The mission is a go as Hollywood megastar Tom Cruise returns as daredevil super spy Ethan Hunt in the sixth installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise, Mission: Impossible – Fallout and Cruise raises the bar and takes the action genre to a whole new level here.
When an IMF mission ends badly, the world suddenly faces dire consequences. Feeling responsible for the fallout, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) personally takes it upon himself to complete the mission, but the CIA begins to question his loyalty and his motives. Finding himself in a race against time, while being pursued by a host of ruthless assassins, Ethan will have to use every bit of his considerable willpower to complete the mission and stop a global catastrophe.
Cruise is back for this, his sixth installment, of the long-running Mission: Impossible series and he has again found the edge of the action genre and decided to push it even further. Whenever you hear that Tom Cruise wants to return as Ethan Hunt you know that he’s ready to step things up a notch. And the bar keeps getting raised. From hanging upside down in the middle of CIA headquarters to free soloing in Moab, Utah to performing a full fulcrum swing dive in Shanghai and running around the edge of the Burj Khalifa before finally deciding to hang outside on the edge of a Atlas C1, Cruise absolutely knows no limits as Ethan Hunt and with each successive installment he plans to go bigger and bolder.
Why you ask? Not only does this stem from his desire to offer his audience the best possible time out at the movies, but I personally feel that to Cruise the Mission: Impossible franchise are his most personal film works. So much of himself as a performer and a man is wrapped up in the character of Ethan Hunt and that’s exactly where we come to in Mission: Impossible – Fallout. While the stunts and narrative will really have you wrapped up, here we get to discover what really makes Ethan Hunt tick and why he’s willing to risk his life so many times over for the sake of the world. What we discover is a profoundly moving answer and it will really make you more thankful that a man like Ethan Hunt is on our side. Cruise gives 110% and then some with this performance and he truly succeeds in entertaining his audience.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout is film that also brings everything together for the fans and this all stems from Cruise. On the narrative level it goes right back to the first film and threads all of the events of Ethan Hunt’s life back together. It’s a very ambitious move for Cruise to lead the film in this direction but it really pays off and once more allows us to go in deeper on the character of Ethan Hunt.
But Mission: Impossible – Fallout is not simply a one man show as it takes a team of visionaries working together to pull together these gigantic world saving action extravaganzas and that’s exactly where Cruise’s long time collaborator Christopher McQuarrie comes into the frame.
Following up on their work together on Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, both director and star engage in what is really their first ever direct sequel to a Mission: Impossible film. They kick things off quickly and the action of the narrative ramps up fast. You can see that McQuarrie really wants to deliver on the spectacle that he first offered in Rogue Nation and the director succeeds in pushing the envelope even further. As a director he takes a hand in both the narrative and the action work and under his guidance Mission: Impossible – Fallout is the most practically shot action blockbuster of all time. McQuarrie put the emphasis on the real and the intensity absolutely shows up on screen taking your breath away with each new scene.
Along with his talents for narrative and action, McQuarrie also has an eye for talent and this led him to cast Henry Cavill as the antagonistic August Walker, a brutal CIA assassin who definitely has an axe to grind with Hunt. Cavill’s Walker stands in direct comparison to Cruise’s Hunt, as a hulking brute of a man Walker has no qualms about using blunt force to achieve his missions objectives and has little time for the ‘Halloween tricks’ of the IMF as he likes to call them. This puts him in direct opposition to Cruise’s Hunt and the firework do fly.
Cavill’s performance is his best yet and I’m not just talking about his scene-stealing mustache here. He really goes for it as Walker and his presence is an intimidating one at that. You completely buy him as the assassin sent in to ‘mind’ the IMF and Cavill does a great job at changing certain parts of the mission to suit his own agenda. I’m always interested to see an actor try something different and move to stretch themselves in the performance of their craft and that’s exactly what Cavill does here.
Along with the introduction of Cavill we also see the return of Rebecca Furguson as MI6 operative Ilsa Faust and this time Ilsa is pursuing her own agenda. While I can’t really go into details on her character’s involvement without running the risk of leading to spoilers I will say that her presence here offers plenty of new choices for Ethan and sparks do indeed fly. This introduction of a good dose of underlying romance really changes things up for Ethan this time and Ilsa’s presence is an interesting story thread. Naturally Ferguson again offers up a great performance and proves why she is becoming a vital part of the Mission: Impossible franchise.
And of-course your favourites are back as well. Once again Simon Pegg and the ever dependable Ving Rhames prove why they are stalwarts of the Mission: Impossible franchise. These two misfits really make up the heart of the franchise and any time they’re up on screen I always find myself smiling a little wider.
But now lets move to a more serious topic. You said you wanted action? YOU GOT IT! As an exercise in filmmaking Mission: Impossible – Fallout is the most practically shot action blockbuster ever made. Forget green screens. Forget stunt doubles. This is Tom Cruise in action, up on the big screen and absolutely going for it. And he truly holds nothing back this time. From a death defying HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) jump to a gnarly motorbike chase around the Arc de Triomphe to the stunt to end all stunts in the ambitious Helicopter chase, Mission: Impossible – Fallout has it all. Trust me when I tell you to strap yourself into your chair because your adrenal gland is going to be working overtime with this one.
While I’m trying to hold back on what occurs on screen I will say that the Helicopter Chase scene which was shot down in Queenstown, New Zealand is a truly exceptional piece of filmmaking. You’ve never seen anything like this before and I can’t think of anyone brave enough or indeed crazy enough to jump into it like Tom Cruise. Every single moment has Cruise at the throttle and he really takes you for a ride in this one. This is a countdown of nail-biting adrenaline as the action ramps up and up and up. With this scene you’re truly witnessing the genius of Cruise and McQuarrie and it’s a rush.
If you’re looking for an action experience to take you to the next level then you’ll definitely find it with Mission: Impossible – Fallout! This is a blockbuster made of pure adrenaline and it’s exactly what the movies were meant for and trust me when I say that it really is one hell of a fun ride.
Image: Paramount Pictures