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Second Union

REVIEW: ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’

After five previous Mission: Impossible films showcasing his dedication to impressive stunt-work and realism, you’d think Tom Cruise would have stepped out of the game for a little while. However, here we are, with the sixth installment in the long-running franchise, titled Fallout. It’s the first movie in the franchise to feature a returning director (Christopher McQuarrie, Rogue Nation) and the stakes definitely seem higher, but does it stack up against the other entries in the franchise?

The answer is yes. Every single ounce of hype for this movie was not for nothing, as McQuarrie and Cruise deliver another stunning entry in the franchise, one filled with insane action setpieces, memorable characters, and a fulfilling story. This time around, Ethan Hunt reaps the consequences of choosing his team over worldwide security. Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) is in custody, but his “Apostles” have recovered plutonium cores and is planning on unleashing a nuclear weapon with them.

Left to right: Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt and Henry Cavill as August Walker in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT, from Paramount Pictures and Skydance.

Despite the Mission: Impossible franchise’s most regrettable moments, there’s always been a saving grace that shows up in every movie: the practical effects. For films like these, it definitely helps to have modern technology, but it never feels necessary because Tom Cruise gives it his all in every scene he partakes in. Whether he’s clinging to the Burj Khalifa, hanging on to a flying plane, or (in this case) engaging in a high-octane helicopter chase, Cruise’s commitment is undeniably enthralling. The death-defying stakes are extremely high as you watch the two leads duke it out on a cliff in Kashmir. No padded landing, no stunt doubles, and one possibly fatal fall.

The other action sequences seek to provide more thrills than the last, eventually leaving such an impact on the viewer that they won’t want the scene to end. Each and every one is simply exhilarating, taking your breath away with the utter shock and awe of it all. Exclamations of many emotions will be heard throughout theaters across the globe as Cruise rides through the streets of Paris, leaps across building rooftops, brawls in a bathroom, and jumps out of a plane 25,000 feet in the air.

Now, for the question many have waited to find out: was the mustache removal in Justice League worth it? Henry Cavill plays August Walker, a CIA agent sent to accompany Hunt in finding the plutonium. There are elements of his character that feel rushed and underdeveloped, but it’s not for nothing, as the twist near the end of the second act is somewhat shocking. So, yes, it was worth it.

Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT, from Paramount Pictures and Skydance.

If there were to be any issues with the movie as a whole, it would be that Solomon Lane did get a bit annoying, in that he overstayed his welcome a bit. He was a decent villain in M:I – Rogue Nation, but here, there are points where you could take him away and still have the same plot. I would’ve rather had the “Apostles” acting as a way of revenge, rather than accomplice, but that’s just my opinion. I also didn’t feel like Rebecca Ferguson was given as much to do as she could’ve, considering how truly amazing she was in Rogue Nation, but it’s not even that big of an issue. That being said, Ferguson ends up in a romantic role with Cruise. Nothing ever really happens, but feelings are hinted at in a pretty banal way. Michelle Monaghan, who plays Ethan’s ex-wife, also returns to serve as an emotionally driving force, but it doesn’t work as often as it hopes to thanks to over-the-top corny nightmare sequences.

The entirety of the third act is a masterpiece in action filmmaking. Every single frame is perfection, creating tense, drawn-out sequences that serve only to thrill. They will get your heart racing just by thinking about them, and that feeling won’t go away for a while. At this point in the summer, nothing could be greater than Cruise stowing away on a payload, climbing up the rope, and hijacking a helicopter, leading to an insane chase that lasts for quite a while. McQuarrie knows how to do action movies right, blending the cinematography, pacing, and Lorne Balfe’s beautiful score to create something amazing.

Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT, from Paramount Pictures and Skydance.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout brings new characters, ideas, and set pieces to the table, resulting in a near-perfect culmination of the first five films. There are a couple minor issues here and here, but the film ultimately soars over those, featuring impressive work all around. The movie is filled with amazing action and story elements, never once feeling oversimplified or played-out. Cruise once again proves that he’s one of the best action stars working today with some of the greatest stunts you’ll ever see in a movie. The film is worth every minute of your time, serving to be one of the greatest action movies of all time.

Grade: A

Mission: Impossible – Fallout stars Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Angela Basset, Michelle Monaghan, Vanessa Kirby, Alec Baldwin. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie.

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