Mission: Impossible – Fallout is the sixth film in the Mission Impossible Franchise, a film series that has given the opportunity to several talented filmmakers to leave their mark on the action genre, and one that continues to defy expectations even to this day. A franchise that is 19 years young, one would think it’d have lost steam by its sixth installment. That would be quite the contrary, as Mission Impossible Fallout is the best the series has to offer. Part of the reason the film is as good as it is -mind blowing stunts being put aside for a brief moment – is because of a lot of firsts that the Tom Cruise lead franchise hasn’t done before; A returning director, a continued plot from a previous film rather than a whole new adventure, and a much more personal story since Mission Impossible III.
Fallout takes place two years after Rogue Nation, with Ethan Hunt and the IMF team dealing with the ramifications of Solomon Lane’s capture and his Rogue Syndicate of operatives being left without a leader, who are now known as ‘The Apostles’. When a mission to grab plutonium goes wrong thanks to the apostles, Ethan and his team are forced to deal with the fallout and prevent nuclear destruction. Along with returning cast members from previous films such as Simon Pegg, Ving Rhimes, Alec Baldwin, Sean Harris, and Rebecca Ferguson, Fallout adds to the already excellent ensemble with newcomers Henry Cavill and Angela Bassett, who play a CIA Operative and his handler, respectively. Cavill brings an intimidating and intense presence to the screen with his character August Walker, a physical match to Ethan Hunt and an agent determined to complete his mission no matter the cost. Walker’s morals in the film are a contrast to Hunt’s as well, providing great development for Ethan’s character and symbolizing his arc in this film.
August Walker is also what seems like the first character in a while that Henry Cavill really gets to have fun with and show his abilities as an actor, being the exact opposite of Cruise’s Ethan Hunt. McQuarrie directs Cavill excellently in this film. Here, the mistake of telling but not showing is avoided as August Walker, CIA hitman, has a reputation that most certainly precedes him in this film. Thankfully for the audience, Walker plows through anyone and anything as unceremoniously as possible to do what needs to be done, contrasting Ethan Hunt’s precision that he is so well known for in these films. Overall, the character of August Walker is a more than welcome addition to the franchise and a fun character to watch on screen and in action.
Fallout is also the most personal Mission Impossible film yet, with Ethan’s will to complete a mission put to the test. Questions of loyalty are nothing new to the MI series, but when the loyalty in question is put between those he cares about or ‘the job’, Ethan finds himself at a crossroads. With old relationships once again brought to light and the stakes not only being bigger but also more personal, writer/director Christopher McQuarrie has truly outdone himself with this film. This time receiving sole writing credit, as he had previously co-written Rogue Nation with Drew Pearce, McQuarrie gets more space this time around and creative freedom as a writer to tell a better and bigger story. This is done all while not forgetting what keeps us the audience emotionally engaged to this story, which is Ethan Hunt and the IMF team. Ferguson’s character is also given more development and expanded upon from 2015’s Rogue Nation, with a story similar to Ethan’s. Her chemistry with Tom Cruise is so palpable on screen it elevates the movie to another level.
Overall the script by McQuarrie is tight and moves at a brisk pace, from one action set piece to the other, as well as including some truly great twists and turns. There are also so many great character moments in between. Speaking of action, let’s finally talk about what everyone is most excited about: The action set pieces of the film.
Fallout contains some of the most insane and amazing action in not only the franchise, but in the action genre as a whole. McQuarrie and co. have the storyboards of the film imagined to their fullest thanks to what is no doubt one of the best stunt teams and production crew assembled. Add to that what seems like a movie star with a death wish, and you get Mission Impossible: Fallout. From skydiving to motorcycle chases to hanging off a helicopter and then flying said helicopter, this film has it all. While using CGI would have been easier and taken a lot of danger away from production, where’s the fun in that? Practical stunts reign supreme in this film. Fallout also boasts some amazing fight choreography that is incorporated creatively in the action stunts. While looking at all the amazing stunts the film has to showcase, there are some pretty amazing fights woven into said stunts. At this point it would be amiss to not mention the camerawork that captures all death defying stunts Tom Cruise does, as cinematographer Rob Hardy does some of his best work with this film.
Great lighting and shot composition are in Fallout as well, with nice wide shots to establish the scenes and locales of the film, and steady cameras utilized to capture all of the practical stunts and give you a good view of all the action going on, making it easy to keep up with (which is a rarity in action films these days, constant cutting away). The camera setups during chase sequences are amazing as well, as shots of car and motorcycle chases really capture the momentum and speed of the chase and give it a more realistic feel. The editing in Mission Impossible: Fallout gives you palpable tension, with smooth and clever cut aways being there for story purposes only, and not hiding sloppy fight choreography. Add to that the emotionally driven and intense score by Lorne Balf, which has a beautiful rendition of the Mission Impossible theme, and you have the best film in the Mission Impossible franchise. The only nitpick this reviewer has for this whole film is one contrived story beat, but even then, that is considered a nitpick.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout is not only a technical achievement thanks to it’s amazing practical stunt work and dedicated actor in Tom Cruise, but an amazing achievement overall in the action movie genre. It is so rare when a film of this budget and this big of a production manages to maintain heart and a great story with such a well-rounded cast. It’s also remarkable how the film manages to give a hopeful message in believing in each other and yourself no matter how bad the world or your circumstances may seem. Fallout is one of the best movies this year as well as one of the best action movies ever made, and it should not be missed. – Ernesto Valenzuela
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Mission: Impossible – Fallout Hits Theaters July 27th, 2018
Mission Impossible – Fallout:Ethan Hunt and the IMF team join forces with CIA assassin August Walker to prevent a disaster of epic proportions. Arms dealer John Lark and a group of terrorists known as the Apostles plan to use three plutonium cores for a simultaneous nuclear attack on the Vatican, Jerusalem and Mecca, Saudi Arabia. When the weapons go missing, Ethan and his crew find themselves in a desperate race against time to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.