Mission Impossible: Fallout
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
We have reached the sixth film in this series, which, up until last week, was the most recent entry in the franchise. Mission Impossible Fallout is a stand-out in the series for having the most returning characters, with the villain Solomon Lane as well as the first returning female lead with Ilsa Faust coming back. There is also the returning storyline of the Syndicate, who have now evolved into the Apostles led by John Lark.
This is really a movie that builds on everything the last two, especially the last, movies set up. The series has found its consistent tone, as well as certain elements that the filmmakers decided contribute to the success of these films. We have the team (Benji, Luther, Ilsa), we have the big stunt, and of course, we have Ethan going rogue. All of these elements combined to make a movie that shows why we love this series.
Now I mentioned in my last review that Rogue Nation is my favourite. Even though I think these films are nearly on par with one another, I find there is an element presented in this film I don’t like as much. In general, this film has a more sombre tone than the last one with a heavier weight to the plot and the characters’ emotions. Even the colours in this film seem to be muted in comparison, and I just miss the more vibrant and energetic aesthetic. This is more of a personal preference, and I know this is quite a few people’s favourite so I know that there are tons who like the more sombre tone.
Getting to why this movie is amazing let’s start once again with the stunts because they are crazy. We should start by talking about the two big stunts. The first is when we see Tom Cruise perform a HALO jump which he did for real including practicing for months ahead of time and then having to film over 100 takes just to match the lighting so that the entire sequence matched.
That dedication is incredible, and the effort Cruise put into the stunt is incredible. The other unbelievable stunt is the helicopter chase between Ethan and John Lark. The aerial stunts that Tom Cruise performs by himself after once again doing months of training is a more impressive feat than most actors accomplish in their lifetimes.
Seeing behind the scenes as Tom has his helicopter doing different literal death-defying stunts makes you appreciate the man’s love for movie making. We get another classic Ethan running scene which is definitely the longest running scene to date in one of these films and we have the moment where Tom Cruise actually broke his foot but he carried on so that they could finish the shot which is just insane.
This is also in my opinion the most emotional mission for Ethan Hunt since the third film and that is in large part due to the return of his wife Julia who has now remarried and carried out a life in the shadows. We get to see Ethan’s guilt for this and other things through a couple of dream sequences that really take us into the mind of Ethan Hunt.
He is full of regret and worry, as he constantly puts those he loves in danger. He struggles with the choice between saving the many over the one. Seeing how this man, who has been built up as a legend within and outside the films, actually has many demons and fears makes us connect to him even more.
His reunion with Julia is heartbreaking as we see just how much he cares about her and how much he hates dragging her back into danger just due to her association with him. I feel this connection to the character as we see that he has to make so many split-second decisions that are life and death.
The action that we get outside of the stunts is really excellent as well. A motorcycle chase in Paris is especially thrilling because Tom Cruise really rode that motorcycle at high speeds against traffic in one of the busiest cities in the world. There are also tons of well-choreographed fight scenes throughout with the standout being a fight that takes place early on in a bathroom where we see Ethan and Walker(Lark) fight an imposter who kicks their butts through most of the fight.
All in all, I thought Mission Impossible Fallout was a really good movie, it takes the place of my second favourite in the series and is just a fun time. This movie has so many different elements and it continues to improve on elements from the rest of the series. Seeing the progression of these films all culminate in this non-stop thrill ride is fantastic. Yet at the same time, I feel this film manages to be one of the most personal entries in the franchise by reminding us how Ethan Hunt is human. One of my favourite action movies I have ever seen!