“Mission: Impossible- Fallout”- Movie Review

Of all the spy movie franchises out there, Mission: Impossible is probably my favorite. The fourth installment, Ghost Protocol, was my introduction to the series and I absolutely loved it, though I never saw the others until recently when I binged them in preparation for MI: 6. My thoughts on each? The first is a solid thriller with decent performances, suspense and action. The second is an over-the-top spectacle that tries way too hard to be some macho Americanized Bond film. The fourth, like I said, is awesome, and the fifth is equally awesome, if not a tad more so. These movies have found their stride over the years, and the latest addition to the fold, Fallout proves this franchise is far from losing steam.

The film picks up where Rogue Nation left off. Two years have passed since Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) captured Soloman Lane (Sean Harris), the mastermind behind an anarchistic crime syndicate that has since become a terrorist group called The Apostles. When Hunt and his team (Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg) fail to intercept the sale of three plutonium orbs to a few of its members, they make it their mission to recover the cores before they’re used for nuclear warfare. Things get complicated, however, following a slew of setbacks, including the forced supervision of hard-edged CIA operative August Walker (Henry Cavill), and the re-emergence of old enemies and new ally Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson).

Mission: Impossible- Fallout is a beautifully-crafted adrenaline rush that sucks you into the action from the moment it starts to the second it ends. Returning director Christopher McQuarrie does a fantastic job both in the writing and the way in which he composes shots. Between the gorgeous cinematography, the raw intensity of the action sequences, and Cruise’s absurd dedication to the stunt work, everything about this film feels authentic and grand. I love how the brutality of the fight scenes are allowed to speak for themselves. For example, there’s a fight scene in a bathroom between Cavill, Cruise, and another character. On many occasions, moments like this would be filmed in close-ups to hide the actor-stunt double transition and have loud music fill the background. But here, the sequence is shot in a series of long shots, with the only sound coming from the impact of every punch and throw. This framework not only showcases the incredible choreography, but it also, like the rest of the fight scenes, makes the action feel very raw and in the moment.

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It’s no surprise that the level of physicality Cruise puts into his role as Ethan Hunt is insane. Hell, we might as well call it cliched at this point. The guy has stated in multiple interviews that the reason he commits to doing his own stunts is because he always shoots for authenticity. He wants to give the audience a show. His devotion is apparent in his performance, whether it involves skydiving or leaping from building to building or flying a helicopter. And what I’ve come to like about his character is his vulnerability. Hunt is strong but not indestructible. He makes big mistakes, he hesitates, he gets hurt, and he’s a quick-thinker though he doesn’t always have a plan completely figured out. He’s a seasoned agent and yet he still feels human.

Of course Ethan Hunt isn’t the sole carrier of the M:I franchise. Actually I take that back. The first two films focused more on his individual ventures, but the rest show Hunt works best when he’s part of a team. The group dynamic in Fallout is a definite highlight. Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames great and bring plenty of heart and humor to the story. Rebecca Ferguson is fantastic and a total badass. She might be my favorite character of the whole series. Henry Cavill gives one of the best performances I’ve seen from him. It’s easy to guess the direction his character is going to go early on, but it doesn’t detract heavily from how good he and his mustache are in this role.

Mission: Impossible- Fallout is a fantastic action movie that’ll give you exactly what the trailers have promised. The flaws are very minor. A few minutes could’ve been shaved off and there’s a scene in the middle where surprise after surprise is thrown at you so quickly that things feel convoluted for a moment.  They’re noticeable, but not to the point where it ruins the overall narrative. Besides that, this is an excellent addition to a series that seems to only be getting better and better.

Cosmic Grade: 4.7/5 Stars

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