The Mission: Impossible franchise is one which has stood the test of time for over 22 years now. Each installment in this franchise has pushed the limits of what an action thriller can achieve. While historically each film has had a different director taking the helms, Fallout is the first one to make an exception. And so the question looms: Was it worth it? Hell yes.
Mission: Impossible- Fallout sees Christopher McQuarrie return to take the franchise to another level. Continuing a couple years after Rogue Nation‘s events, the film kicks off seeing Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt fail horribly in a mission. What follows is him and his team trying to redeem themselves in front of the IMF. While they’re at it, tensions rise between the IMF and the CIA. The latter has its director Erica Sloane (Angella Basset) & her associate August Walker (Henry Cavill) on a mission to tail (& disprove of) Hunt’s methods.
Right off the bat, let me just say that Henry Cavill steals the show. While the poster may have Cruise’s name front & center, it’s Cavill who throws the hardest punches, and rightfully so. Over the years, we’ve seen Ethan Hunt go through death-defying endeavors. And so, it’s refreshing to finally see a new character who can hold his own with, and against, Cruise on-screen. While some may remember Jeremy Renner do something similar in the Ghost Protocol, Cavill delivers on a wholly another level here.
Continuing off of the trademark action set pieces that the series is known for, Fallout gives us enough to ponder over the next few years. Many critics have claimed that this might just be the best in terms of pure thrill, and I have to agree. The stunt-work present here is jaw-dropping. It’s amazing to see Cruise and his comrades put their bodies to the breaking point in order to deliver a thrilling performance. And as it stands, the action here is fully in service of the story. There’s no sequence here which makes you go “But is this really needed here?”. There’s very minimal green screen or weird CGI. This is the real deal.
Coming back to the returning characters, everybody gets a welcome return, especially Rebecca Ferguson. I liked her in Rogue Nation, and I love her here. Ferguson’s Ilsa Faust is a great lead opposite Hunt. With a complicated past that was established in the previous film, it makes it all the more exciting to see her and Hunt face off against and with each other here. McQuarrie has managed to turn in a script that constantly challenges the characters & their morals as we know them.
Putting each of our heroes in compromising situations, he makes it a point to show how and why each of them deserves a spot in this film. There’s no character here just for the sake of it. Each of them gets a moment to shine, be it Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Michelle Monaghan, or even the newly introduced Angella Basset’s character.
Weaknesses? Not much really. For the sixth film in a franchise which has already set its tone and style apart from other spy/thriller films, it keeps itself refreshing. While there are tropes that have been used before kinda recycled here, they still manage to excite you because of the tight script. Barring the initial few minutes which includes an extensive exposition scene which basically blurts out the film’s premise, the rest of it manages to hold itself together fairly well.
The film does drag a bit in the second act, but that’s mostly because of its connections to the previous entries. Unlike Ghost Protocol, this one actually needs you to pay attention to the plot. You miss 10 minutes, and you’re out. Which only adds to the impact of the numerous twists in character arcs in the movie. And if you don’t remember the previous entries, especially Mission: Impossible III, you might find yourself lost, considering Monaghan’s timely return.
Fallout is a great reminder of why we love this franchise. With over-the-top, but believably thrilling sequences, and a plot which doesn’t disrespect the audience’s intelligence, Mission: Impossible- Fallout proves to be another great installment in the franchise. McQuarrie has managed to improve upon his style from the last one and makes this one feel different (in a good way) from the last one. Go see it as fast as you can!