Mission: Impossible – Fallout (REVIEW!) One Spy filled Roller-coaster Ride!
The following review contains some limited spoilers of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation ( the one that came out before this one)
Three years ago I was a fresh-faced youth, or at least fresher faced than I am today. I was ready to start university in the autumn and I had my whole life ahead of me. I was even in London during the summer with some mates, and we one day, bored, decided to go to the cinema. Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation was playing, so we saw it, because it was either that or Ted 2. I having never watched or even having heard of Mission Impossible, bar perhaps the theme music, was thrown into a world of spy thrillers, and old style goodies and baddies, with secret agents and double crosses, full of car chases and last-minute rescues.
In short, it was Awesome.
I had no expectations and they were amazingly surpassed. Therefore I will slightly spoil my final opinion, and say if any of the extremely brief things I’ve said so far have appealed at all, go and have an absolute blast. So your mission, if you chose to accept it, is to read the rest of this review after you’ve seen it, if you want!
Done that? Good let’s continue :)
Mission: Impossible – Fallout is the sixth in the series of blockbuster Tom Cruise vehicles based on the 60s/70s tv show. This is the second film directed and directed by Christopher McQuarrie along with the aforementioned Rogue Nation and is the direct sequel in the strangest of ways. Some of the motivations and characters require you to have seen the last film, however having seen that film I can tell you I still haven’t the foggiest what was going on to begin with. This runs into the films first problem, that it is not a film to be reviewed, it is a film to be watched and enjoyed with your brain thoroughly set on Tom Cruise and explosions mode. I even returned to the same cinema I saw Rogue Nation, to try and get back in that mindset.
You need to be unprepared so the films many plot twists and elaborate plans feel impressive, as they are great in the screen, not so great when immediately afterwards when you try to think of it as a plan made by human beings. Lucky the film keeps up such a breakneck pace it is easy to forgive or forget these faults, for as soon as your going “wait a second?” The movie has moved onto another exciting local or changed up the gear to something even more ridiculous, as Tom Cruise climbs or drives through another postcard scene.
Speaking of Tom Cruise, his acting is as good as you expect from him here, as Ethan Hunt he’s earnest and cares about his friends, and will do everything to save the world. The kind of role that he has built his career on, and the foundations are as stable as ever. Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg are the now regulars to the franchise and are fun characters to see again, even if the script doesn’t give them that much to do. A lot of that is given to Rebecca Ferguson’s Isla Faust( who is back from the last film, I think? ), she serves as the counterpoint to Cruise, with Isla taking the role as the more ruthless objective driven agent. She gives an excellent performance throughout the action and slower scenes and is responsible for the majority of the chemistry that exists between her and Cruise’s Hunt. Newcomers to the film series were Vanessa Kirby who’s suitably named White Widow is a great femme fatale, who feels like she belongs more in a bond film, alongside Henry Cavill who plays the best bond henchmen ever to exist outside of an actual James Bond movie. He is amazingly intimidating and physical in his performance, so much so, that he makes the returning villain from Rogue Nation, played by Sean Harris, feel more like a Scooby Doo Baddie, compared to the threat of Cavill.
Cavill himself along with Cruise contribute to some of the best stunts and fights I have ever seen on film, and that’s not an exaggeration. Escalating from a Paris bathroom to running across the top of St Paul’s, the camera and cinematography convey a sense of “ oh shit their actually doing this” as Tom Cruise stands on top of the Tate Modern, and this then lends a weight to the well-choreographed chases and fights, that they might have lacked otherwise. This film has some amazingly inventive and visceral actions scenes that I don’t want to spoil, which make it feel like I’m in a video game, something that no video game movie has ever done ( looking at you Assassins Creed). Some of these awesome physical fights and stunt work however sadly makes one or two uses of CGI in a crucial final scene extremely noticeable, which is probably a decent trade-off for some great practical effects, but nonetheless makes the scene their involved in (involving a weird CGI hook) feel much campier and less threatening because of it.
It’s the inventiveness in the actual set pieces themselves, that lets you down when the actual plot feels like a Sunday morning cartoon, where the good guys track down the nukes (the film’s subtitle is literally fallout, this is not a spoiler). A slow beginning doesn’t really help, with the occasional bad case of an idiot plot where the characters just make mistakes so the story can start moving to get the interesting bits. Which I suppose are part of the suspension of disbelief along with the entirety of the world’s police always being incompetent so only our heroes can save the day, but it just feels off. This in combination with this family-friendly spy thriller that clashes weirdly with a darker tone bought by Henry Cavill and part of the direction that really wants to be James Bond, which it never really gets to, as some of the foreign destinations seem very throwaway and interchangeable. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s a big Hollywood blockbuster where the goodies beat the baddies, but Tom Cruise and anyone on his side just feels infallible and too Captain America to exist in a world that also contains references to smallpox epidemics and dispute in Kashmir.
In the end, it’s an amazing ride, that’s rattles along at breakneck pace, and any questions that you have are thrown aside, in favour of the next trailer moment. It’s a film of impressions, and the lasting one it gives is of a great time, along with its traditional score it feels like a classic day out at the movies. Just don’t look too hard as there is definitely an old man behind this flashy curtain!
Mission:Impossible – Fallout is in Cinemas now! Catch it while you can!
Jonathan Combey is a freelance radio person and ex-station manager, obsessed with films, games and much much more.
If you liked this review and want more why not follow him on twitter @CombeyStuff!