Written and Directed by: Christopher McQuarrie
Starring: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Alec Baldwin
Runtime: 147 min
The best intentions often come back to haunt you. Mission: Impossible - Fallout finds Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team (Alec Baldwin, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames) along with some familiar allies (Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Monaghan) in a race against time after a mission gone wrong.
Henry Cavill, Angela Bassett, and Vanessa Kirby also join the dynamic cast with filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie returning to the helm.
Finally, we reach the D-day. I have been reviewing all films from the M:I franchise for the past week, and now it is time for the best and craziest movie yet! If you want, you can check my thoughts on the other films by clicking each ones' title: Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible II, Mission: Impossible III, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation.
Oh. My. God ... These are the three words that kept coming out of my mouth while watching Fallout. In a world where we barely have any real action anymore since everything is or uses bits of CGI, it is a huge breath of relief to be able to enjoy such jaw-dropping, mind-blowing, outstanding action set pieces! I know I have been writing this a lot throughout these reviews, but this one completely floored me. This is going to be the action movie to beat for a few years ... Maybe until the next Mission: Impossible installment, who knows?!
My heart pumped like it never did before. The stuff that Tom Cruise actually does (which is basically everything) is unbelievable. Truly unbelievable, like you will have to get home and search for behind-the-scenes videos to understand how were they able to pull those sequences off. He runs like hell, jumps from building to building (you probably already know about the story of his broken foot), performs a HALO jump (a military parachuting free fall where the parachute is open at low altitude and the drop is performed at 25.000 feet), insanely drives a motorcycle through Paris streets, pilots a helicopter ... You got it, right?!
This is the reason why the Mission: Impossible saga needs to continue. If it stops, there is never going to exist another film series that can bring such realism and incredible stunts like M:I does. It is undoubtedly the best action franchise of all-time, at least regarding the action set pieces. There is no possible comparison with any other movies. I am writing this because the ending might bother a few people.
I have been having some bad luck with endings this year. There are a lot of films that I have watched and loved almost everything about it, but then its ending disappointed me in some way (Avengers: Infinity War, A Quiet Place and some more). I hate when directors tease a particular end, which would be a shock and something entirely unexpected, and at the last minute they back off and take the safe route.
ChristopherMcQuarrie does that, but Fallout might be the only movie where I understand why he did it. I do not want to go into spoilers territory so I will justify it this way. If McQuarrie chose the bold ending, Fallout would probably be an A+, but the franchise would have to end as well (if it wanted to continue to be successful). By choosing the safe route, he guarantees the saga's vitality, but the film suffers from the issue in the last paragraph since everyone is going to leave the theater thinking "oh, I wish they would have gone with THAT ending".
This is a minor issue that I have apart from another one regarding the first act's pacing. This is the longest movie of the saga and McQuarrie already answered why. Not to this question in particular, but he did admit that this film was structured around the action set pieces. Usually, this is a problem because it is often awfully executed. Never create a movie without writing your story and characters first. However, this is the sixth film of the franchise, and pretty much every significant character has been in the previous installments.
Nevertheless, this justifies why the first act delivers so much information which causes the plot to start a bit convoluted. It eventually organizes itself, and it becomes a simple story, filled with predictable twists and turns that ultimately accomplishes its mission: to support the fantastic action sequences. Please, do not expect some Oscar-worthy screenplays from M:I movies because if you leave disappointed due to your unrealistic expectations, that's on you.
As always, the cast is sensational and every character that we love and care about come back to one hell of a ride. I already blabbed about Cruise's courage, but there are a lot of exceptional performances. Simon Pegg (Benji) and Ving Rhames (Luther) are a hell of a team, providing some needed comic relief moments in such an action-heavy film. Rebecca Ferguson (Ilsa Faust) continues to be incredibly captivating, Michelle Monaghan (Julia) has some screentime to shine, and Alec Baldwin (Alan Hunley) also brings his A-game. Sean Harris (Solomon Lane) returns in style, and Henry Cavill (Walker) proves to be a fantastic addition to the saga, by being the protagonist of some of the most potent hand-to-hand combat in the series.
Besides the action, every technical aspect is seamless. The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous, there are so many beautiful wide shots, and some of them are a true filmmaking achievement. The score is remarkable as it usually is in the M:I movies and it helps to raise some goosebumps in the vertiginous scenes (people with a fear of heights are gonna have a hard time with this one). The editing is perfect, and the tone and pacing are very well-balanced with the help of Rhames and Pegg's characters, who bring some stops to the extended action sequences (the driving around Paris sequence could have been shorter). There is still that sense of urgency and the frenetic pacing, which provides a significant level of entertainment.
Mission: Impossible - Fallout is the best film of its franchise and one of the best action movies of all-time, regarding the execution of said action set pieces. Tom Cruise proves that he is an icon if not the biggest icon in action film history, through dozens of runs, jumps and God knows what more. McQuarrie brings his fantastic technical attributes to this movie and uses an exceptional cast to interpret remarkable characters. A simple yet captivating plot supports the excellent action, and it still carries a few (predictable) twists. Only a few nit-picky things forbid me from giving this film an A+, but I promise you, it will definitely be in my Top10 by the end of the year. Go see it! On IMAX! NOW!