"Mission: Impossible - Fallout" Film Review

Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018)

"Mission: Impossible - Fallout" Film Review

Rating: 5/5

By: Nathaniel Simpson

    Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise took things to new heights (literally) in 2015's "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation", pointing the long-running franchise in a new direction that simply works on such a grand scale. It presented a thoughtful spy thriller that capitalized on all of its selling points, including great character development, thrilling chase scenes and twists and turns, and, of course, over-the-top stunts that are usually done by Cruise himself. The follow-up to McQuarrie's brilliant spy film, 2018's "Mission: Impossible - Fallout", has Ethan Hunt and his team back at it in a film that not only lives up to the standards of the first one, but just might as well pushed past what the previous entry was able to do. 

    The film follows Ethan (Cruise) and his team, as there is now a new variant of the Syndicate going around. They are releasing manifestos to show why Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) was right in creating the Syndicate, and plan on using three plutonium cores for a simultaneous nuclear attack on the Vatican, Jerusalem, and Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Called the Apostles, and ran by a mysterious leader named John Lark, their plan is to create mass chaos to bring the masses together. 

    Ethan must assemble his team, consisting of Benji (Simon Pegg) and Luther (Ving Rhames), to hunt down these mad men and put a stop to them before they can cause mass chaos. However, CIA Director Erika Sloane (Angela Bassett), who is furious at the IMF's failure of recovering the plutonium, sends Special Activities Division Agent August Walker (Henry Cavill) to go with Ethan and his crew to receive the plutonium successfully. What they don't expect is to deal with Ethan's love interest in the last film, Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson), or an arm's dealer named Alanna Mitsopolis (Vanessa Kirby) to get in their way, forcing the team to find out secrets about themselves they weren't expecting. 

    Like the previous installment that came before this one, this movie is jam-packed with beautifully-shot chase sequences, awesome stunts, great character development, and fantastic writing and directing from McQuarrie. McQuarrie just really knows how to write and direct films like these; he understands what needs to be done to make a compelling film like this. This is not only a great summer blockbuster that has fans and audiences alike flocking to the cinema to see Tom Cruise attempt dangerous stunts, but rather a compelling story with fantastic results. 

    The acting is on-point throughout this whole film, especially by Cruise and Cavill, who have fantastic on-screen chemistry with one another. Cavill is a great addition to this movie as a whole, and I love the way McQuarrie utilizes him in the context of the film. He is not only a lot of fun, but has a complex subtleness to him that simply works due to the writing and portrayal from Cavill. At the same time, Cruise comes back and gives another great performance as Ethan Hunt; his portrayals of this character in the past two films has been the best he has given in the whole franchise. It seems like he has sort of gotten into the groove of things and really knows how to bring it when he plays this character. 

    The film is also able to introduce and explore different characters throughout the movie as well, such as Alanna and give more of a backstory to the mysterious Ilsa, who practically stole the show in the entry before this one. I applaud the filmmakers for crafting such backstories for minor characters like this, showing how much depth the movie and its characters hold in the terms of the storylines. 

    The stunts are, of course, elegantly and gloriously on display here. Cruise really commits to these films, and it is made obvious by the risk he takes every time he does a dangerous stunt that is potentially life-threatening. Consider this film, if not the other ones in the franchise. He literally jumps out of an airplane in a HALO suit, while trying to act while falling in mid-air. He leaps across buildings, even fracturing his pelvis in the process of shooting. He hangs off a helicopter while high in the air. There is no doubt in my mind that Cruise is one of the most serious blockbuster actors working in the industry right now, and it should be made obvious by how well the stunts were done and performed. 

    McQuarrie, in my opinion, saved this franchise. Brad Bird ushered it into a new era, but McQuarrie was able to make something of it. I think him and Cruise working together is the best choice for everyone involved, and they have made two great spy thrillers that can work in both the context of the franchise and just as thrilling blockbusters by themselves. This entry into the Mission: Impossible franchise breaks down barriers and doors for the series, as well as future spy thrillers that will take inspiration from the past two films. It's honestly extremely hard not to enjoy such a blockbuster spectacle like this.