MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT is my favorite film of 2018. So far. Yes, I know it’s only July and some sneaky little surprise could come lurking its way to me come December. And yes, I liked this more than Avengers: Infinity War. It is just unbelievable how this franchise is getting better and better (in a way even better than the Fast & Furious series) and hasn’t gone the way of series like Die Hard, and Alien, and Predator, and Terminator, and keep entering franchises here that have overstayed their welcome. Tom Cruise might be a crazy couch jumping Scientologist but disregarding his personal life, the man knows how to make a movie, and he has NEVER EVER EVER EVER phoned in a performance. I know I keep saying that in every Cruise review movie I do, but its true. The man really loves his job, and it shows. But the true star of this film, especially the past two has been writer/director Christopher McQuarrie. With this, Rogue Nation, Way of the Gun, and The Usual Suspects, the man knows how to make a pot boiler explode (in a good way). Fallout is just one of those good old fashioned action adventures that reminded me of those in the same genre in the mid 80’s/90s except cranked up to the nth degree.
The less you know going into this movie the better. Unfortunately since my brain works abnormally when I’m watching a movie, I was able to deduce several things that happened because of what I saw in the trailers and television spots. I guessed too easily too quickly the reveals of who the true bad guys are, the double, and even triple crosses. You might be able to figure it out easily as well, who knows? But all of that guessing didn’t bother me at all, because the journey to those revelations were witty, smart, and ingeniously written. There were a bunch of small surprises I didn’t see coming, and while I usually like it the other way around (I love big revelations), everything else, especially the action set pieces, stunned me into a movie lovers dream coma. So that being said, I am not going to describe the plot all that much. It involves Ethan Hunt once again trying to save the world with his usual teammates played by Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames (the latter having the most to do since the third movie). This time some plutonium is stolen and a faction of the group The Syndicate, who know call themselves The Apostles, with a mysterious new leader only known by the name of John Lark, want to blow up parts of the world because they think that “the greater the suffering, the greater the peace.” Anyway, the bad guy from Rogue Nation, Solomon Kane, is also involved, as well as Ilsa, the MI6 agent whose allegiances are still really unknown in this.
People keep asking me if they should watch all the other films before watching this one. Um, duh. Yes. Watching them all makes you appreciate how much greater the movies have gotten. If you are in a pinch though, you basically only need to watch 3, 4, and 5, but I implore you to take your time and check every one out if you haven’t already. The only ‘meh’ entry in the series is the 2nd one, which is basically just John Woo and Metallica pleasuring themselves in a circle jerk. The only reason to watch that one are Tom Cruise doing the stunts (especially the motorcycle finale), but the story is as mediocre and lazy as it gets. While John Woo action is cool, it is mostly fake action. In Fallout, every action set piece, looks and feels real. They even use the take where Cruise is jumping from one building to another, where he didn’t make it, broke his ankle, and the production shut down for a month so he could heal. The halo jump is awesome. The motorcycle chase in this is awesome. The helicopter chase in this is awesome. Everything in this movie bleeds awesome. See it on the biggest screen you can, with the best sound that you can.
I loved the entire cast in this one. Everybody gets something important to do, even if they don’t have that much screen time. Alec Baldwin is good, Angela Bassett is good, Vanessa Kirby is good. Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames are two of the best people in this entire series. Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust needs to be added to the list of characters that comes back every time (as long as it serves the story). Michelle Monoghan is back and even her character is tied perfectly into the story without it feeling forced. I didn’t like Sean Harris’ Solomon Kane in the last movie, his villainy felt kind of too relaxed, but in this film, he is much more dangerous and crazy, and I now completely relish him as a villain. And then we have Henry Cavill, Superman himself, who steals some of the scenes he is in, including a top notch bathroom fight early on in the film. But this show belongs to Cruise. His blood, sweat, yet probably no tears completely fuels this franchise engine. The dude is 56, still doing all his own stunts (I wish him and Keanu Reeves would do an action film together). And the even greater reason why this is his show is that his character of Ethan Hunt is the most fleshed out it has ever been in the series. And Cruise’s acting takes it beyond the level that it needs to be, bringing humanity in the couple of quieter moments the film has.
But yeah, don’t drink a soda while watching this film. It is two and a half hours, and there are no good parts to take a bathroom break. You will miss something important if you do. I know there are Cruise haters out there, but eveb if you don’t like Tom Cruise because of his personal life, try to set that aside and accept this mission. You’ll be glad you took the ride. This review will self destruct from your memory in 5 seconds.
Ranking of Mission movies:
2. Ghost Protocol
3. Rogue Nation