‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ is coming to theaters this weekend, written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie and of course starring Hollywood’s most expensive stunt-man, Tom Cruise. Typically, sixth entries in franchises can easily start to feel stale and played-out. The ‘Mission: Impossible’ franchise is a rare exception as it clearly shows continual ambition, and massive amounts of creativity, with a clear effort in wanting to truly make each film bigger than the last. Which is exactly the case with ‘Fallout.’
Sure, the story is ridiculously convoluted. There are many layers of convenience, and enough plot-twists to fill out scripts for five more ‘Atomic Blonde’ sequels which was another spy movie people said had too many twists. But despite that, it is a beautifully crafted film that sweeps you up into the adventure of the story with massive amounts of appeal despite having some minor short-comings. There are a ton of different dynamics, many misdirection’s, and a handful of sub-plots woven in to the progression of the film. But it uses exposition very timely to provide constant up-to-date backdrop and explanation to the many moving parts.
All of which easily enable you to invest in the story progression and character-arcs to have a great time. Because it is constantly littered with fantastic action, natural humor, and charismatic performances. This is a movie where you turn on your suspension-of-disbelief. You don’t over think the plot directions, and story layers. Just take what the film tells you at face value, and you will certainly enjoy the ride it takes you on. Things get going very quickly, our characters are faced with a problem and the ramifications of it, then we are off and running. Literally, all over the globe for two-and-a-half-hours.
This was a non-stop adrenaline ride and you must credit Tom Cruise for the commitment he puts in to the stunt-work despite his age and net worth. In this film he is racing through France on a motorcycle, jumping between two buildings, he flies a helicopter, swings from the bottom of one, and he performed a HALO jump from 25,000 feet. All for the sake of entertaining audiences, and the definition of entertainment it was.
The camerawork is phenomenal and places you into the chaos of the action routinely throughout. The direction from McQuarrie, and film crew as a whole capture the action-sequences from angels you don’t get to see very often, if ever. With Cruise doing the stunt-work the camera can follow the action for much longer cuts, from more immersive angles capturing the massive scale of the eye-popping sequences effectively to hit with impact.
I was routinely on the edge of my seat thinking how amazing the scope of the action and the visuals were, as well as thinking how flat-out crazy Tom Cruise is. He truly is a one of a kind performer in this business and films like these are classic examples of how awesome cinematic action can be when all the right pieces are in place. Seeing Cruise ripping through traffic on a bike with no helmet or following him as he jumps out of a plane puts you into the world of the story and connects you to the mission of the main character unlike many movies often can as you feel the full intensity of each climactic moment.
The familiar cast members, for the most part were back in their roles and all were excellent once again. Cruise of course kills it as Ethan Hunt. He has seemingly been through it all in this franchise, but he still was able to deliver shades of emotion and remorse that we have not seen from him. Simon Pegg was solid comic-relief with another charming performance. Ving Rhames and Rebecca Ferguson both provide more than enough substance for their roles once again as well. In particular, Ferguson who is in desperate need of her own action franchise because she delivered some great fight-sequences alongside Cruise and Cavill.
As for the addition of Henry Cavill, it was enjoyable. I did honestly want more from him as far as character-arc and what this story would do with him. But while he didn’t deliver a ton of acting range he was still solid in the role. He felt right for the part and still provides the film some awesome action sequences to cement some memorable scenes. Plus, it was sort of amusing when the camera would pan out during certain conversations between other characters to reveal him standing just out of shot all rocked out like a power-lifter at the gym.
Once again though the entire cast capture the charming chemistry of the group that make them likable characters you want to succeed. That added with some witty humor in the script allows the natural sense of humor among them to shine effectively which breaks the moments of tension very timely to give the film overall a great emotional balance. There is never a dull moment onscreen, the location scouts selected the perfect backdrops to create many rich international settings that have grown to be a part of this franchise.
The musical score is the best it has been thus far as it complements the story-line perfectly. This movie is stylish, it’s elegant, and when it needed to be, it was violent and gritty and the multiple tones all complemented each other perfectly to create yet another compelling extravaganza in this series. It’s loaded with endless action that showcases the visual appeal of true, practical stunt-work. It was inventive at times and loaded with interesting personalities that do more than enough to make up for a story-line that tries to get a little too clever for its own good, and occasionally foreshadows its moves.
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