Mission: Impossible – Fallout

mission_impossible__fallout_ver3STARS4The rather generic sounding “Fallout” label of the latest Mission: Impossible title has sort of a dual meaning. There is the obvious threat of nuclear terrorism on which the entire movie is based, but it also can apply to the adverse side effects of a past decision. That certainly plays a part in the life of Ethan Hunt. This is the sixth chapter in the Mission: Impossible franchise and I dare say this just might be the very best episode. Despite beginning way back in 1996, the film series shows absolutely no signs of fatigue.

Tom Crusie has anchored this franchise since the very beginning. Ethan Hunt is a solid action hero that ranks up there with characters like James Bond and Jason Bourne. Much has been made of the actor’s age-defying looks and stamina. I must throw my approval on top of the heap. He does an incredible job here. The original TV show was an ensemble piece. Mr. Cruise is definitely the face we associate with these pictures. Still actors Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames and Alec Baldwin return from the previous film. They all provide ample support in varying degrees. Also of note is an arms dealer known as the White Widow (Vanessa Kirby), new CIA Director Erica Sloan (Angela Bassett) and her operative August Walker (Henry Cavill). Cavill is best known as Superman, but here he brings the same rugged sophistication that he demonstrated in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. He’s a charismatic addition to the colorful cast.

These flicks have never been known for the continuity between installments. This is actually a benefit because you can pick up the story without ever having seen a previous episode. Each one admittedly a convoluted manifestation of plot machinations that make something like The Big Sleep appear simple by comparison. Everyone’s allegiances are in doubt. If you haven’t figured it out by now, the way to enjoy these movies is not to get caught up on plot specifics like why who is doing what to whom. You just sit back and revel in the excitement. Other parts of the drama are positively rote. The evil villain’s credo is “The greater the suffering, the greater the peace.” Isn’t that that the justification for like every Marvel villain too? Each entry in the Mission Impossible franchise has always been helmed by a different director with a distinctively different style. That is until now. Filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher) has been a frequent Tom Cruise collaborator for over a decade. He’s back after having also completed the last installment, Rogue Nation in 2015. The two obviously work well together. Tom Cruise trusts the director implicitly and is apparently game to perform almost any action sequence. This is amidst much hype that the actor does his own stunts. I still maintain a healthy degree of skepticism, but the stunts do look impressively REAL. In this day and age of reliance on CGI, you can best believe that matters.

The saga is jam-packed with spectacle and each set piece is so breathtaking, it could be the climax of any drama. The great thing is that there are a lot. Right at the beginning, Ethan does a HALO jump out of out of a C-17 plane. HALO is a “high-altitude, low-open” skydive for the uninformed. Hey, that includes me. I had to look it up. A fight in the men’s room of the Grand Palais in Paris is profoundly intense. Walker and Hunt go toe to toe with a man they believe to be the mysterious John Lark (Liang Yang) The high contrast, brightly lit altercation of raw fist punching testosterone is a demonstration of broken tile and smashing mirrors that rain down like glitter on the bloody participants. These things aren’t random. There is a choreographed art to this scene whose precision equals the most graceful ballet. A car chase down the impossibly narrow streets of Paris provides more excitement on another setpiece. The ACTUAL climax includes a helicopter chase, mountain climbing in Kashmir, and two ticking time bombs. Director McQuarrie piles exhibition on top of extravaganza in a ridiculously over-the-top display. Of course, no Tom Crusie actioner would be complete without the obligatory running scene. No one books like this guy. By now the appearance has become fan service but it gives the people what they want and what we want is to be entertained. Simply put, Mission: Impossible – Fallout delivers that in abundance.

07-26-18

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12 Responses to “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”

  1. Eric Robert Wilkinson Says:

    “The two obliviously work well together.”

    Nice to see they can show up to work never meet and have it turn out so well after all these years :p

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Man I loved this movie. Easiest movie to write about this year. I adore this entire series but McQuarrie has really given it an identity.

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    • It does seem to be finding some identifying characteristics with the previous films. Ethan Hunt has always been a bit of an enigma on the personal front. He gets a little backstory here where he starts to appear at least a little human. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • For me this movie digs into an ongoing blessing/curse with Ethan – his strong moral code. It’s probably addressed more in this film than any of the others. I liked that.

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  3. I dont know what it is, but I couldn’t be less interested in this franchise. Felt like it jumped the shark circa Ghost Protocol, a movie I finally checked out last night. Wasn’t really impressed. Maybe I just don’t like Tom Cruise or something, idk

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    • Ghost Protocol is a high point so if you didn’t enjoy that, this probably won’t captivate you either.

      I keep thinking about the incredible stunts. I was blown away by this new film.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I will say I am more impressed with Tom Cruise and buildings than I am with The Rock and the same. Haha. That Dubai scene was breathtaking. But the narrative is so haphazardly told I fail to find the excitement anywhere else but in these moments. Granted, it sounds like the franchise is doubling down on those stunts. I plan on plowing through the next couple chapters this week, catch up on it and see where I’m at then.

        It seems almost hypocritical of me to enjoy the Fast and the Furious franchise and not the revamped Mission Impossible one haha

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved this one. Best of the series in my opinion. Enjoyed the more character-driven approach and the fact that it wasn’t as episodic as previous entries. The last 20 minutes or so had my heart racing.

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  5. Loved this movie! Tom should only do these movies. They keep getting better. Henry Cavill was a great addition. 4 stars

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