Mission: Impossible – Fallout has all the right ingredients for a summer blockbuster. Tom Cruise and Henry Cavill go toe to toe, Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg are back. The action is breakneck, the locations are stunning, the story is intelligent and witty and the stunts are death defying. Now in theaters, choose your mission.
For the past 22 years, Bruce Geller’s television creation has spawned a successful run of Missions. Five of them to be exact. In the hands of any other actor – producer, the series might not be as successful, but Tom Cruise has remained steadfastly dedicated to the look and feel of the series. Christopher McQuarrie (The Way of the Gun, The Usual Suspects, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation) returns in the latest installment, Mission: Impossible – Fallout as writer and director.
Fallout continues the story and events laid out in Rogue Nation seeing the return of series favorites Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg; Star Trek (2009), M:I 3), Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames; Pulp Fiction, Mission: Impossible) along with the alluring Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust, the disavowed MI6 agent. With Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) captured and the dissolution of The Syndicate, a new group called The Apostles has sprung up. The group, through their leader John Lark, has stolen three nuclear cores and it is the IMF’s mission to recover them. Vanessa Kirby plays White Widow, and arms dealer with a special link to the past; she’s alluring and deadly when provoked.
With Fallout, McQuarrie brings together the jaw dropping stunts, intelligent and thoughtful characters and, even after 22 years, can still manage to raise the bar with the storyline. Fallout is cheeky and it doesn’t mind being it either. Behind all of this is Tom Cruise as the venerable Ethan Hunt, whose cool exterior matches his intelligence and his daring-do. He is a gambler who understands the odds and takes the risks to get the job done.
Hunt is a proverbial Jekyll and Hyde in that regard.
Yet there is always some bureaucrat in Washington who doesn’t trust his methods. Fortunately, Alec Baldwin’s Alan Hunley is not that bureaucrat this time out. In Fallout, Henry Cavill plays August Walker, a CIA Special Activities Division agent sent in to assist Hunt’s team. Walker is loyal to Angela Bassett’s Erica Sloane, the new CIA director.
Fallout and by extension, McQuarrie has a finely tuned sense of motion. There is a scene where Hunt is giving chase over the rooftops of London and you can see him full bore, running at least 30 mph, which is the same pace that this story flows; set piece to action to discussion, it all moves.
The few moments where we are given a moment to breathe are short and usually in the form of Hunt uttering, “Give me a moment.” It’s a solid cue from McQuarrie that Ethan is thinking on his feet, formulating a plan and then not more than 30 seconds, we’re off again like a shot. Within these moments of respite, McQuarrie also injects some genuine emotion into our characters, the most evident of which is reflection. It reminds us that these characters are mortal. There’s a great scene between Benji and Luther that will get you right in the feels.
Within all of the motion and emotion, is Henry Cavill’s August Walker. The trailers have identified him as an assassin, a loyal terrier to Angela Bassett’s Erica Sloane, the new director of the CIA. This wouldn’t be a Mission: Impossible if it were any other way; there is an ease with which Cavill slips into the role and into our heroes world, even with the mystique surrounding his mustache. He keeps Hunt on his toes, and we don’t mind that one bit at all.
Not to be outdone by his former missions, Cruise and Cavill (along with some really inspired camera crews) commit to a HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) Jump along with a stunning helicopter chase, which reminded me of Blue Thunder or the chase in Capricorn One. The aforementioned foot chase in London is spectacular, as is a car chase in Paris, something that has not been done too often in the recent past, but is so much fun to see. An interesting pattern develops in terms of the flow and pacing of these action sequences, one that runs parallel to the story. DP Rob Hardy’s work here is outstanding as is Lorne Balfe’s horn-laden score.
If you should choose to accept this Mission, now in theaters, the Secretary will disavow your actions, but you are going to enjoy this thrill ride. This review will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, moviegoer!
Mission: Impossible – Fallout is rated PG-13 by the MPAA.