Movie Review: 'Mission: Impossible – Fallout'

John Thomas

So, how is he doing? With a slight grin and tilting his head to one side, Luther Stickwell (Ving Rhames) answers, “Oh you know, same old Ethan.” Fallout is more of the same old Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) running at lightning speeds over impossible terrains’, climbing up sheer walls of stone, glass or steel; falling into boats, cars and jumping out of airplanes, windows and off rooftops; speeding in car or motorcycle chases and saving the world from utter destruction. Much of this athletic prowess is done by Cruise, himself, and not a stunt man, and at his age (57) that’s no small feat.

Audiences have seen all this action and these special effects before in M:Is and other films of this genre; nevertheless, #6, is fresh, fun and thrilling - great summer entertainment.

As a result of a bad call on Ethan’s part, three lumps of plutonium have gone missing, enough to create three nuclear weapons. Questions: who has it, how to get it back, who else wants it and for what purpose do they want it? Ethan has his IMF buddies to help him - Luther, Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) with Erica Sloan (Angela Bassett) and Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) to guide him. He also has a slew of rivals who attack him when least expected and from all directions.

Part of the appeal of Fallout are the locations through which the cast blasts its way. From parties and parks in Paris, lanes and lorries in London, buildings and bridges in Berlin, to the exhilarating cliffs in Kashmir (the cliffs are not actually in Kashmir), viewers really don’t need to know who is who, what is what or why; they simply need to sit back and enjoy the spectacles.

One also needn’t be too concerned with who is on which side as the lines separating good and evil change and are often blurred by either bike-helmets, smoke, noise, light, dialogue, action - or all six.

Then there is Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson). Who is she, what is she doing here, whose side is she on, for whom is she working, and how does she happen to know Ethan? Again, the who and what really don’t matter - she’s there when needed, is a great bike-rider, straight shooter, tough at hand-to-hand combat and adds a nice contrast to the mega-macho alpha males who dominate the cast.

With the resounding success of Fallout, the M:I franchise is undoubtedly busy planning sequels to appear for years to come - so far into the future that Cruise may have had a knee or hip replacement, his memory may be slipping (reading his lines to him with an ear-bud can fix that), his aim may not be as good (never mind, just keep shooting) or his driving ability may be slipping (that’s okay, he crashes into things anyway).

As long as script writers can create impossible missions, there will be the everlasting, charming Tom Cruise to accept the challenge.

Directed by Christopher McQuarrie {Credits: Mission: Impossible, Rogue Nation, Jack Reacher) this is a “should see” film running 147 minutes.


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