Directed by: Christopher McQuarrie
Written by: Christopher McQuarrie
Based on: Mission: Impossible TV series created by Bruce Geller
Produced by: Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie, Dana Goldberg, J.J. Abrams, David Ellison, Don Granger
Starring: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Alec Baldwin, Angela Bassett, Michelle Monaghan.
With a mega budget, cracking good use of the original TV show’s theme, endless action-packed chase sequences, exotic locations and enough double crosses to challenge a reality TV show, the latest instalment in the Mission: Impossible series, Fallout, more than lives up to its hype.
For those of us who are not fans of Tom Cruise (surely these are legion), the best movie of his is Edge of Tomorrow, where he is repeatedly killed in a variety of violently pleasing ways and then resurrected the next day to repeat the process – all very good fun.
In Mission: Impossible – Fallout, we have to settle instead for seeing Cruise’s character Ethan Hunt get repeatedly beaten, thrown, punched, stabbed, betrayed and pursued as part of the world-in-peril (again) mission he chose to accept in the pre-credit sequence.
The plot involves a nuclear threat and various international legal and covert parties’ desire to acquire key components ahead of their competitors, either initiating or preventing a new world-wide threat to humanity as we know it. So just business as usual.
Cruise actually broke his ankle while filming one scene (you can see him hobbling off afterwards and he isn’t acting!), so you have to give him full marks for throwing himself so enthusiastically into the breathtaking stunts that litter this two hour plus film like blood spatters at a crime scene.
Despite this being the sixth film in the series, it isn’t necessary to be familiar with the five that came before, none of which I have seen. There is enough exposition in the opening sequence and at regular intervals throughout the film to ensure we are sufficiently clued in about each character’s backstory. There are smatterings of amusing dialogue amongst the Impossible Mission Force (IMF) team comprising Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames and Rebecca Ferguson that indicate their shared history, closeness and unwavering loyalty, as well as their expertise in technology, explosives and medicine.
True to its television series origins, there are also a number of double crosses where characters are misled or tricked into betraying vital information. Although these scenarios were generally easy to predict, they were delivered with the requisite gusto and sleight of hand that had the audience relishing each new reveal.
The impeccably staged chase and action sequences are relentless and often very violent, with just enough quiet time in between for the audience to recover before being catapulted into another larger, louder, more explosive one that manages to outdo what has just gone before. Despite all of these action sequences interspersed with meetings with top brass, international terrorists or weapons brokers, the basic storyline remains easy to follow. The best aspect to all this was hearing the audience laugh at each new peril that stoic Tom Cruise faced, which left you wondering, ‘How is he going to get out of this one?’
What stood out most for me was how Cruise’s character retained his humanity and desire to protect the good guys, even under the most trying of circumstances, rather than being a one-dimensional assassin without a moral compass.
Rollicking good fun.
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