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« Blueprints: Emmy Nominees for Outstanding Writing in a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special | Main | Best Casablanca Quotes »
Thursday
Jul262018

Review: "Mission: Impossible - Fallout"

by Chris Feil

There’s a new installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise on the block, but by now these films might best be referred to by their birth name, Tom Cruise Hangs Off Of Things. You may be aware by now that there will be stunts and Tom Cruise will be risking his life for your enjoyment. Likely in the air somehow. Mission: Impossible - Fallout provides him with plentiful airborne opportunities.

This time, Cruise’s Ethan Hunt deals with the immediate ramifications of Rogue Nation’s Syndicate, the global crime organization led by the now captured Solomon Lane. The dismantling has led to The Apostles, an offshoot terrorist organization that Hunt must prevent from stealing plutonium to be used for multiple nuclear weapons set for simultaneous explosion. Returning for the laughs are his cohorts played by Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg, and a new mustachioed face: Henry Cavill as a somewhat unwilling CIA agent assigned to their unit to also keep a close eye on Hunt. Rebecca Ferguson’s British agent Ilsa Faust returns with a mission of her own that may or may not stand in opposition to Hunt’s.

What unfolds is a traditional actioner where our hero battles protecting loved ones versus acting towards the greater good. This mission is partly of Hunt’s own making, having bungled obtaining the plutonium in the opening moments in order to save Rhames’ Luther. But the age old “this time it’s personal” cliche plays out in delightfully exaggerated ways, as Fallout’s villains devise umpteen scenarios that constantly put Hunt in those crosshairs. Including revisiting the specter of Hunt’s now-in-hiding former wife played by Michelle Monaghan.

As these films begin to blur together, this sequel does get some mileage by shaping its hero as one who cares as much for the individual as the many, who can hold the value of both in equal measure. In that regard, Ethan Hunt has finally begun to escape being defined solely by the aura of the star that plays him. It’s not just more personal, he has more personality - and it helps make this one of the franchise’s more distinct entries, further showing that writer/director Christopher McQuarrie has the series' sharpest insights into what makes Hunt a compelling character.

While this sixth film takes the largest strides yet to tie itself to the rest of the series, it makes for a gleeful mishmash that results in more lurching audacity than it can shoulder. Its most defining characteristic is how it abandons all sense of composure, cranking the bonkers meter well past eleven. It sacrifices a lot of logic and detail along the way, speeding past details that we want to savor like Angela Bassett’s over-it CIA director and a mysterious and dubious potential threat known as the White Widow.  

Fallout ultimately creates its own kind of neck-bruising extended whiplash by presenting many visceral, awe-inspiring acts of daring that aren’t shot or edited all that well despite their invigorating audacity. By comparison to earlier efforts, any digital tinkering is also far more obvious and slightly dampens the impact. Comparisons to roller coasters are commonplace in summer movie season, but this is a movie that actually beats the shit out of you like the creakiest ride in the amusement park. And yet the film is burdensomely overlong, further dulling its thrill.

This sequel presents the very best and the worst about this franchise in one long dose, one that is laborous to take no matter how much fun it generates. Thankfully, Ethan Hunt has gone a little soft to balance the hard blows.

Grade: B-

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Reader Comments (6)

BORING!

July 26, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

What?!?!? No mention of Henry Cavill's one two guns punching in the bathroom?!?!? Sigh!!!

July 26, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

Tom Cruise is a cult leader who poisoned his children against their mother and is complicit in crimes and abuse cover-ups. I find him repellent and can't stand the sight of him. I know people love this franchise, but I can't abide. He's so gross and I'd just hate the experience too much (like I was with Kevin Spacey who I hadn't watched anything of for a solid decade until BABY DRIVER, which I again couldn't stand him in).

July 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

The BEST action movie of this year. Period.

July 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMelchiades

lord, will Tom Cruise ever just go away.

July 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRob

The film stays pretty grounded not just because most of these things were done practically, but also the films shooting style. It has a very unique look for a modern day Hollywood blockbuster with its glowing highlights, and pronounced film grain.

August 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterpriya

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