Mission: Impossible returns this year with another mission that may be impossible for anyone else, but not for Tom Cruise because that man can run like he’s sponsored by Nike. After the success that was Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) having Christopher McQuarrie return for Fallout was the right way to go and he shows that he has his finger on the pulse of this franchise. Just when you thought the action couldn’t get any crazier McQuarrie uses his ability to gradually build suspense over time keep you locked in. This story takes place following a mission that goes wrong which leaves the IMF to race against the clock and put a stop to the threat. Once it kicks into gear it’s fun, fast paced, and brings everything you expect from a Mission: Impossible film to the table. You get the charismatic and ever so likeable ensemble, big action set-pieces, plot-turning twists, and Ethan Hunt running harder than he’s ever run before.
The cast this time around is a great one packed with big names both new to the game and returning. Tom Cruise as far as I’m concerned IS Ethan Hunt, he can be in any number of action franchises but this the one character I feel like he nails every time. He really is a true movie star as his on-screen charisma sells you completely on all of these stunts which in reality wouldn’t be nearly as successful. His tight-knit crew returns in the form of Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames who share a number of great on-screen moments with Cruise and have their fair share of light comedic moments here and there. Rebecca Ferguson also returns in an interesting role with an intriguing arc which keeps her around and very much in the thick of the action. On the villains side of things Sean Harris is back as Solomon Lane, he’s such an absolute joy to watch as a villain and plays the role very well. The major newcomer is Henry Cavill who is sporting his Justice League-killing moustache whilst getting in on a number of action sequences. It can be hard at times to see him as someone other than Superman but he plays the role well here and keeps your mind off that.
As for the progression of the story I will say it isn’t quite as fast paced and right into the action in the beginning as I thought it’d be. But it doesn’t take its time either, McQuarrie cleverly builds suspense with each successive sequence to where I found myself enjoying this movie more and more as it went on. In some aspects you could see where things were heading but for the majority of the story I had fun trying to figure out what tricks Hunt is going to pull off to get out of his many tough situations. It oddly felt like a wholly original experience within the shell of a story that I’m sure you’ve seen a number of times. There are these elements within the Mission: Impossible franchise from the music, to the Ethan Hunt character, and the way it approaches spy-thriller action that make each one feel unique even though it’s just a race against the clock story with some twists and turns here and there. As I mentioned it does take its time to ease you into the story and give people a bit of a refresher on what has happened in the franchise so far so you really don’t need to have seen any of the previous entries to follow this story. I was a little lukewarm on the film in the first act but seeing how it all builds towards a strong finale it’s worth the journey.
The action takes centre-stage once again and seeing how it’s going to one-up itself every time is part of the fun. Cruise was strapped to a plane in Rogue Nation but somehow he manages to up the stakes again this time around. Not only are the stunts and action sequences bigger but there are much more of them to fill the runtime. With each consecutive one it upped the stakes significantly and kept the story moving at a quick pace, not letting it meander around on some slower moments. The fight sequences, chase scenes, car scenes, helicopter scenes, they’re all immensely fun to watch and capture what it is to be a Mission: Impossible movie. When the iconic theme kicks in at some key moments it never fails to get you pumped and ready for the action. McQuarrie has created another gem in this spy-thriller franchise and I honestly just want him to keep going, maybe hire a stunt-double for Cruise next time so he doesn’t kill himself though.
So, with that we say goodbye to another Mission: Impossible film and a great one at that. It’s one of those rare franchises that seems to have found its tone, its niche, and just finds ways to keep pumping out great thrill rides. The non-stop action will keep you invested and going along with a crew of great characters and actors makes the whole thing that much more enjoyable. There’s rarely a dull moment as it builds in intensity as it progresses towards a finale that caps it all off to a tee. Fans of the franchise know what they’re getting into and newcomers can also enjoy this entry without any prior knowledge of the 5 films that came before it.