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Mission: Impossible – Fallout – Review


Release Date: 27 July 2018
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Writer: Christopher McQuarrie
Cast: Tom Cruise - Henry Cavill - Ving Rhames - Simon Pegg



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Posted August 6, 2018 by

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Mission: Impossible – Fallout – Review

Tom Cruise is back as Ethan Hunt and he is out to save the world from more globe-trotting villains in Mission: Impossible – Fallout.

When a seemingly simple trade-off goes awry, Hunt is on a mission of redemption, but now he has pesky CIA agent Walker (Henry Cavill) on his team, second-guessing his every move. The IMF team set off in pursuit of the mysterious John Lark, known to be in possession of the items that Hunt lost. But, Lark is working with the White Widow (Vanessa Kirby) and she wants something in return for the items – something Hunt may be unwilling to give.

While faithful Benji (Simon Pegg) and Luther (Ving Rhames) provide back-up, Hunt’s greatest obstacle to completing his mission is someone he once considered a friend. Spanning London, Paris and Kashmir, the audience are in for plenty of adrenaline-pumping stunts, chases and twists. That’s assuming you didn’t watch the trailers, of course – in which case there are zero twists left in the film.

mission impossible fallout review

The gang is back together

I am as surprised as the next person that the Mission: Impossible film franchise has endured for as long as it has. The first film debuted over a decade ago, and despite diminishing returns from the sequel, the franchise has clawed its way back to a semblance of respectability ever since. Critics are already hailing Fallout as the best action film ever, and indeed the film outshines the majority of its predecessors by embracing its status as a Tom Cruise action vehicle.

The film itself is little more than a collage of action sequences, all headed by Cruise. Each death-defying stunt is gasp-inducing and a thrill to watch. Fallout and Cruise bring the magic of films back. There is such a tangible authenticity to watching Cruise perform his own stunts – no choppy edits impeding the viewing experience, no obvious cuts disorienting the viewer. The heavy reliance on these stunts does beg the question who will take over from Cruise when the time comes, but fans can ‘burn that bridge when we get to it’; after all, Liam Neeson is still an action star in his 60s.

Fallout rides on its star power – not only on Cruise, but new entrants Superman Cavill and Angela Bassett, as well as Alec Baldwin and franchise mainstays Pegg and Rhames. Cavill revels in his scenary-chewing performance, but he lapses into emotionless dialogue delivery too often to be taken seriously. His biggest threat is his overwhelming musculature – he makes the already diminutive Cruise look especially tiny in the film.

henry cavell mission impossible fallout

No heat vision installed for this film

I liked that Rhames was given a marginally larger and significant role to play in the film, which we have missed in the recent instalments. The biggest disappointment is the underuse of Vanessa Kirby and Rebecca Ferguson – I understand that Ferguson was unable to devote that much screen time, but there was no harm in bringing in more diversity by adding female action stars to the film.

In between all the action is a script that shoots itself in the foot. The audience have to sit through two unnecessary dream sequences, and a vital plot twist is revealed in a poorly conceived scene that derails the credibility of the entire film. These poor cinematic choices seem out of place in the franchise and I wonder if this was studio interference or just bad direction by McQuarrie.

The story combines elements from the previous films, giving it a Spectre­-ish vibe, which also comes with plenty of baggage and problems. Partway through the film, when one of the characters says to another, ‘Why did you have to make it so… complicated?’, I couldn’t help but agree. Fallout has a much more coherent storyline than most of its predecessors, but where the writing should have been intricate, it becomes arduous.

Any viewer of the Mission: Impossible films knows that they have to leave their suspension of disbelief firmly at the door. But, despite that, the climactic action sequence felt overlong and overwrought. It was a spectacle that lost its charm because it didn’t stick to a time frame, which would have worked in the film’s favour. Think of the tense pacing in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy; it elevated each film’s finale by sticking to a known time frame.

tom cruise mission impossible fallout

Don’t mind me, I’m just hanging around!

What works in the film’s favour is its unabashed reliance on spectacle – you are wowed by everything on screen, but don’t dig too deep because invariably the cracks will show. Watching this film felt like watching a Bollywood film – high drama, high-octane stunts and chases, coupled with a ridiculously convoluted plot. But, there is still no denying that it is 2 ½ hours of pure, unbridled escapism, exactly what blockbuster cinema is all about.


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Lestat de Lioncourt
Random Thoughts – Lestat’s Blog
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