Movie Review: “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” – Choose to Accept

Written by Jeremiah Greville August 09, 2018

Mission Impossible Fallout

Holy crap, it’s good.

The Mission: Impossible movie franchise has achieved a rare feat. Well, a feat that was once rare. Like the MCU and the Fast and Furious films, each successive entry seems to improve upon the last in some way. The second film added style, while the third fully embraced its spy roots. The fourth film heightened the stunt-work while the fifth bolstered the mythos. And now, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, the sixth film in the series, rolls all of that together to create something breathtaking. And I mean that literally, as the action escalates throughout on a world-wide stage, more often than not performed by the star himself, Tom Cruise.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout stars Tom Cruise once again as Ethan Hunt, the top secret agent whose name you always forget because it’s never in the title. It’s the first in the series to function largely as a direct sequel to a previous film, following up on 2015’s Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. You should definitely check that out before seeing this one, but it’s not absolutely required. This time, Ethan is forced to recover three plutonium cores before terrorists can use them to start a new world order. Like always, however, things are not what they seem, and Hunt and his team are forced to work against enemies on all sides. He’s joined once again by Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg, as well as Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust. Henry Cavill rounds out the main cast as the impossibly handsome, mustachioed CIA agent sent to monitor Ethan on his mission.

“Oh, you know, same old Ethan.”

To say anything more would most likely spoil the plot, but that’s where this film is genuinely different. If you’re familiar with any of the Mission: Impossible movies by now, you know the drill. Double-crosses, fake-outs, and twists are part of the fun. Half of the game is trying to see them as they come, and appreciate them as they pass by. The thing is, I could give up every spoiler and twist in the film and you could still have a blast seeing it in theatres. The action is visceral and heart-pounding, and the narrative clips along with enough momentum that even the jagged bits feel smooth. I won’t be spoiling anything in this review, but if you worry about things then it is definitely something to consider. Knowing a twist won’t spoil the film this time, but it might reduce a bit of your excitement.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout

And that would be a damn shame, because there’s plenty to be excited about. The first large-scale action stunt of the film is a HALO jump that was actually done on camera. The entire scene is edited in one long shot and plays with your expectations almost immediately. And from there, things just get bigger, culminating in a ten-minute helicopter chase sequence that’s extraordinary to watch. And yes, what you’ve heard is true—Tom Cruise did both of those things. Not only did he perform the HALO jump himself, he actually learned to pilot the helicopter as well. And that’s not mentioning any of the other stunts he performed (or injuries he sustained) throughout. If Cruise ever plays a cancer researcher, we’ll find a cure by that film’s premiere.

“How long before a man like that has had enough?”

But I feel quite strange bringing up Cruise’s stunt-work, since putting oneself at risk shouldn’t be required for making a good film. Championing his risky behaviour seems a bit like crossing an ethical line at times. It’s especially difficult to discuss when considered alongside his religion—how much of what drives him is based in Scientology? I don’t know the answer. I don’t know if that’s a question I should even ask, or if we can ethically discuss a Cruise film without asking it. But whatever does drive Cruise, the finished result is clear. The action is visceral because it’s real. And knowing it’s real, on a technical level, certainly adds to the excitement of seeing each stunt performed. Even when those stunts don’t always work out, the result can still be entertaining.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout

The plot of Mission: Impossible – Fallout, however, isn’t much to speak of. Like always, it’s primarily there to get us from one incredible sequence to the next. It’s good, but it’s not the point. The truth behind the Mission: Impossible series is that they’ve always been about the ‘what’, not the ‘why’. It’s never been important why Ethan was dangling from a rope or scaling a cliff or building, just that he was. The same goes for the softer moments as well. And here, they all work. Simon Pegg’s Benji is still a scene-stealing joy, while Rebecca Ferguson’s Ilsa proves a fitting equal to Ethan. Along with Michelle Monaghan, she’s the only returning female cast-member in the entire franchise. And she earns every minute of screen-time she gets.

“You use a scalpel, I prefer a hammer.”

There’s very little, if any, subtext or larger meaning in the film. And that can certainly be considered a point against a series this venerable. There’s a faint trace early on that the film is subtly hinting at Cruise’s real life romantic history, and the rumours surrounding it. However, there’s very little to support that theory. I can’t say for sure. But what I can do is fully recommend this movie if you’re looking for one of the best action films in years. Mission: Impossible – Fallout is extraordinary in a way few summer blockbusters even come close to. Cruise proves his commitment once again as a bona fide action star and true showman. And the Mission: Impossible series continues to excel, ironically also living up to its name.

My Rating: 8.5/10

Mission: Impossible - Fallout

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About Jeremiah Greville

Jeremiah Greville is a pretty rad beard that's attached itself to a human face. The beard likes movies, television, comic books, and gentle finger rubs. The human likes pizza and sleep. When they work together, they write reviews. Hope you enjoy them!

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