[This review contains no spoilers. You’re safe here!!]
Mission Impossible: Fallout is the sixth movie in the Mission Impossible franchise, and stars Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Henry Cavill, Simon Pegg, and more. Cruise plays action star Ethan Hunt, who is back at it, trying to stop a dangerous group of terrorists from gaining control of a nuclear weapon.
Although I haven’t seen the older M:I movies, I really like Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation, and the trailers for this movie looked incredible, featuring jaw-dropping stunts and a seemingly intriguing story. Luckily, the movie delivers on many of the promising elements of the trailers. It’s fast, intense, and exciting, and is certainly worth your time as a great summer blockbuster movie.
From the very opening scene, it was clear that Fallout would be a very different M:I movie. The tone is far much darker, and the movie has a much harder edge, which is apparent in the sharp dialogue and intense action sequences. There’s also a surprising amount of blood for a PG-13 movie. Although I loved the fun and lighthearted tone of the previous movies in the franchise, this more serious turn is very welcome, and makes the film feel more meaningful, rather than just *another* Mission Impossible movie.
In regards to the action, this movie has some of the best sequences I have ever seen. Tom Cruise is famous for doing his own stunts, which is always really impressive, and this movie features some of his best yet, including a white-knuckle scene in which he dangles from a helicopter on a cable. The film also includes an incredible fight in a bathroom in which August Walker, played by Henry Cavill, teams up with Ethan Hunt. That fight is a standout because of how excellent the choreography is; it’s so dirty and real, with characters flying into mirrors and destroying the bathroom walls. There are plenty of other amazing sequences, including a great motorcycle escape and an amazing rooftop chase. The chase in particular was so exciting; the fantastic music coupled with long takes of Tom Cruise running made for a gripping scene that gave me chills. The motorcycle setpiece was also impressive; Cruise himself weaves in and out of incoming cars in Paris, allowing for lots of tension. The sequences also never give Hunt the easy way out. He rarely has lucky last-minute escapes; if a giant object or car looks like it is going to crash into him, it probably will.
The overarching story is even more interesting than the previous two entries; it’s genuinely challenging, and forces the audience to question whether Hunt and the IMF’s methods are the right ones. The nuclear bomb macguffin was already used in Ghost Protocol, so it may not be entirely original. But here, it definitely feels like a far more serious threat, partially due to the darker tone. However, Fallout has the same issue that the previous movies had: it’s far too complicated at times, even hard to follow in some parts. There’s a point in the movie where four different groups of people are going after something at once, and it feels like overkill. The movie should have been slimmed down; the story can still be complex and intelligent without being bogged down in too many subplots. You definitely need to see Rogue Nation before seeing this one, since certain characters and story arcs return. Even if you have seen it, pay very close attention to each detail in Fallout, or you may become lost. This is definitely the wrong kind of movie for bathroom breaks.
In previous films, Ethan Hunt was never a particularly complex character, and was kinda just “the cool guy.” This movie makes an effort to humanize him, creating genuinely emotional drama that caught me off-guard. For the first time, Hunt feels like a real person with deep motivations and flaws, rather than just an action superstar. The success with this is one of the reasons why this movie soars. The side characters, particularly Benji, have a lot of fun moments as well, adding some levity to an otherwise serious film. The villains, however, are a bit underwhelming. Their motivations aren’t as understandable or philosophical as the movie wants them to be, and I found them to be pretty generic characters overall.
Despite its issues, Fallout is one of the best blockbusters I’ve seen this year, and is even better than Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation. It’s too overcomplicated at some points, but its exciting sequences and interesting characters make up for that. I definitely want to see this one again, and I think I will enjoy it even more the second time.
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