, I’m glad he returned. Obviously there are some twists and turns along the way, and Lane isn’t the only person Hunt and Co are up against, but Lane was pretty awesome in this movie. His character and his motivations are more defined in this movie, his plan, more diabolical. He’s a character that makes sense, and is frightening in his own quiet dreadful way.
The 'Impossible' in Mission: Impossible
Though I really enjoyed this entry to the Mission: Impossible franchise, it is not perfect. A lot of suspension of disbelief is required for the enjoyment of this movie, but I mean, what do you expect? I saw this with my brother and a friend, and my friend, near the climax of the film, said something along the lines of: “That’s a little ridiculous.” Yeah. Duh. Of course it is. It’s a Mission: Impossible movie. It’s full of farfetched action scenes, some weird gadgets, and impossible scenarios. If you want a straightforward, realistic spy thriller watch Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. If you want over-the-top, explosive, almost mind-numbing action, watch this movie. Both have merit. This one just requires you to remove yourself from reality. There are a few rather glaring instances where things don’t quite makes sense: like when Hunt is running on top of a train station, then suddenly appears at street level without explanation… There are a few other moments that jump out as unbelievable, but for the most part, I can forgive all of those little nitpicks because the ride this movie takes me on is so much fun overall.
If you’ve enjoyed the other films in this franchise, I can guarantee you’ll find this one just as entertaining. It’s a wild ride filled with fun, excitement, cinematic locations, and characters we’ve come to love. I absolutely recommend Mission: Impossible Fallout. It’s the most fun I’ve had at a blockbuster this year.
Like the Mission: Impossible series? So do we! Check out our all of our reviews for Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible 2, Mission: Impossible 3, Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation, and Mission: Impossible: Fallout.
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