Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018) Movie Review
147 minutes and Tom Cruise is actually running for 100 of them
Also brought to you by
Tom Cruise returns for the 6th time as Ethan Hunt putting more excitement and tension in 2.5 hours than Dwayne Johnson has in the 16 films he’s already released this year. Mission Impossible: Fallout (now to be referred to as Fallout because it’s so much shorter to write) puts a late July jolt of adrenaline in a summer dominated by Incredibles, Infinity Stones, and DinoPratts.
Also, if your ears are still bleeding from Pierce Brosnan’s bleating in Mamma Mia 2, Fallout won’t help much but for the mere length of a movie you won’t be reminded that you had to listen to the aural equivalent of throwing a puppy out of a speeding car.
Like you have in the previous 5 M:Is, you’ll watch in wonder as the man formerly known as Maverick runs, jumps, runs some more, and do stunts that no 56-year old man with lifts in his shoes should be able to do.
Full Disclosure- While I was watching Fallout, I decided not to try to follow writer/director Christopher McQuarrie’s overly convoluted plot too closely because it would be pointless as we’ve never watched M: I for the plot anyway since they’re just loose hooks between the action scenes.
Fallout opens with Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team Benji (Simon Pegg), Luther (Ving Rhames) and their Trumpersonating boss Huntley (Alec Baldwin) accidentally losing some plutonium to some bad guys.
Never has plutonium been this much of a plot thread since Back to the Future. Bureaucratic hardcase Erica (Angela Bassett) is pissed that Hunt chose to save his friend’s life rather than retrieve the plutonium, so she sends her own personal brute Walker (Henry Cavill, his facial hair on full display) to oversee Hunt and his team and there’s no way you’d suspect that the guy who played Superman is anything but a total good guy.
The movie revolves around Hunt trying to get the plutonium back before, you know, someone sets off a bomb with it because that’s what the bad guys do in movies like this. The villains in question are an even more vicious offshoot of Rogue Nation's Syndicate called the Apostles because it sounds scary and Nation's main baddie Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) spouting off toothless lines in a British accent.
Meanwhile, Nation's double agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) rides around on motorcycle shooting at stuff for reasons we won’t know until a shocking second act reveal (it’s not that shocking).
Where’s Jeremy Renner’s Brandt? It’s not explained in the story, but we do know that Renner couldn’t be in Fallout because had to be useless Hawkeye in those Marvel movies. Too bad, because Renner did more in the 2 MI films than he did being the ineptest waste-of-screentime in recent movie history.
What Works with Mission Impossible: Fallout
- Fallout Boy- Fallout is bookended by 2 incredible action sequences, the first of which towers over Ghost Protocol's skyscraper climb and Rogue Nation's Hunt-Stuck-On-A-Plane. A breathless skydiving sequence is the best action sequence in an MI film and maybe the best of the summer. It’s the one where you get the Blu Ray to watch how they did it and comment on how Tom Cruise is crazy.
- Sly references to previous MI films will resonate with fans of the series.
- Ving Rhames gets Luther Stickell’s best character scene in the series’ 22-year history. You got the feeling that Luther seemed perfunctory during the previous couple of movies, but in Fallout he earns the movie’s best dramatic moment.
- The Final 15 minutes- it’s only hinted at during the trailer, but the climactic chopper set piece has more elements than mere visual pyrotechnics. There’s a human aspect involved that makes the stakes higher than your average summer blockbuster (SEE: the weightless Marvel movies).
What Doesn't Work with Mission Impossible: Fallout
- Sean Harris’ Solomon Lane remains MI’s blandest villain as Fallout puts him in a straitjacket like Hannibal Lecter with none of the menace. The other villain you can see coming a mile away and does nothing to make you forget Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the series’ most memorable bad guy.
Fallout is the series’ best movie, the most exciting movie of the summer and one of the year’s best films.