By Jonathan Reed
It has been three years since theatres were graced with a Mission Impossible movie. This time around the franchise has almost certainly delivered, not only the best instalment of the series, but quite simply one of the best action movies in decades, Mission Impossible: Fallout.
Tom Cruise is back as Ethan Hunt, as it obviously wouldn’t be a Mission: Impossible movie without him, so is Simon Pegg as Benjamin ‘Benji’ Dunn, with the pair playing off one another brilliantly. Others returning are Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Michelle Monaghan and Alec Baldwin, who together are an incredible cast.
All the ingredients of a classic Mission: Impossible movie are here, the action, stunts and humour. All are mixed together, but in a way we haven’t seen before in the franchise. This is thanks to returning director, Christopher McQuarrie, whose tone and texture add new heights to the spectacular visuals.
Also new are some of the characters, most notably, Henry Cavill as August Walker, a CIA assassin tasked with killing Hunt and his team after a mission goes wrong. Angela Bassett portrays Erica Stone, the new Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and Walker’s boss, with the usual kick-ass flare we have come to know. Vanessa Kirby of The Crown fame is White Widow, a black-market Arms Dealer and as the daughter of Max, from the first Mission: Impossible, links the franchise’s history together.
We shan’t go into the plot too much to save any spoilers, however Mission: Impossible: Fallout begins as an IMF mission ends badly resulting in Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), the villain from the previous Mission: Impossible movie, Rogue Nation, escaping custody. This leaves the world facing dire consequences and Ethan Hunt therefore takes it upon himself to complete the original briefing. With this, the CIA begins to question Hunt’s loyalty and motives forcing them to assign assassin August Walker (Henry Cavill) to kill him. Hunt quickly finds himself in a race against time and trying to stop a potential global catastrophe.
Mission: Impossible, Fallout is easily the series most ambitious instalment. Every aspect seems more intense, the stunts are larger and grander, the landscapes overwhelming, and the performances are phenomenal. In particular, Tom Cruise, who after six outings as Ethan Hunt, seems to be enjoying it more than ever. What is so exceptional about Cruises performance, is not just the fact he does his own stunts, so much so that he broke his foot midway through production, it is the element of inclusion. He consistently invites the audience in allowing them to ‘join his team’ and experience the thrill of the chase as if you’re riding the motorbikes or flying the helicopters with him.
Other performances match the calibre of Cruise’s own, including Simon Pegg who is hilarious as ‘Benji’ Dunn. Yet, going toe-to-toe with Hunt is August Walker, played brilliantly by Superman himself, Henry Cavill. It is extremely refreshing to see Cavill in something other than the blue spandex and red cape of which are so iconic. In this he is brutal, fierce and a true tour-de-force. A fight scene taking place in a bathroom, in which Cavill literally reloads his biceps is one of the most ferocious fight sequences I have seen in a long time. What is so impressive about Henry Cavill’s performance is he is utterly convincing. From his delivery of his lines, to the action, and most certainly the physicality of the man (he is huge!), he is August Walker.
The film itself is beautiful and proves that when done right, cinematography can elevate every scene and story, which is why IMAX is certainly the only way to see it.
The script also flows smoothly, navigating the plotline with ease, never once leaving you confused or lost, but instead challenging the audience with the film’s many twists and turns.
Mission: Impossible, Fallout is evidently a unique break in the unfortunate traditions with franchises. Sadly, most tend to turn rotten the more movies that are added. With Fallout this isn’t the case one bit. Christopher McQuarrie has created a sequel that, not only fits into the construct of a Mission: Impossible movie, but more importantly expands it also. It is a feat of pure genius, that as we were sat watching the sixth instalment of the Mission: Impossible franchise, you truly felt that this was the best one to date. In a movie where the concept and genre can quickly become tired, Mission: Impossible, Fallout breathes in new life whilst raising the action bar that has sat stagnant for far too long. This movie is a mission far different to impossible, it is incredible.