Mission Impossible: Fallout
Starring Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Angela Bassett, Michelle Monaghan, Alec Baldwin, Wes Bentley
When I first heard the title for the sixth film in the Tom Cruise action franchise, I thought how ingenious that would be for a documentary about Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s marriage, his obsession with cult Scientology or even the bizarre antics surrounding Katie Holmes. Alas, it’s another sequel comprised of over two hours where 56-year-old Cruise show’s off his stunt skills. The plot isn’t important, they never are with these movies, it’s just recycled terrorist protocol. “How close did we come this time,” Simon Pegg’s character asks about the one second between survival and doom. “The usual,” Ethan Hunt replies. This is director Christopher McQuarrie’s fourth film, and third where he has allowed Cruise to call the shots. In Tom Cruise movies (funded outside the US), he gets the final say on everything.
Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) still haunts Ethan Hunt (Cruise) in dreams, despite his capture years ago. It isn’t surprising then, that with a new terrorist plot involving deadly plutonium that has gone missing, somehow Lane is involved. Hunt accepts the latest dangerous mission from his IMF, still secretly led by Alan Hunley (Baldwin). With the stakes so high, and trust waning from CIA director Erica Sloan (Basset), a failsafe named Walker (Cavill) is assigned to both assist and keep an eye on Hunt. The mission is to eradicate men associated with Lane, retrieve the nuclear weapon, and prove allegiance one more time.
Tom Cruise movies, this particular series especially, is like a familiar roller coaster that’s good for a quick thrill, but I bet most can’t separate one from another.
It wouldn’t be a “Mission Impossible” film without lots of running, jumping out of planes or car chase sequences. “Fallout” has more than two of all those, personalized with a specific zoom-out wide shot that constantly reminds the audience that Cruise is actually doing everything himself. We got it, he’s an amazing, fearless 56-year-old who loves to impress. But how much more does this film cost because of Cruise’s stunts, how much of that two hour and 26-minute running time (the longest in the franchise) is excess because Cruise demands so many shots of him running, jumping and scaling? The script does focus more on the suspense and turncoat elements of the story, but after so many of those moments it becomes tiresome and you realize there are still more fistfights and actions scenes before the end.
I’ve learned by reviewing so many films that even the most action-packed movies can be boring if they use the same formula in every installment. There is never a doubt that Ethan will disarm the bomb, climb up the cliff or make the leap. The only impossible thing about this film is finding a reason to care. “Mission Impossible” is predictably unpredictable. Rebecca Ferguson, the highlight of “Rogue Nation” (2015), to my surprise returns alongside Monaghan (“Mission Impossible III”) and Basset (barely has two scenes), making this the most female ‘Mission’ yet. Tom Cruise movies, this particular series especially, is like a familiar roller coaster that’s good for a quick thrill, but I bet most can’t separate one from another.
The latest Mission Impossible delivers “the usual”.