The best intentions often come back to haunt you. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT finds Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team (Alec Baldwin, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames) along with some familiar allies (Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Monaghan) in a race against time after a mission gone wrong. – (Source)
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 97% (Critics) / 95% (Audience)
MetaScore: 86 – Universal acclaim
Directed By: Christopher McQuarrie
Written By: Christopher McQuarrie
Starring: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Simon Pegg and Angela Bassett
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Tom Cruise is still the #1 action movie star in my book. You can keep your Vin Diesel’s and your Jason Statham’s and even your Dwayne Johnson’s…not saying those guys are bad or anything but no one is better at this action star stuff than Cruise and though he is getting up there in years he still pulls off the best performances of all the other guys in this category in these types of movies even if the movie itself is kinda weak (looking in your general direction THE MUMMY). So I am all in for Tom Cruise to continue running around doing his own stunts until his hips give out.
I also appreciate that the team aspect continues to be a major part of this franchise. I think these films always come up lacking when they downplay the IMF in favor of Ethan Hunt being a solo agent. This is helped by the fact that Cruise has wonderful chemistry with Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames and they playful back and forth provides some needed moments of levity when the proceedings tend to be drifting into a too serious direction. And it was great to see Rebecca Ferguson back as Ilsa. She fits right in with the main trio of the IMF and hopefully she sticks around for future films.
FALLOUT also benefits from the new additions to the cast. Henry Cavill is a delightful douchebag walking brick house of a man as C.I.A. agent August Walker. The description of him as being a blunt object to Hunt’s scalpel is so spot on because Cavill plays Walker like he’s a sentient sledgehammer and his brutish physicality adds so much to his performance. I also am ecstatic to see Angela Bassett added to this cast and with the way the movie ended it seems like she will be a fixture in future films. And Vanessa Kirby was such a Bond Girl with her performance as the deadly White Widow. She is another one I am happy to see has the door left open for future appearances.
Of course the direction of Chris McQuarrie deserves equal billing with Tom Cruise as the MVP of this film. McQuarrie has such an eye for delivering creative action set pieces shot in the most exciting yet artistic way possible. I am not sure how much longer he plans on sticking around as the creative force behind this franchise but hopefully it is for a good long while because I would hate to see him go and there are not many other directors I think could take his place.
I have never been a fan of Ethan Hunt’s being haunted by his past and the wife he had to leave in order to do the world saving derring-do that he does. No slight against Michelle Monaghan (who I like) but I will be one happy camper if this is the last time we see or hear any mention of Julia Hunt.
And not for nothing but the hunt for stolen plutonium story was pretty weak but that tends to be the norm for these movies: a weak story that is buoyed by the great chemistry between the actors and the amazing action set pieces.
I completely understand why Sean Harris’ Solomon Lane needed to be brought back to tie up loose ends with his character arc but the character still suffers from being just as blah as he was in previous appearances and if not for Henry Cavill’s entertaining turn as August Walker this MI film would have been a total washout in terms of bad guys.
Final Verdict: MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT delivers all of the high octane thrills that one expects from this franchise while also wrapping up a lot of dangling threads that leaves the series in a prime position to expand in some new and creative ways that should be loads of fun.