Identity confirmed. Ah, agent! It’s that time again, time for another film where Tom Cruise runs really in that intense way of his. That time when he does something incredibly dangerous for the sake of a film. That’s right it’s time for another instalment in the Mission: Impossible franchise. This time we see what the consequences for Ethan’s unhinged actions are with Mission: Impossible – Fallout.
Haunted by anarchist Solomon Lane, Ethan Hunt must try to secure three plutonium cores. However, during a shootout Hunt and his IMF team, Luther and Benji, lose the cores. Now Hunt must try yo prevent Lane’s gang of rogue agents, dubbed The Apostles, from causing a global catastrophe. And all under the watchful eye of CIA assassin August Walker.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout, like the other movies, is action pedigree. Director Christopher McQuarrie returns from Rogue Nation to give us the same bonkers spy thriller action that we expect. Like any good action film it all rushes towards a heart-pumping climax. The film expertly interweaves several high stakes sequences together ramping up the tension even more; this time involving nuclear weapons, a helicopter chase and a three-way fight between our big bad Lane, Benji and Ilsa Faust.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout sells itself on the stunts that are in the film. That action is all led by the impressive stunt work from Tom Cruise. Last movie he dangled off a plane and clung to the side of a Dubai skyscraper. In this film, he races through Parisian streets on a motorbike, jumps out of a plane into Paris, clings to the underside of a helicopter and of course, breaks his leg in that infamous parkour scene.
Tom Cruise has an excellent supporting cast. Standouts are Henry Cavill as August Walker and Simon Pegg as Benji, even if Benji is underused. Pegg’s performance that roots you to the climax; he is the one doing most of the dramatic lifting in the movie. While he is doing that, Ving Rames adds the stoic philosophising, Rebecca Fergason provides mystery and Tom Cruise, of course, does the running. Similarly, we have an incredibly fun turn from The Crown’s Vanessa Kirby as the White Widow, an arms dealer. She is a character that I hope we see more of, one that is ripe for double cross and political intrigue.
Yes, the film has flaws. The plot is a little convoluted. This is mainly due to Lane’s plan and the reveal of another bad guy that takes the wind out of the character’s sails somewhat. Especially when that twist is presented so matter of factly. There is also the need for Hunt to be one step ahead of everyone else, tricking them. This distances him from the audience as we are never sure what is going through his mind. It makes sense for the actor that is playing him as we never know what Tom Cruise is thinking. But as the main character, we as the audience need a way of attaching ourselves to him in order to care more about his predicament. As it is we feel more for his team, dragged along by the paranoid workaholic recluse. Despite this, when it leans toward the tense and thrilling action set pieces they are so well put together you are a bit more likely to forgive it.
Other little niggles include an obnoxious use of lens flare that obscures the frame, a hangover from the J.J. Abrams days. This is more obvious in earlier scenes, especially in the dark alleyways and parties that the film takes place in. And then Sean Harris as our villain grunts his way through the film with that gravely whisper of his, I think he thinks the voice is intimidating. Not to mention the fact that Fallout seems to have some tonal inconsistency, continually jumping genre scene to scene, ending up with a sort of absurdist action comedy as Hunt just repeats “I’ll figure it out” when his crew present him with an impossible task; he always does though and it is great to watch him figure it out.
However, despite flaws that affect the whole of the film, when Mission: Impossible – Fallout hits its stride it is a tense action film that focuses on the very best practical stunt work in modern cinema. It exudes an old-school Hollywood style and with a great cast of characters, this is one film that will have you on the edge of your seat.
You can watch Mission: Impossible – Fallout in cinemas now