When was the last time you heard about how a single man’s mustache brought an entire movie studio’s knees to the ground? Yes, I am talking about the entire fiasco between DC and Paramount surrounding Henry Cavill’s glorious lip foliage which spawned countless memorable memes. We all know how that worked out for DC and Justice League last year – laughable to say the least.
So the question on everyone’s mind: Did Paramount get the better end of the stick? To that I say hell yes – Mission: Impossible – Fallout is the best chapter in the franchise and quite possibly one of the greatest action films of all time.
What is it about?
When an IMF (Impossible Missions Force) mission ends badly and Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) escapes custody, the world is faced with dire consequences. As Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) takes it upon himself to fulfil his original briefing, the CIA begins to question his loyalty and his motives.
Hunt finds himself in a race against time, hunted by assassins and former allies while trying to prevent a global nuclear catastrophe. He is joined by long time IMF team members, Benji (Simon Pegg) and Luther (Ving Rhames).
Tom Cruise is a maniacal genius
The ‘Mission Impossible’ franchise and ‘Tom Cruise’ paired together. Name me a better duo. I’ll wait. At the ripe age of 56, many movie stars at that age can be seen taking the backseat when it comes to film roles but Cruise is still bringing his A-game to the big screen. The sheer action, energy and enthusiasm he offers to the table have no equal and it inherently shows in the production.
The franchise’s lasting appeal of globetrotting stunts tops itself time after time again and Cruise’s daredevil instinct is at the focal point. Some of it may leave you writhing in pain as well. If there were any critics of Cruise’s relevance in today’s industry following his disastrous outing in The Mummy, Mission: Impossible – Fallout emphatically shuts that door and proves that it’s going to take more than one bad film to keep his practically ageless body down.
Fresh faces bring the fight
Rebecca Ferguson’s MI6 Agent Ilsa Faust makes a return following a positive debut in Rogue Nation. She establishes herself once again why she is the best female character in the series by swooping in to save the team’s life on countless occasions and quite clearly being the only person who can match Hunt’s brains and brawn.
Newcomers Vanessa Kirby and Henry Cavill fill their respective roles with elegance and pomp, with Cavill’s CIA assassin August Walker having a bigger part to play by being at odds with Hunt for most of the movie.
We are so used to seeing Cavill as the image of a gentle Superman that witnessing him wholeheartedly embrace a new vulgar and violent role was odd but refreshing after his ulterior motives rifle him to the peak of the plot. His herculean physique is fully worked to many rounds of effective environmental destruction as his brutal methods of dispatching mobs of eastern European thugs pale in comparison with Hunt’s calculated strikes.
Recycled story is lazy
You go to a Mission: Impossible movie for the climactic action but do the stories pack the same punch? Unfortunately, that is where Fallout makes the rare misstep. For the past four films in the series, the stories were treated with the tried and tested ‘spy disavowed’ narrative.
Fallout doesn’t disappoint in that department as it rehashes the same scenario, just in a different setting. It has become such a recurrent trope that the emotional effect it has on audiences is diminished.
The first time we saw the plot unravel, it was great; the second time was not bad; now we are at the sixth and it delivers the opposite effect. Funnily enough, Henry Cavill’s character shares the same sentiment with me by annoyingly uttering ‘How many times has Hunt’s government betrayed him, disavowed him and cast him aside?’ during a scene. It frankly sums up the whole situation nicely.
Thankfully though, by the time the credits roll, the movie sort of addresses this needless plot device of diminishing returns by providing a sense of finality to all things which have the words ‘government’ and ‘betrayal’ in them.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout is an amalgamation of all the best parts of the franchise pieced together to create a fast paced action movie which more often than not outdoes itself with adrenaline pumping set-pieces and picturesque locations.
Breathlessly thrilling at its best with hardly any breathing space, Mission: Impossible – Fallout never ever puts a foot on the brake throughout its two and a half hour runtime. And the best part of it all? Tom Cruise running for five minutes on top of the Parisian rooftops of course.
Featured image taken from Paramount Pictures
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