These may be fighting words but I have to say Mission: Impossible – Fallout is more Bond than Bond is these days. The Mission: Impossible series from 3 onward has found its particular groove in modern action movies and the 6th installment Fallout, is no different.
I remember when the Bond films were innovators with their action set pieces and stunt work. Every film they would push the boundaries with something new and crazy the stuntmen would do. These days they seem determined to remove every ounce of fun they can from Bond. Realistic isn’t always better, doing taxes is realistic. I’m not going to watch 2hrs 30 of Bond filling out his deductibles on martinis and totaled Maseratis. The audience wants escapism, gadgets glamour and action. The Fast and the Furious movies have also happily drifted into this action vacuum. To top it off in Mission: Impossible we have all of the most insane stunts being done by the lead actor himself!
Based on the 1966 tv series it has a history going back almost as far as the Bond series first in 2 tv series and then movies. I’m not even going to explain the premise to you as if you have never seen a spy movie before but Mission: Impossible usually has particular beats to it. A self destructing high stakes mission briefing, subterfuge with elaborate setups and masks, double, triple, quadruple crosses and finished off with some intense action but I’ll get into specifics later.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout does pick up many threads and characters from the previous movie Rogue Nation, which although I remember watching I cannot remember anything about other than Tom Cruise swimming in a thing to get the thing…
The threat this time is 3 nuclear grade weapons cores in the hands of a splinter group of rouge operatives and an Impossible Mission ensues.
As you would expect it globetrots from Belfast to Berlin, Paris to London to Kashmir (A.K.A Queenstown). Showcasing some epic scenes in the latter locations.
We have so many returning cast members from the previous movies its hard to keep up.
Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt the leader of the Impossible Missions Force. Like him or hate him Tom Cruise makes Vin Diesel, The Rock and pretty much all of the other other action stars look weaksause for the sheer amount of stunts and action scenes he demands to do himself. Crazy? Quite probably but you cant fault his commitment. If you are seeing something amazing on screen and its Tom Cruise, it is actually Tom Cruise not CGI.
Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust who is the Hunt’s sometime workwife / Mi6 adversary.
Ving Rhames and Simon Peg return as Luther and Benji who are the glue that holds the Impossible Missions Force together.
Henry Cavill as August Walker is a fantastily brutal foil for Cruise’s Hunt. Walker is the hammer to Hunt’s scalpel approach.
Sean Harris provides a creepily nasal performance as the “Operative gone bad arch-villain” Solomon Lane.
Alec Baldwin and Angela Basset are the heads of the Secretary of State and CIA heads respectively.
So there are a lot of moments in this movie which boil down to “we did it because we could”. I can’t really figure out if this is a bad thing or not. If this kind of thing bugs you, you might be in for a rough time.
However I think this is exactly the kind of thing the Bond films have been missing of late and has turned them into James Bored instead.
Like was it really easier to do a High Altitude Low Open parachute jump than land at a private airport and get an Uber to the event they needed to infiltrate? I get they were in a hurry and it was an amazing stunt that *they actually did*.
Another issue was the White Widow scene just dragged the pace down and they seemed adamant on featuring Vanessa (The Crown) Kirby, at the time I couldn’t figure out why she was featured. The performance was so bad I wondered if she was a singer I should recognize but didn’t or the girlfriend of someone important…
Also Henry Cavil’s performance to start with was very poor, his American accent was identical to his Superman one and just didn’t ring true, his physical acting is a whole different story and made up for his dodgy accent.
The weird thing is although these movies have had some of the best and most realistically filmed and executed action scenes I really have trouble remembering what happened in any of them. You don’t need to have seen any of the previous films but I feel I should have watched Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation before this one to jog my memory.
The other thing is it is incredibly irresponsible for Cruise to constantly risk bodily harm as it cost the studio 80 million dollars due to Cruise breaking his leg while doing a roof jump (it’s in the trailer you can see his foot snap) and having to pay the cast and crew to take an 8 week break while Cruise healed.
The Good Stuff
If you came here for action set pieces you get it, in spades.
Tom Cruise shooting stuff.
Tom Cruise jumping out of stuff, gratuitous HALO jump, yeah they did that.
Tom Cruise fighting stuff, the bathroom fight scene with Cavil and Cruise and the very hard to kill messenger is just brutal and well choreographed and filmed without the usual shaky cam and quick cuts lazy directors use.
Tom Cruise driving and riding stuff, the bike chase then car chase through Paris is next level, I’m not sure if there were CGI cars added but the stunt driving was top notch.
Tom Cruise running on stuff, it’s no secret he likes to run and there is so much running in this movie, he even broke an ankle jumping rooftop to rooftop.
Tom Cruise climbing stuff, lots of things get climbed, buildings, cliffs, and ropes on helicopters.
Tom Cruise flying stuff, in the helicopter scenes that were shot in NZ’s own Queenstown doubling for Kashmir. Cruise spent 2 years learning to fly a helicopter for the chase. At this point even I was thinking, yeah screw it put him in a green screen set or have a pilot in a green suit and CGI him out. Ridiculous.
This is a fun over the top action espionage movie that draws from a place most others have forgotten.
Less cgi with more stunts and action make this movie clip along and not feel its 2hr 28 minute runtime.
The plot wasn’t overly convoluted and kept it exciting but it might not have the substance to remain memorable.
Yet another fine addition to the Mission Impossible series.
You’ll like it if you enjoy:
The other Mission Impossible movies.
A bit less CGI and more realism to your action scenes.
Well filmed 90’s style espionage action movies.
Skip it if you:
Find Tom Cruise the person too annoying to watch Tom Cruise the actor.
Expect it to be as good as the Rotten Tomatoes score.
Want everything to happen for a logical and plausible reason.
In Cinemas now
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