It’s rare that I sit down to write a review and all I could think of yelling is “RUN TO SEE THIS MOVIE AS SOON AS YOU CAN” but here we are. Mission Impossible: Fallout is the best in the franchise, by far and it raises the bar for every action film to come after it. Yes, every single one, be it Marvel, or DC, or whatever, the platinum standard has been set. This is Christopher McQuarrie telling action directors, ‘Yes I saw what you did there, but here’s how I did it better’. This is Tom Cruise saying ‘I am 56 years old and I am jumping out of planes and looking fresh as hell doing it too.” Summer blockbuster, meet your fave and be ready to fall madly in love.
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his loyal crew, Luther (Ving Rhames) and Benji (Simon Pegg) are back at work trying to make sure bad guys don’t bring the world down. Before the opening credits even begin, a mission is spelled out and Hunt, should he choose to accept, it knows the stakes that are at hand. A group of anarchists named “The Apostles” have stolen three plutonium orbs that can be made into atom bombs with 72 hours. They believe that the “greater the suffering, the greater the peace” and have plans to create a massive suffering, which Hunt and his crew must stop. But, Hunt faces moral questions when he initially loses the plutonium orbs because he chose to save his friend, Luther, instead. When faced with the question, save one or millions, Hunt looks for how to save the one and the millions, a choice that leads former foe, Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) to know exactly how to get Ethan where he wants him.
Director McQuarrie gives audiences battle sequence after battle sequence with thrilling, white-knuckled results. Like when Cruise leaps out of a C-17 at 25,000 feet, or a crazy helicopter sequence that I don’t want to say a peep of because you really need to just sit there and revel in what is on the screen. Let’s talk about how incredible the motorcycle sequences through Paris are. There are car chases, and then there is epicness- and the sequence in Fallout is definitely the latter. Or when it’s hand to hand combat and you wince as fists meet flesh, and watching August Walker (Henry Cavill) reload his arms in the middle of a fight sequence surrounded by a brightly lit white background or Isla (Rebecca Ferguson) use her entire body to fight Lane in a combat scene, in a little shack, in a remote area of Kashmir. It’s clear that McQuarrie was inspired by favorite films like Star Wars, but added his own touches in placed them into this world to give audiences a thrill ride that leaves you gasping for breath while begging for more.
Every character is given a moment to shine, to show who they are and what they mean in this world and to Hunt himself. The women in this film, allies, former lovers, and more, each have their own drives and purpose, as well as can hold their own in physical and mental challenges. If the camera pans across a woman’s body, it isn’t to check her out, it’s to show the capability of how she uses her body and strength, and she is given her own narrative, regardless of who she is to Ethan.
Summer blockbusters are typically thrown into a “popcorn movie” category. One where you go and just want to get away for awhile, get entertained and not think about anything. The beauty of Fallout is it gives you that while also being whip-smart and truly grounding its characters in some basis of realness. Mission Impossible would not be as all-encompassing as it is if you didn’t truly love its hero, Ethan Hunt. Cruise gives Hunt a layer of vulnerability beneath the skydiving, motorcycle chasing, helicopter flying spy game persona. He loves and lives to protect those he loves. This is Cruise’s greatest symphony, a possible conclusion of a character he has played since 1996. If Mission Impossible: Fallout is the last in the franchise, Cruise gave everything he has in him to give his true love, his fans, everything they deserve.
Mission Impossible: Fallout opens July 27th.