Mission: Impossible – Fallout Review
Review by Owen Herman
With more in common with Buster Keaton than Sean Connery, Tom Cruise takes another step in his quest to become the greatest action hero ever. The term “action hero” is actually far more apt than “action actor” as with each increasingly ludicrous, and mostly real, stunt of Mission Impossible: Fallout the line between Cruise and his character Ethan Hunt blurs evermore.
Hunt is once again on a mission to save the world from overly zealous terrorists. The stupidly complex plot has stuck plutonium in the hands of the baddies and it’s up to the team of Cruise, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, and Alec Baldwin (with a very impressive average age of 56) to stop them. Along the way they’ll encounter Henry Cavill and his moustache of justice, Rebecca Ferguson, Angela Basset, and Vanessa Kirby, all of whom blur the line between hero and villain. These shifting alliances make up a large part of the film, with each character swapping sides at least once. These convoluted betrayals, coupled with a first half drenched in exposition, make the film quite hard to follow at times. The narrative has far too much invested in, often pointless, twists and it just detracts from what could’ve been a simple character driven spy plot that held all the action set pieces together.
The plot is the Achilles’ heel (or Cruise’s ankle) of an otherwise perfect action film. Much has been said already about the set pieces, and it is true that at least three separate scenes are right up there with some of the genre’s finest moments. Even without knowledge of Cruise’s death defying feats the action is still impeccable. It has that physicality which makes the audience wince at every brutal hit of a punch up or every near miss of a car chase. Fallout pushes the boundaries of the 12 rating further than Bond or Bourne ever did, with one particular moment involving a hook that had the entire audience in my screening gasping in horror. However, the playful tone of the franchise is still present, and it allows the action to edge towards the ridiculous without losing its impact.
Mission Impossible: Fallout is an utterly thrilling experience, but the inclusion of so much exposition and unnecessarily elaborate twists just keep it from entering the absolute top tier of the genre.