John Wick. Mad Max: Fury Road. Mission: Impossible - Fallout.
Mission: Impossible might just be one of the most underrated franchises that we have going today.
It has its fans, sure, but when people think of big-budget blockbuster franchises, people tend to think of things like Star Wars, Marvel, DC, etc. Mission: Impossible, good as it may be, just typically doesn't get mentioned as breath as those.
That’s a shame because Mission: Impossible has seemingly done the impossible — with each film they only get better and better, with Mission: Impossible - Fallout now being their best one to date (yeah, I said it).
Not long has past since the events of Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (which I really enjoyed but only have seen one time since it was in theaters, so my memory as to the exact plot details of everything that went down in Rogue Nation were a little shaky). Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is no longer on the run from, well, basically the entire world, but he’s still trying to deal with the damage left by his new arch-enemy, Solomon Lane (Sean Harris).
While Lane is now in custody, his reach extends beyond that. He’s instructed his team of merciless terrorist — a group now calling each other the apostles — to acquire a couple of nuclear bombs and cause total mayhem on to the planet.
Obviously, Hunt can have that, so he teams up with the rest of his buddies from the Impossible Mission Force to stop the bombs from getting in the wrong at all costs.
This time, however, the team is looking a little different. Benji (Simon Pegg) and Luther (Ving Rhames) are still along for the ride, as always, but Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson) has been missing in action as of late.
She’s replaced by a tough-as-nails CIA agent named August Walker (Henry Cavill). No one is really all too thrilled about him being on the team, given that he’s only here because CIA head Erica Sloan (Angela Bassett) and IMF head Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) can’t get along, but they make the best of it.
Thus ensues everything a good action movie should have — a cohesive story that keeps you on the edge of your seat, a series of incredibly well-choreographed action scenes made with expertise and a whole bunch of people pulling off those masks that they were in every Mission: Impossible movie to date.
Okay, maybe the whole mask thing hasn’t always been my favorite aspect of these movies just because they often feel like a cop out, but they actually make fun of them in Mission: Impossible - Fallout so I got over it pretty fast.
Most because this is a never-ending thrill ride carefully crafted by director Christopher McQuarrie that never lets up until the credits start to roll.
Straight up, Mission: Impossible - Fallout has some of the best-looking action set pieces that I’ve seen in a long time now. Everything is so well filmed and put together; we aren’t just watching 5 different jump-cuts during a three-second window. Instead, we see realistic and brutal fight scenes, foot chases where the surrounding landscape actually is mapped out and a whole lot of really intense filmmaking and cinematography.
The best example of this within the movie, perhaps, is the bathroom fist-fight. You saw a glimpse of it in the trailer, but when you actually see it during the movie, in all its glory, it’s so well planned out that it’s honestly jaw-dropping.
We’ve seen movies that have good action before and then nothing else, but Mission: Impossible - Fallout also has a story that can back all of that up. While it can be slightly convoluted at times — especially around the half-way point of the movie, when seemingly every character reveals they’re hiding some kind of twist — it feels natural for a Mission: Impossible movie as it’s good espionage fun.
To make it even better, the characters are actually well developed to back it all up. Not only is Ethan Hunt given more of a human angle this time, as we see him contemplating his past mistakes and his previous marriage to Julia (Michelle Monaghan), but we see the toll this takes on him in the field — he’s actually getting pretty beat up and bruised this time around.
Of course, he’s still going to perform insane stunts that most human beings wouldn’t survive, but given that Tom Cruise is actually the one performing all these stunts, there’s a certain amount of risk and fear we feel alongside Ethan — he isn’t just another superhero defying the impossible, he’s a human being holding on for dear life.
The team dynamic is something I’ve always really liked about the Mission: Impossible movies, and I think Fallout might have captured it better than all the other movies have. These films often have the tendency to just feel like the Tom Cruise show, but this time Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames and especially Rebecca Ferguson are also given enough to do where they feel like equal, valuable members.
Henry Cavill, I think, might be the real standout here. I’ve always liked Henry Cavill, but he’s taken on a lot of roles where he hasn’t always had the best lines or gotten the chance to show off what he’s really capable of. Here, he’s in full Man from U.N.C.L.E. form as he’s having a blast in this rivalry with Hunt. Eventually, his role kind of starts to change throughout the movie as things are revealed, bringing out a new side of Cavill I hadn’t seen before — but really quite liked.
Mission: Impossible - Fallout is what the Fast and Furious movies have been trying to capture. It’s fun and ridiculous, while also taking itself seriously enough so there’s drama that we care about and actually stakes. This is a high-point of the entire summer, as Mission: Impossible - Fallout is one of those rare blockbusters that actually has a brain attached to it.
Watch the trailer for Mission: Impossible - Fallout here and then let us know, in the comments below, what you thought of the movie!
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