Writing reviews for the Mission: Impossible franchise is often repetitive since I’ve said the last three installments, “This is the best of the franchise.” Well, I’m here again to say that about Fallout! If more installments are released, they’ll have to work hard to top the suspense and insanity of this one.
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) saves his team in a failed mission, resulting in the loss of plutonium cores. He’s forced to team up with the straight-faced CIA operative, August Walker (Henry Cavill) to recover the cores, leading to a reunion with double agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) and old enemy Solomon Lane (Sean Harris). It wouldn’t be a Mission: Impossible movie without the action sequences!
The previous M:I installments (Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation in particular) had impressive action sequences that relied on Cruise’s stunt work. Fallout’s action reaches new achievements in action movie filmmaking. Every sequence raises the stakes both for the film’s cast and narrative. HALO jumps, a brutal bathroom fight, and a thrilling helicopter chase will leave you wondering, “How the hell did they do that?”
Screenwriter/director Christopher McQuarrie (Rogue Nation, Jack Reacher) once again balances character-driven storytelling with spectacular action sequences. We learn what makes Ethan tick: his addiction to the mission and love for his team. Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames return as Benji and Luther. We see a few key scenes where Ethan’s willing to sacrifice the mission for his only family. Both Pegg and Rhames once again shine in their supporting roles.
Cruise has never been better as Ethan Hunt. At 56 years old, Cruise displays amazing agility and fearlessness in his stunts. It’s hard not to gasp for breath watching him jump into a lightning storm or fly a helicopter between mountains. He also delivers a more tormented performance, showing Ethan is burned out, but determined.
Cavill’s August Walker is a great foil to Ethan. Younger, more physically imposing, and okay going after colleagues since “it’s the job,” August is one of the more formidable antagonistic characters in the franchise. Plus, I can watch his “arm reload” pose on repeat.
Fallout runs at 147 minutes long (the longest installment in the franchise) and is never dull. In fact, McQuarrie paces the film in a roller coaster fashion. If we can just get rid of the “last-second countdown” cliche, then Fallout would be perfect. But I can forgive that one little flaw and will pay full price to see it again (thanks, MoviePass).