Hunt Versus The Apostles: Mission: Impossible - Fallout
The Impossible Mission Force handled one issue in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, but others remain as a result. In Mission: Impossible - Fallout, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team accept a mission to recover three plutonium cores from The Apostles, the Syndicate members who continue the work of their now-imprisoned leader. They get the cores for a moment, but immediately lose them in a shootout with the Apostles in Berlin. As a result of the failed mission, IMF Secretary Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) finds himself forced to work with his CIA successor, Erica Sloane (Angela Bassett) to reacquire the cores. To ensure the mission goes as planned, Sloane assigns Agent August Walker (Henry Cavill) to work with Hunt and his team. The cores have found their way to Alanna Mitsopolis (Vanessa Kirby), who's also known as the White Widow. Hunt, Walker, Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) head to Paris, where White Widow plans to sell them to a mystery man called John Lark.
A man assumed to be Lark is killed by ex-MI6 agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) before the buy can happen, so Hunt takes a risk by claiming to be Lark. White Widow, though, has a provision before she'll give Hunt all of the cores. He gets one, but won't get the other two until he successfully springs Syndicate leader Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) from French custody. They succeed at freeing Lane, in spite of Faust's efforts to kill Lane. They deliver him to White Widow in London, where he once again takes charge of his operation. The CIA, though, addresses issues with Hunt's John Lark ruse, forcing Hunley to take Hunt off the mission. That doesn't stop the team from joining forces with Faust as Lane makes his way to Kashnir with the other cores.
Mission: Impossible - Fallout is the first time the film series has a continuation of previous events. Writer - director Christopher McQuarrie becomes the first one to return for a second Mission as the director. The key players in Rogue Nation also return as well, as the Apostles continue Lane's work. The action abounds, and shows Cruise's continued willingness to be his own stunt man for most scenes. Fallout is also the longest movie of the efforts with Cruise, and it starts to show at the climax. At that point, they needed fifteen minutes to stop Lane and the Apostles' ultimate goal, but that sequence felt as if it were longer than real time. Not every bit of that climax required a bit of action as the team worked toward stopping a catastrophe, and that adversely affects the pacing. The film still has enough action and twists to make this a good spy caper.
Cruise brings a lot of charisma to the character of Hunt, who's still willing to put himself on the line for the world. He goes out on another limb when he saves Luther instead of successfully completing a mission. His posing as Lark also comes with consequences, but viewers will know that a false accusation won't stop him from pursuing Lane and the Apostles. Hunt's abilities seem almost superhuman as he emerges from serious crashes and long jumps virtually unscathed. He not only shows a little bit of humanity with Luther, but also with his ex-wife Julia (Michelle Monaghan), whom he encounters during his team's pursuit of Lane. She also provides an assist to them when they meet. The best characters, though, are Pegg's Benji, the team's master of disguise who takes big risks of his own, and Baldwin's Secretary Hunley, who finds himself helping as well as delegating. Cavill brings a physical presence as Walker, a top CIA fixer, while Bassett brings an authoritarian tone to her role as Sloane. Newscaster Wolf Blitzer makes an interesting cameo early in the movie.
The Mission: Impossible movie series, I suppose, will just continue until Cruise becomes too old to play a secret agent, or he grows tired of revisiting the role of Ethan Hunt. This franchise, though, has created a hard act to follow because of its subject matter, but they at least waited until the sixth film of the series to present a story involving nuclear weapons. Raiders Of The Lost Ark, an exceptional film in its own right, ended with a spectacular confrontation which the series could not top in subsequent entries. Ethan Hunt's escapades, however, have never been in the same realm as Indiana Jones's. Even though both Hunt and Jones are tasked to do something almost impossible, Hunt has a decidedly more serious approach. Mission: Impossible - Fallout, however, shows this series is reliable, but unremarkable, save for its moments when the main character takes the risks that are a part of his work.
On a scale of zero to four stars, I give Mission: Impossible - Fallout three stars. Once more into the breach.
Mission: Impossible - Fallout trailer
© 2018 Pat Mills