Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018)

Review #1,598

Director:  Christopher McQuarrie
Cast:  Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Alec Baldwin
Plot:  Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, along with some familiar allies, race against time after a mission gone wrong.

Genre:  Action / Adventure / Thriller
Awards:  -
Runtime:  147 mins
Rating:  PG13 (passed clean) for violence and intense sequences of action, and for brief strong language
Distributor:  United International Pictures

The indefatigable Tom Cruise returns at age 56 with his sixth “Mission: Impossible” movie, titled Fallout, in what is also the longest film of the franchise yet, clocking at nearly 150 minutes.  Some critics have called it the high watermark of the series, while most agree that it contains some of the most stupendous action sequences in Hollywood filmmaking this year.  In short, you will have a blast at the theater, and I can’t agree more.  

At the very least, Fallout is on par with its predecessors in terms of its plotting, each one of them creatively put together with scenarios built around one close-shave moment after another.  Cruise's Ethan Hunt, deeply involved in creating problems (some are out of necessity, while others are due to oversight) as well as solving them at the last moment is our modern era’s go-to (super)hero.  

Skilled and adept at assessing the best way to get out of life-and-death scenarios while intricately being in them, he has lady luck always with him, as well as that sheer tenacity to produce that extra mile, that extra breath, that extra leap just to make sure he has that bit of extra time to say—with a smug—mission accomplished.

In Fallout, writer-director Christopher McQuarrie (his second MI movie after Rogue Nation (2015)) has conceived of a plot largely based on deception, with several intelligence organisations going after three missing plutonium canisters that in the wrong hands could turn into catastrophic nuclear bombs.  

Racing against time, Ethan and co. face insurmountable odds dealing with tricky situations, while also plotting decoy scenarios to gain a strategic upper-hand.  The focus on deception and decoy are the reasons Fallout is lengthier than usual, as scenes play out far longer than they normally would.  

And this is true of the action sequences as well, with the key highlight being an exhilarating vehicle chase in the middle of the film that starts off with a convoy ferrying a high-profile criminal.  Some viewers may find visual parallels to Christopher Nolan’s seminal The Dark Knight (2008), which could have been an influence on how the action scenes in Fallout were shot.  Not to mention the climatic helicopter chase that is reminiscent of the opening to The Dark Knight Rises (2012) in its pure spectacle.  

With a Hans Zimmer-type score by Lorne Balfe (who had been mentored by Zimmer), that uncanny feeling of McQuarrie’s work resembling a proxy of Nolan’s (or what the latter might have possibly done with a MI movie) is an aspect worth fantasising about.

Verdict:  Arguably the most consistently entertaining action franchise of the last twenty years, this elaborately-mounted sixth film also shows the lasting star power of the indefatigable Tom Cruise.





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