BY: MONTE YAZZIE
If it’s the summertime and Tom Cruise is running from mysterious bad guys who are trying to end the world, it’s probably a good sign that we have another “Mission: Impossible” movie. Director Christopher McQuarrie returns to continue the action-packed franchise with “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”, an entertaining popcorn film that attempts to give fans everything they have come to love about this franchise all in one film.
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is still leading the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) team with Luther (Ving Rhames) and Benji (Simon Pegg) tagging along into dangerous, end-of-the-world scenarios that teeter on the verge of failure until the last possible moment. The mission, should he choose to accept it, is concerned around some stolen plutonium and plans to build a nuclear weapon by a group of terrorist mercenaries who call themselves the “Apostles.” It is up to Ethan and his team to uncover who is behind the devious plan so that they can save the world.
Action sequels have a consistent aspect of one-upmanship associated with their design; the plots need to be more complicated, the action needs to be bigger and the bad guy needs to have a more evil plan than the one before. After six films in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise just about every angle for the over-the-top action and story elements have been done.
While the story is a bit of a mess in this film, having Tom Cruise’s seemingly superhuman abilities anchoring your film means that the high flying action elements can continue to grow more audacious as long as Mr. Cruise is willing and healthy enough to do the work.
In “Fallout” Tom Cruise displays again that he is one of the hardest working actors in the business; willing to risk tremendous harm, he broke his ankle doing a stunt in this film to bring authenticity to the role. It’s amazing to watch.
Having a great cast around him is also a plus. Simon Pegg brings humor, while the newcomer to the franchise, Henry Cavill, the macho and muscular tough guy to Cruise’s charming spy, is a perfect complement to the cast.
Aside from Cruise’s dedication to the role, “Fallout” pushes the action set pieces from small scale bathroom brawls to helicopter chaos against a picturesque snowy mountain backdrop. Every action scene in the film has something to cheer about. The bathroom brawl is humorous while also being bone crushing, and about midway through the film there is a thrilling scene that is more exciting and suspenseful than anything you’ve seen this year. That’s a hard feat to accomplish for any film let alone one that is six films into the franchise.
Amidst all the action is a plot that is so overly convoluted and filled with unnecessary twists that it becomes hard to follow how one scenario moves into another without extensive questions needing to be answered. While Mr. McQuarrie, who also wrote the script, builds an ingenious action film that is filled with pulse-pounding spectacle, the story doesn’t tie in with everything that is happening on the screen. But in the end, this is a film that is fronted by the boom and blast of car chases and fight scenes, the story is just extra credit.
“Mission: Impossible – Fallout” is one of the better action films of the summer. Tom Cruise’s performance is fun to watch and the breakneck action pacing makes the nearly 150 minute runtime seem short. The story is frustratingly routine but it hardly matters here, the spectacle of Tom Cruise, motorcycle chases, explosions, and hand-to-hand combat does the impossible mission of making a sixth film in a franchise stand on its own.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Dir: Christopher McQuarrie
Starring: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Angela Bassett, and Michelle Monaghan
4.00 out of 5.00