From this point on, no more discussion about how surprisingly strong the M:I series is, about how it’s a “stealth franchise” and how it plays second fiddle to other blockbuster spy movies.
For today, my friends, today is when Ethan Hunt becomes, not just a Bourne beater, but a Bond beater too. That’s right. I said it.
Yes, Goldfinger, Dr No, The Spy Who Loved Me, Goldfinger, Casino Royale and Skyfall are not just great Bond movies but stone cold classics in their own right, but get this: Mission: Impossible: Fallout matches each and every one them, action for action, gadget for gadget, tension for tension.
This movie is THAT good.
Due to the usual chicanery that starts these kinds of movies off, three plutonium spheres are in the wind and it’s Ethan Hunt’s fault. Even worse, and offshoot of The Syndicate (the shadowy secret terror organisation from the previous movie) known as The Acolytes (spies love dem names, right?) is moving in to get them and wreak havoc on the world. EVEN worse is that the CIA is sticking it’s nose in, trying to get the IMF shut down and EVEN MORE WORSE, ex British agent and professional Ethan Hunt head-turner Ilsa Faust has resurfaced, her allegiances as murky as ever. With all this in place the movie launches into the stratosphere like a nuke and then refuses to come down for the duration of it’s 2 and a half hour run time. It’s giddy stuff and all the while Fallout ladels in more connective tissue from previous movies, the higher the stakes go, the bigger the action gets.
Oh man. Oh Jesus, the action…
Fallout somehow may exceed all of the action movies you have ever seen. It’s all tangible, solid and most importantly, easy to follow. No unessesary shakey cam, no overdose of CGI, just incredible stuntwork and intelligent editing.
A stunning brutal two on one bathroom brawl gives way to not one but two successive flinch inducing car/motorbike chases in Paris, which leads to a frantic footchase through London which cumulates in a frankly gonzo helicopter chase in India. And yes. Mr Tom Cruise does his own shit. Even flying the fucking stunt helicopter no doubt making his insurance company shat their pants with every overzealous bank of the joystick. They must of, I nearly did.
Returning writer/director Christopher McQuarrie (a first for the series) owns every line and every frame as good as Nolan or Spielberg (sometimes even better) but Mission: Impossible has/is/always will be the Tom Cruise show. If nothing else the M:I series is a literal line that follows his career, smug original, over confident sophomore all the way to weathered veteran, only Stallone with Rocky can boast a more accurate mirror as to who the man is.
Thankfully, his supporting cast is more than up for the job. Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Alec Baldwin and Sean Harris have all been here before and know their stuff but a healthy sprinkling of newcomers add a fantastic dash of spice. I’ve always said Angela Bassett should be in everything and Vanessa Kirby channels Vanessa Redgrave in her icy portrayal of arms dealer The White Widow but then in strides Henry Cavill, proudly wearing the moustache that single handedly defeated the Justice League and cements the whole deal. As professional CIA muscle flexer and Hunt’s shadow Agent Walker, he’s armed with a sterling talent in making people un-alive and something else even more precious, he has no patience for Hunt’s acrobatic, dangle on a wire, put on a mask bullshit and therefore is a credible threat to our teflon skinned hero. It really does feel like shit’s gonna go down…
You really, REALLY need to accept this mission, a perfect actioner literally crammed with spills and thrills and a lead actor who literally will do anything to make this franchise one of the greatest blockbuster series of all time.
Mission: Accomplished Mr Cruise.