Review by J.T. Johnson
DIRECTOR: Christopher McQuarrie
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Rob Hardy
WRITER: Christopher McQuarrie
MUSIC: Lorne Balfe
It is so hard to believe that after 23 years and being the sixth movie in the franchise that the series keeps topping itself. Yet, as I was watching “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”, I found myself dodging bullets, cars, motorcycles and helicopters as the action just kept on coming. While CGI was added at some points for dramatic effect, it was fun knowing that a lot of the action was done practically and by the film’s star, Tom Cruise.
Before I go on, though, I will say that this is the first film in the series that acts more like a direct sequel to its predecessor. That just means that in order to enjoy this mission more fully, you should at least go back and rewatch “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation”. Actually, it also resolves some plot elements from “Mission: Impossible III”, so throw that on your rewatch list as well.
Anyone who knows these films knows that they’re in for a good time with some old fashioned action. In this film, we have just about everything but the kitchen sink… No, wait, he uses a piece of a sink at one point… So, yeah, this is the one with kitchen sink. Still, it’s all pretty awesome to behold and keeps you on the edge of your seat.
What truly surprised me with this film is that this story felt more personal and the fights felt more brutal as a result. Elements from Ethan Hunt’s (Cruise) past come back to haunt him, including Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), a character that can now be officially declared the Ernst Stavro Blofeld of the “Mission” series. Not only is Solomon back with fiendish schemes, but he is also joined by the mysterious Apostles, an extremist group that developed out of the ashes of the Syndicate from “Rogue Nation”.
Due to a decision that Ethan made in the field to save a friend instead of getting the hell out of Dodge with three pieces of plutonium, someone gets away with the goods. Eventually, the Apostles have the ability to build three nuclear bombs. Ethan’s mission now is to discover who the leader of the Apostles is and recover the plutonium.
As usual, Ethan is not alone on this mission as he is joined once again by Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and original series character Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames). They are just as dedicated to helping Ethan as they ever are and their support is as invaluable to the film as the main star. Their mission is once again complicated by the involvement of Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), a character who has come back for mysterious reasons even though she was supposedly set free in the last film.
Not only was the story more personal this time, but there were some solid twists for this particular spy film as well. I was surprised a few times and that’s saying something as I’m usually able to figure these things out pretty early on or at least before the twist is revealed.
My only real problem with the film is that there is one theme that runs throughout the series that’s getting pretty old and unnecessary. There is always the character that hates the IMF or at least what Ethan is doing throughout the movie. In “M:I3”, it was Laurence Fishburne. In “Rogue Nation”, it was Alec Baldwin’s character, Alan Hunley. For “Fallout”, it’s CIA director Erica Sloane (Angela Bassett) and she really serves no other purpose other than to introduce us to August Walker (Henry Cavill), the latest member of the team that is ordered to oversee Ethan’s mission.
Despite that small criticism, though, this is one of the best blockbuster films of the Summer. It’s also good to see that the “Mission” series is still going strong after all this time. If you were a fan of the previous films in the series or if your an action film junkie overall, this is one mission that is definitely worth accepting.