Out this week in cinemas is the latest installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise, Mission: Impossible – Fallout. How does it fare?
Mission: Impossible – Fallout stars Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, and Alec Baldwin. New additions to the cast include Henry Cavill, Angela Bassett, and Vanessa Kirby. This star-studded ensemble brings together what I can only describe as the most action-packed blockbuster of the year. However, does that constitute a truly great film?
In this latest adventure Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and co. are on mission tasked with finding nuclear devices and dealing with “The Apostles” a group of individuals that are the remnants of the Syndicate. Unfortunately, during this mission, things go south and Ethan makes a difficult decision. A decision that leaves the nuclear devices in the wind. From here things get complicated (don’t they always) and we’re off to the races.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout is a hell of a film filled with terrifying action, and may just be the most consistent cinematic franchise ever created. I haven’t been entertained by a franchise so much in life and Fallout is a worthy inclusion. Once again Cruise is top class as Ethan Hunt the super spy of this world. His team comprised of returning favourites Benji (Pegg) and Luther (longtime partner in crime Luther) still have that effortless chemistry that comes from working together for so long. Not only does this wonderful trio return but so does fan favourite Ilsa Faust (Ferguson) from Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. She once again is a one-woman army and brings with her an impressive set of skills that rival Ethan’s.
I can’t discuss Mission: Impossible -Fallout without bringing up the latest introductions to the franchise and that is Henry Cavill and his moustache. The character of August Walker from the moment he showed up in the first trailer with the reloading of his arms is a brilliant character. He’s so over the top and intense and is a genuine threat to Ethan and the team. This brings me to the action. It’s incredible easily the best in the franchise. The first fight sets the tone for the film and never lets up from there.
There are issues with Mission: Impossible – Fallout which stops it from that perfect score though. There is a sense of predictability in the plot of the film. For example, when you are introduced to certain characters you know exactly what they are up to, their motivations and where they will likely end up throughout the course of the film. Not only that story isn’t as good as previous films. It feels like Ethan never just gets to be a spy without having to be disavowed, tricked, or being manipulated to some degree. So this felt like a retread of past adventures with a slightly different spin, but hey if it isn’t broke don’t fix it seems to be the mentality with the team.
There is also an issue that the film brings up about the character of Ethan which is hilarious in my opinion. The characters of this world believe Ethan is a literal superhero. One, in particular, comes to mind as they describe how much the world needs him.
And this world he is destined to protect is a beautiful one. Cinematographer Rob Hardy has crafted stunning set pieces for all the over the top action to take place in. The various locales that Ethan and the gang visit are beautiful, the dazzling streets of Paris, the spectacular region of Kashmir, and the darkened alleyways of Belfast (that last one is true but is also a weird opening to the film).
A fascinating aspect of the film is the many callbacks to previous adventures. They range from subtle themes of Ethan dealing with a helicopter to him meeting the children of characters he dealt with in previous films (a big one is a callback to the very first Mission: Impossible). This could easily be the last in the franchise with the many callbacks and the fact that this character is getting on but with the cast showing no signs of slowing down and the incredible effort put into these productions, this franchise still has legs even if a stunt or there causes a few breakages.
Filled with heart-pounding action and death-defying stunts Mission Impossible: Fallout is the action blockbuster of the summer. Except no substitute. This review will self-destruct in five seconds.