Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Review by Danny Beaton
Mission: Impossible has always been the perfect franchise vehicle for Tom Cruise, to the point where Tom Cruise IS Ethan Hunt as much as Robert Downey Jr IS Iron Man or Harrison Ford IS Indiana Jones… More on this later.
Tom Cruise stars in and produces Mission: Impossible – Fallout. This film may be the sixth entry in the espionage series, but succeeds most where it breaks the formula. Yes, of course the action is brutal, fast paced and tense, and yes Tom Cruise runs like the world is on fire, but this entry really leans on the films that came before it.
For the first time in the franchise, we have a return villain in Solomon Lain, played somehow even creepier and more menacing by Sean Harris. Also we have a return female lead for the first time, with Isla Faust played by Rebecca Ferguson, who still steals every scene she is in, much like she did in Rogue Nation. Furthermore, we have Christopher Macquarie returning as Writer and Director. Macquarie is a long time Cruise collaborator, writing other Tom Cruise films from Valkyrie, Jack Reacher and Edge of Tomorrow and he directed the aforementioned Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, from where Solomon Lain and Isla Faust originated.
What can be said about Henry Cavill, except being flawed by his performance as the “Hammer” to Ethan Hunt’s “Scalpel”. Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg round out the major players nicely, and add even more connection to the franchise’s history.
The film is long, and at just under two and a half hours it is the longest Mission: Impossible film released to date, but the film is nonstop. Even when the film stops to catch a breath, it’s not, there is set up after setup after setup. The music does a lot of the heavy lifting for the action and pacing, and it builds in a way I haven’t experienced since Hans Zimmer’s score for Inception.
So, Tom Cruise… He’s polarising, that’s for sure. This week already his name came up five times, albeit because I had mentioned in conversation that I was seeing Fallout. Two people threw their hands in the air, “He’s a nut job!” said one, “That crazy scientologist”, said another. Two others loved him and his films, and the other exclusively liked his films, but not him specifically. But, that aside, he is a movie star…and one of the few. As great as the script, direction and other performances are in Mission:Impossible – Fallout are, this film works because of Tom Cruise. Ethan Hunt is a character who has been portrayed as a naïve secret agent, unbeatable action hero, a husband trying to give up the action life, and a crazy unstoppable and very lucky man. This film somehow ties all those elements together, giving as what can only be taken as the definitive Ethan Hunt; and that means something for a sixth entry.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout is another great entry in the espionage franchise, uniquely building on the previous films to give us something new and exciting.