It’s hard to believe the Mission Impossible film franchise has been around for 22 years. I wasn’t even 10 years old when the first film released in theaters in May 1996.Oddly, I saw Mission Impossible 2 first thanks to Santa in Christmas 2000(Fun Fact: Mission Impossible 2 was the first DVD I owned). I swear there was a trailer for Mission Impossible:Fallout attached to every movie I saw since the beginning of this year. That kind of relentless promotion worked and got me to see a Mission Impossible film for the first time in a theater.
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team members Luther (Ving Rhames) and Benji (Simon Pegg) fail to intercept 3 Plutonium cores that are used to make nuclear bombs. The CIA intervenes and place Agent Walker (Henry Cavill *And the mustache that had a hand in killing of the DCEU’s Justice League movie back in November) as a “Watchdog” for the team after failing their mission. With the cores falling into the hands of remaining members of The Syndicate (Now known as The Apostles), it’s up to the team to find the bombs before they go off, killing one third of the world’s population.
Characters from past films return. Rogue Nation’s main antagonist Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) returns along with MI6 Agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) and Alec Baldwin as IMF Secretary Alan Hunley. Franchise newcomers along with Cavill are Vanessa Kirby as the black market arms dealer White Widow and CIA Director Erica Sloane played by Angela Bassett. A let down for me is Henry Cavill’s character. His acting is fine, but felt the role could have been more than what it is. I wasn’t expecting any over the top characteristics he showed a few year ago in The Man From U.N.C.L.E., I just wished there was more depth. I can say the new members of the cast were underused. I liked Rebecca Ferguson being brought back as Ilsa. She was a big reason I liked Rogue Nation and delivered another great performance.
But who are we kidding, we all came to see Tom Cruise and his 56 year old body do some crazy stuff. The big buzz around Fallout was the injury Cruise suffered during filming, but there is no shortage of Cruise doing crazy stuff. The HALO jump scene and commandeering a helicopter while hundreds of feet in the air are his best stunts here. Probably not better than climbing the world’s tallest building or hanging from a cargo plane’s side several hundred feet in the air. Still good nonetheless.
The action and set pieces are great. Car chases, shoot outs, and fist fights are spaced out well and I never felt bored while watching. I remember that being a criticism of Ghost Protocol. It was improved in Rogue Nation, but Mission Impossible:Fallout feels perfect in that regard. There truly is no slow down here. I rarely take into consideration the score with a lot of movies, but Fallout has a really good score. Of course, the classic theme is always great, but Composer Lorne Balfe deserves huge credit. There are moments during the film where music is absent that the sound effects from fights or car chases carry the load perfectly.
The premise is pretty basic for a spy movie. There comes a time within the movie that you can see things coming. At this point in the franchise, the twist and turns that take place are too predictable. You know a certain someone is a bad guy. You know that someone will be a decoy and reveal their real identity by removing a fake face by peeling it off. Staples of the franchise that are fun, but being the 6th movie in the series, this should be time for risk to be taken within the story. A minor gripe I had was with small sections of the dialogue between Ethan and Ilsa. You’ll know it when you hear it.
I went back and saw every Mission Impossible movie before Mission Impossible:Fallout. I’m not a person who becomes a prisoner of the moment or suffer from recency bias. I’m prepared to put Mission Impossible: Fallout on top as the best film in the franchise. Time could tell if it becomes one of the best action/spy movies ever made. I believe Mission Impossible:Fallout will finally bring the franchise into the discussion of best film franchises currently going.