Film Review: MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT (USA 2018) ***1/2

Mission: Impossible - Fallout Poster
Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, along with some familiar allies, race against time after a mission gone wrong.

Writers:

Christopher McQuarrieBruce Geller (television series)

The 6th instalment and touted last of the Mission Impossible franchise sees Tom Cruise reprise his role as IMF’s Ethan Hunt who went rogue in the last film and getting into more trouble in this one.  Christopher McQuarrie, a veteran of action picks as in MI: ROGUE, X-MEN, THE MUMMY and the two Tom Cruise JACK REACHER films, writes and directs FALLOUT, a non-stop series of action setups punctuated by a forgettable story line or one that does not really matter.  It thus plays like a James Bond movie, which is a good thing, as success at the box-office has proven.

Cruise is back, though looking more his age.  No nude or even upper body shots of the actor who is now 55 years of age, but still hunky-looking as a true action star.  He still has the chops.  His crew is back which includes Luther (Ving Rhames) and technical field agent, Benji Simon Pegg), the new IMP Secretary Hunley (Alec Baldwin) and new director of the CIA, Erica (Angela Bassett).  New to the cast is Superman Henry Cavill in the odd role of August Walker, a CIA agent who is initially on Ethan’s side then sanctioned to kill him.

When the film begins, an IMF mission ends badly and villain Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) escapes custody, the world is faced with dire consequences.  McQuarrie allows the villain 5 minutes to deliver his spill on terrorism, which is funny and somewhat logical in a twisted sort of way.  As Ethan Hunt takes it upon himself to fulfill his original briefing, the CIA begins to question his loyalty and his motives.  Hunt finds himself in a race against time, hunted by assassins and former allies while trying to prevent a global catastrophe.  Like most action films, the world needs saving, and just in the nick of time (James Bond in 007 seconds, Ethan Hunt in just one) by the film’s titular hero.

The skydiving sequence at the film’s start is a real nail-biter though this one is topped.  The fight scenes are violent, fast and well executed like the one in a club toilet.  The only credibility point is the few people in it.  At a typical packed club, the toilet is always full with customers lining up for the stalls, urinals, right up to its entrance.  There is a bike chase with Hunt on a motorcycle again, though not on a bright red Ducati as in MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2.  This one has Hunt unable to start his bike, starting only in the nick of time when the cops show up, an excuse for another chase.  Just as one might think McQuarrie has run out of ideas, he comes up with one of the most inventive and exciting climax in an action film ever.  Though the film runs a lengthy 147 minutes, the extended action sequence with Hunt and Walker battling it out on a  perfectly smooth vertical rock face after their helicopters crash into each other is nothing short of amazing.  The sequence also shows how difficult it is to climb up a taut tight rope (to the helicopter).  Added to the thrills is suspense as Hunt has to retrieve a detonator as his team dismantle two bombs simultaneously.  It is an impossible task.  The film emphasizes this, but one has to remember that this is, after all, a Mission Impossible film. 

A solid actioner that should leave MI fans wanting for more.  Maybe one more really last MI film in the franchise.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb49-oV0F78

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