Mission: Impossible – Fallout Review

Of all the ongoing action franchises today, Mission: Impossible has to be my favorite. Its first three entries were high energy action pictures in their own right, but with its fourth entry, Ghost Protocol, Mission: Impossible reached all new levels of entertainment. Through the sheer ingenuity and execution of its set pieces, Ghost Protocol ascended the series to one of the few in which the action becomes the narrative. The fifth entry, Rogue Nation, followed suit with action that flowed the story like exceptional dialogue. Now we have the sixth installment, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, which proves to be a wonderful threepeat of the franchise’s newfound excellence.

Fallout once again follows Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his band of IMF agents; Luther (Ving Rhames), Benji (Simon Pegg) and Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson). Ethan’s team is tasked with retrieving three plutonium cores before they fall into the hands of the Apostles (the remnants of the terrorist organization Syndicate from the previous film). Ethan fails the mission, however, when he chooses to save Luther’s life at the expense of the plutonium. Ethan and his crew manage to uncover the Apostles’ next move, and set out to retrieve the plutonium before disaster strikes. Of course, because of Ethan’s earlier bungle, the CIA assigns special operative August Walker (Henry Cavill) to shadow Ethan.

Story-wise, it isn’t too different from the past few Mission: Impossibles. Ghost Protocol was also about preventing a nuclear disaster. But the plot is still told gracefully when need be. The real story of any Mission: Impossible film, however, is in its action-packed set pieces. And Fallout delivers on just that in spades.

The film is almost one action set piece after another, and I don’t think a single one disappoints. Per the norm for the series, CG is used to a minimum, and Tom Cruise is still doing his own stunts, which gives the film a more grounded and authentic feel, despite the sheer absurdity of some of the action sequences.

“This is just another Tuesday for Tom Cruise.”

It’s long-since become a cliche to describe an action film as a ‘non-stop thrill ride,’ but that seems to be accurate with this particular series. And Fallout ranks among the best in how frequently it delivers scene after scene of memorable action. I remember during the first action sequence, I thought it was among the best action scenes I’ve seen all year. And then I thought that about the next one, and the one after that, and the one after that.

The stunt work and cinematography used to bring these sequences to life is – as it was in the past two Mission: Impossible entries – really something to behold. If you’re getting a bit tired of seeing super heroes and villains destroy entire cities amidst their battles, it’s kind of refreshing to see a movie series that can continuously make the relatively low-key aspect of Tom Cruise punching several dudes standout. I mean, when a movie delivers one of the year’s best fight scenes in a men’s room, it definitely knows what it’s doing.

Unfortunately, there is a little bit of a downside to things in that it Fallout may seem a little deja vu at times. Again, its central plot seems to retread the last two MI pictures, and I think it may fall slightly short of its two aforementioned predecessors (albeit not by much). As terrific as the action here is, I still think the sight of Tom Cruise scaling the Burj Khalifa in Ghost Protocol remains the series most memorable spectacle.

But if being a little derivative of excellent predecessors and falling slightly short of them is all there is to complain about, then I’d say Mission: Impossible – Fallout is doing okay. It still blows the Fast and Furious films out of the water.

If you’re itching for an all-out popcorn experience, but are a little tired of super heroes, then Mission: Impossible – Fallout shouldn’t be missed. Like it’s predecessors and Mad Max: Fury Road, it takes what is essentially one long string of action and turns it into a flowing narrative. If there’s such a thing as ‘artful action’ (and I think there is), then this is it.

 

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Author: themancalledscott

Born of cold and winter air and mountain rain combining, the man called Scott is an ancient sorcerer from a long-forgotten realm. He’s more machine now than man, twisted and evil. Or, you know, he could just be some guy who loves video games, animations and cinema who just wanted to write about such things.

3 thoughts on “Mission: Impossible – Fallout Review”

  1. Well, the critics finally did it; they went nuts for a film that actually deserved such high praise. Fallout was great – easily one of the best films of the year so far. It’s not too often you see a film franchise shine six installments in, but this one found a way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed! Easily one of the year’s best, and happy to see critics absolutely loving a franchise like this. If I remember correctly, I think only the second entry had a particularly mixed reception (I could be wrong), but from Ghost Protocol onwards, the series has become a critical darling, and very much deserved. In fact, I think Ghost Protocol was my favorite film of 2011 (so not all of my film of the years are animated this decade 😛 ).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I absolutely loved this movie. It was the best movie I’ve seen since Blade Runner 2049, which only came out last year but… Aside from Blade Runner, I think I would have to go back to The Dark Knight Rises in 2012 to compare my theater experience to Fallout. That’s not to say that this is my second favorite movie since 2012, but seeing it in IMAX with all of its stylistic action and beautiful cinematography was an unforgettable experience. I still think Ghost Protocol is the more “fun” and inventive movie in the series, but Fallout had a better plot, better use of side characters, and a memorable villain. It had a tense tone to it (especially in that kidnapping/heist scene) that I hadn’t felt in a blockbuster since, again, The Dark Knight Rises.

    For me, and I don’t review movies, I’d slap a 10 on it. I think it’s a masterpiece of an action movie with few peers in the genre.

    Oh, and I like your Mad Max: Fury Road shout out. I would put Fallout, Blade Runner, TDKR, Mad Max, and Skyfall into my top 5 action movies of the decade so far.

    Liked by 1 person

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