#REVIEW: “MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT”
Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
A rogue terrorist group has their hands on three plutonium cores that Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) let slip through his fingers during a botched mission. Now it is up to him and his IMF team to track them down, and to avoid the wraith of CIA Special Activities Operative August Walker (Henry Cavill) – who has been tasked with monitoring and killing them all should the mission go south.
Clocking-in at 148 minutes, Mission: Impossible – Fallout easily is the longest Film in this 22-year-old Franchise. But despite that daunting length, I wish it were 100 minutes longer. Fallout is the most action-packed and relentless thrill ride of the summer and delivers on all of the epic promises of that first Super Bowl Trailer.
Writer/Director Christopher McQuarrie improves on the thrills of Rogue Nation (a Film that left me astounded and cold at the same time) exponentially in Fallout, engineering the Film to jump from one wildly-outlandish action set-piece to the next with relative ease. In-between each of these thrilling spectacles is a story that is just as needlessly-complicated and twisted as you have come to expect from the Series, with an added dash of introspection and heart. This is one of the first times in six Films that we are really afforded the time to dive into the sociopathic psyche of Ethan Hunt and see what really makes him tick. It works in some instances and offers some great character moments for everyone on-screen, but in others, it flounders and slows the Film down a bit too much. I admire McQuarrie trying something different here – as he is the only Director who has ever been asked to return –I just wish these moments worked a lot better.
But I doubt you have read this far to hear about the plot semantics of a Mission: Impossible film. You want to hear about the insane stunts and blistering action sequences. And on that front, I can confirm everything you have been hearing. Fallout delivers magnificently on every single action scene whether it’s a brutal fight scene in a sprawling men’s bathroom, a ridiculous foot chase through London, or a car and motorcycle chase through Paris. They are all choreographed and edited for maximum impact, and will leave you guessing throughout what is real and what is CGI (hint: most of it is real, including the scene where Cruise broke his ankle jumping across a rooftop). I was constantly left gasping for air through all of these scenes (and a few others that are too mind-blowingly insane to put into words), gripping my seat in anticipation for what came next. These are some of the best action sequences of the decade and are guaranteed to leave you begging for more. And unlike Rogue Nation, the craziest stunt does not happen right at the beginning of the Film.
Returning players Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg and Alec Baldwin are all great and slip back into their roles with relative ease, but much like Avengers: Infinity War, Jeremy Renner is MIA. While Michelle Monaghan does the best with what she’s given, Rebecca Ferguson kicks all kinds of ass again as Ilsa Faust (I just wish they made less background changes to her character’s motivations). Sean Harris is also rather enjoyable as returning baddie Solomon Lane, even if he gets saddled with some of the Film’s messiest exposition. New faces like Angela Bassett and Vanessa Kirby add some variety and spice to the proceedings, and Cavill has an absolute blast as August Walker. While his reloading arms are not as legendary as they are in the trailer, Cavill brings an intensity and ferocity that dominates throughout.
As expected however, Fallout’s MVP is Cruise. He is the literal personification of a special effect here, leaping and running headfirst into every scene with an unmatched, reckless precision. He does a great job when he is acting with the rest of the Ensemble, and an even better job when he is acting alone. Where the Script falters in his extended character development, he improvises and improves on the fly. He is calculated and charming all at once, controlling the screen and camera at all times. And his stunt work here is outstanding and downright unbelievable. This is his best work as Ethan Hunt to date, and if he can physically continue with the grueling nature of these Films, I cannot wait to see what he does next.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout lives up to the hype and the excitement of those incredible trailers and then some. By the time the credits began, I was drenched in sweat and in desperate need of a towel. The Film really is that breathlessly-intense and is a thrilling masterwork from beginning to end. It is not my favourite of the Series, but it just might take the top spot once I watch it again. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to strap in and see the Film this weekend on the biggest and loudest screen you can find. Anything less is completely unacceptable.
Paramount Pictures Canada release MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT on Friday, July 27, 2018.