One of the best action movies ever
Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018): Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, along with some familiar allies, race against time after a mission gone wrong.
YES. After months of anticipation, the latest installment in arguably the best franchise in Hollywood right now is finally here. Mission: Impossible - Fallout further cements this unlikely franchise at the top of the over-saturated mountain of existing Hollywood IP, and further cements the franchise's place as the undisputed king of the action genre. (Check out my series review here. I am, after all, a company man. Isn't that right Oscar? No, we'll worry about your healthcare later!) Seriously, if you have even a passing interest action movies, put any predispositions you may have towards Tom Cruise the man or the thought that this is "yet another franchise" aside and see this movie. It truly is one of the best action movies ever made. I had unrealistically high expectations for this film, and Christopher McQuarrie, Tom Cruise, and the rest of the production crew for Fallout somehow met them.
I think it's worth starting with the faults here. The film's story is a little messy and hard-to-follow. Unlike previous installments, including Rogue Nation, this installment did take itself a tad too seriously for what a popcorn flick should be. That's not to say there isn't a significant amount of humor and lighthearted dialogue scattered throughout its lengthy 147 minute runtime, but the tone did seem to be a bit more serious than previous films in the franchise, particularly in the final act. That said, I actually found myself personally getting a little emotional in said final act, but I will readily admit I admire this franchise more than most, so in all likelihood most viewers will be bored during these touching moments. They really serve as nothing more than placeholder moments to let the audience take a breath in between the jaw-dropping setpieces, but they're still a thing and a rather weak thing at that. Honestly, I'm just trying to split hairs here so I'm not constantly gushing about this film. Because it is worth gushing over.
The action setpieces here are some of the greatest I have ever seen. Tom Cruise shows that he can still bring it at age 56 with ease, and watching him hang from the side of a helicopter or run through the rooftoops of London (open palm running and all) is still nothing short of exhilarating. See, Mission: Impossible's insistence on filming as many of the stunts with practical effects, combined with Tom Cruise actually doing most of the incredible stunts throughout are what make Fallout as good as it is. Cruise actually spent three months learning to fly a helicopter in the film's breathtaking conclusion, and the cinematography around this unbelievable setpiece really sells it home. This helicopter chase is one of the most incredible sequences I have ever seen, and while it is the end of a resounding crescendo from director Christopher McQuarrie, there are plenty of other setpieces to get your adrenaline pumping. Heck, one of the early sequences features a spectacular oner that includes a cameraman doing a HALO jump with Tom Cruise, (which I still can't believe they did) which will likely go down as one of my favorite movie moments of 2018. And that's basically the first setpiece of the film! Ya, it's that good.
On top of the incredible action sequences, the film has a marvelous cast that features a surprisingly diverse cast of core characters. It's taken 6 films, but this franchise finally has a strong group of supporting women, led by the return of Ilsa Faust. (the role that put Rebecca Ferguson on the map) We also get two great newcomers in White Widow (Vanessa Kirby) and the stern, resolute, and cold-blooded Erica Sloan. (Angela Bassett) Also, August Walker (Henry Cavill) is pretty darn good alongside Ethan Hunt, (Tom Cruise) and he looks pretty sleek with his mustache too. Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) also returns as this film is something of a direct sequel to Rogue Nation, but Lane continues to dwarf the legendary performance of Phillip Seymour Hoffman from Mission: Impossible 3. However, he is a formidable villain for Ethan Hunt. And that's who you come to see, right? Yes, once more Tom Cruise handles the mantle and does things that I could only dream of, and is worth the price of admission alone. (Yes, he's not asked to do much in terms of acting here, but he doesn't need to when he's riding through Paris on a motorcycle without a helmet, right?) Tom Cruise is the the centerpiece of this franchise, and his suave and grace during the chaotic setpieces are exactly why. I also have to mention the score. Compsed by Lorne Balfe, Fallout's score is easily the strongest of a franchise that includes scores composed by Hans Zimmer, Michael Giacchino, and Danny Elfman. It's a wonderful breath of fresh air for what's usually a forgettable summer blockbuster score. Also, gotta give a shoutout to director Christopher McQuarrie. Since Fallout doesn't cheat any of its action sequences, every aspect of filmmaking shows up and sells these over-the-top action setpieces, and McQuarrie is a big reason for why it all comes together and continues to work flawlessly. It doesn't really matter that the story is over-serious and confusing at points. You're not looking for a meaningful story in a popcorn flick. You're looking for good ol' fashion fun, and there's plenty of it to be found in Fallout. One of the best films of the year so far, Fallout is a masterfully executed action film, and is exhibit A for why you go to the movies. Don't miss it!
The Critique: One of the best action movies ever, Mission: Impossible - Fallout soars from one exhilarating sequence to the next with flawless execution, with an ageless performance from Tom Cruise holding it all together.
The Recommendation: Yes, this is an absolute must-see for all.
Rewatchability: Very High
The Verdict: 9.5/10 Damn Near Perfect
"Like" Enter the Movies on Facebook for the latest and greatest on all things movies! OR ELSE FACE THE CONSEQUENCES OF A KILLER RABBIT. Sorry about this one, guys. Not my decision. He volunteered. And is just absolute dynamite!