Mission: Impossible – Fallout Raises the Bar

Left to right: Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn, Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust, Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt and Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT, from Paramount Pictures and Skydance.

Tom Cruise shows that there are no signs of stopping or slowing down with the newest MI entry, Mission: Impossible – Fallout.

Following a nightmarish dream involving Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and Julia Meade-Hunt (Michelle Monaghan), reality catches up to the IMF agent.  With Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) captured, there have been unintended consequences.  The latest being The Apostles forming from The Syndicate’s remnants.  The other being the mysterious John Lark.  Who is he and why did he author a manifesto?  Finally, nuclear weapons expert Nils Debruuk (Kristoffer Joner) has disappeared along with three plutonium cores from Russia.

Just as Hunt and his team, including Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) and technical field agent Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), make their way to Paris, CIA director Erica Sloane (Angela Bassett) has other plans.  Sloane assigns August Walker (Henry Cavill), a member of the Special Activities Division.  Waiting for them in Paris is the black market broker White Widow (Vanessa Kirby).  Also waiting in Paris is former MI6 agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson).  She keeps coming to the rescue when Ethan least expects it but with her own agenda.

The whole climactic third act will have audiences on the edge of their seats.  It’s up to the team to stop a pair of bombs.  It’s easier said than done and requires a team effort, including massive stunt work in the snow-capped mountains of Kashmir.  Honestly, the entire film is so fast-paced that there’s not even a great moment to sneak off to the bathroom.

Despite his marriage to Julia, there’s some definite chemistry between Ethan and Ilsa.  You can tell in how he acts that he cares about her.  Whether or not he has the romantic feelings is a different story!

At times, Baldwin gives off a comedic vibe as Hunley.  Whether it’s intentional or not, there’s a little bit of Jack Donaghy in Baldwin’s performance.  Meanwhile, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer makes the best use of his cameo.  He should seriously quite while he’s ahead.

We are now six movies into the franchise since it was adapted for the big screen.  Yes, it’s true.  The franchise was based on the 1967-1973 television series of the same name.  It’s been over 20 years since Tom Cruise started playing Ethan Hunt.  Nearly 2.5 hours after we sit down to watch the film, it’s clear that no amount of stunt work is going to slow him down.  Not the snow-capped mountains of Kashmir or even the streets of Paris are going to stop Cruise.  The actor is in his mid-50s and is set to reprise his Top Gun role.

Writer-director Christopher McQuarrie’s Fallout may be the best in the series.  You might be able to make an argument out of Ghost Protocol or Rogue Nation.  As exciting and thrilling as the last two films were, McQuarrie finds a way to make Fallout just as thrilling and exciting.  There are twists and turns at every corner.  Cinematographer Rob Hardy and editor Eddie Hamilton only add to the suspense.

The thrills are aided by Lorne Balfe’s score.  Balfe makes great use of percussion instruments.  “Fallout” makes great use of the Mission: Impossible theme.  For an action film, it’s right up there with Han Zimmer’s score for Dunkirk last summer.  A quick Google search shows that Balfe has a studio with Zimmer.  In any event, Balfe’s score needs to be kept in mind for later this year.

With the sixth Mission: Impossible installment in the books, the question is where the franchise goes after Fallout continues to raise the bar.

DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER:  Christopher McQuarrie
CAST:  Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Angela Bassett, Vanessa Kirby, Wes Bentley, Frederick Schmidt with Michelle Monaghan and Alec Baldwin

Paramount Pictures will open Mission: Impossible – Fallout in theaters on July 27, 2018.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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