Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Starring: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Henry Cavill
Review Author: Tony
22 years ago Brian De Palma rebooted one of the campier spy series of the 60’s. It was a sleek and intense film with plenty of twists and turns to keep the viewer off balance. It was a highly regarded film and another notch on Cruise’s belt but any momentum for the series was killed by the stinker of a follow-up, Mission Impossible 2. Thankfully Cruise and J.J. Abrams still saw worth in the series in a post-Casino Royale and Jason Bourne era of spy films and put their own spin on the revived genre with Mission Impossible 3. Since then the series has gone strength to strength with each new entry raising the bar and establishing itself as the best in the spy genre.
Following on from the events in Rogue Nation, Solomon Lane’s rogue organization, The Syndicate, has continued to operate even after his capture and changed their alias to The Apostles. The Apostles intercept Ethan Hunt’s team during a trade and escape with three plutonium cores, each capable of being fitted into a portable nuclear device. Hunt is tasked with cleaning up his mess and retrieving the plutonium but on the instructions of CIA Director Erica Sloane. Sloane orders operative August Walker, known for his ruthlessness and efficiency, to tag along and shadow Hunt much to Ethan’s chagrin.
Tom Cruise is a lunatic putting both body and soul at risk for our entertainment and yet last year we had an abundance of articles telling us Cruise was done after The Mummy bombed. Well I said it in my review that everyone’s tune would change when Fallout dropped. This series has been Cruise’s baby and he’s forced himself to become one of Hollywood’s greatest stuntmen just to raise the stakes of each film. He may be associated with that dodgy little club but no actor can do what Cruise does.
To say the set pieces are outstanding, especially for a series known for them, really doesn’t give the film justice or McQuarrie. Every fistfight, car/motorcycle chase, halo jump, Helicopter duel is expertly shot, framed it almost becomes nauseating how fast-paced and thrilling Fallout really is with each sequence outdoing the previous scene. There’s a wonderful mix of both practical and special effects which flow so seamlessly even the most eagle-eyed cinephile will struggle to spot a green screen. Not only is it exasperatingly exciting, Fallout is a beautiful film thanks to the masterful cinematography from Rob Hardy who’s work was equally impressive with Annihilation. I’m sure plenty of shots in this film will make for great desktop backgrounds.
One of the best elements of the Mission Impossible franchise has been the supporting cast, for a series known for Cruise and his death-defying stunts he’s more than willing to share the screen time with an assortment of great characters. The Bond series has always had the titular character save the day as a one-man army but the Impossible series benefits from quality returning actors like Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson who all thrive in Fallout. These characters provide a lot of humour and most importantly, heart in the series and each in their own way molds the story. Cavill is an excellent new entry to the series and completely justifies keeping his amazing mustache to Justice leagues detriment.
It’s difficult to find any faults in a film that would give Fury Road a run for its money on pure excitement, set pieces and high quality action filmmaking but there were just a few niggling nitpicks that holds the film back from being front-runner as the best film of 2018. While the series is known for raising the stakes and cutting it right to the wire there were just a few moments in Fallout where it just has to push it that extra inch and it started to feel contrived. Of course I want them to keep ramping up the excitement but when the stakes are almost unbearable pushing it that bit extra just took me a little out of the moment. Solomon Lane isn’t quite as threatening before and his dastardly plans are compacted to just a slogan repeated throughout the film.
These nitpicks really are such miniscule moments in a truly wonderful movie that has raised the bar of what a blockbuster should be and sent an almost Impossible challenge to the rest of the industry. Right now James Bond and Jason Bourne are eating Ethan Hunt’s dust and have to pull off something amazing to pull out on front.
Rating: 4.5 / 5 Glasses of Whiskey