This franchise… Should you choose to accept it…
Mission Impossible: Fallout is once again directed by Christopher McQuarrie, and stars Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, and Henry Cavill alongside his now world-renowned mustache.
In hindsight, the Mission Impossible franchise is probably one of the most bizarre in terms of its journey to success.
The first one made a significant splash, and solidified Tom Cruise as an action star, until John Woo and his doves managed to sunk the franchise with a not-so-stellar second entry. Then, JJ. Abrams was attached to the 3rd one which resulted in a fast-paced thriller that wasn’t half bad at all, but in terms of box office it no doubt suffered tremendously from the damage done by its predecessor.
But then, comes this 4th entry directed by Brad Bird (out of all people…) – goes ahead and not only it redeemed the franchise, it reinvented what was once a very James Bond-esque spy series, into a franchise that featured death-defying stunts, jaw dropping set-pieces, and a charismatic ensemble.
Fast forward to Fallout, we now have McQuarrie who’s the first returning director in the franchise after he did a great job with Rogue Nation, and the results?
Fallout is the best entry in the franchise yet. It has all the great elements possessed by both Ghost Protocol & Rogue Nation, and more. A swiftly crafted, badass action flick that frankly we haven’t seen since Cameron’s T2.
Not only it featured the now-expected amazing action set pieces, but it has a clever thematic through-line put in by McQuarrie that puts our favorite characters into difficult decisions. Fallout‘s theme can be found in the title itself, every action, every bullet shot in this film has consequences, a fallout per-se. Thankfully, it’s a theme that amps up the tension, and makes the action even more meaningful.
The film also adds more hand-to-hand combat scenes to its catalogue, the teased bathroom fight which now features the infamous “Henry Cavill reloading his arms” – and in classic McQuarrie style, it’s brutal, shot with the utmost clarity, and a crap-load of fun!
You would think the ‘gimmick’ of having the “big-badass macho-mccrazy stunt of the week” would eventually get repetitive with these movies but nope, you will soon realize that you’ve always needed Tom Cruise trying to ram a helicopter with his own helicopter. Sounds insane? Yes. Does it actually work? Heck yeah!
The returning cast are stellar as always, Simon Pegg’s Benji is great as the comedy relief that balances the tone out between all the macho tension in the film. A clean-shaved Ving Rhames is still a badass, and obviously Rebecca Ferguson is a bona-fide action star that makes us all wonder that maybe she should take Scarlett Johansson’s job playing Black Widow. and Tom Cruise? He is that guy, he’s the very definition of a 21st century action star. It ain’t The Rock, it ain’t Statham, it’s Cruise.
On the lesser side of the spectrum, Henry Cavill while great with action scenes, and carries a physical presence that’s perfect in this film, his delivery can be awfully wooden sometimes. But thankfully all the heavy lifting are mostly relegated to the other cast members, and Cavill is just there to look cool (which he excels in).
It’s bizarre that the 6th entry of a franchise might actually be its best one, but that’s how it is with the Mission Impossible franchise. While Cruise is the bona-fide poster boy action star, and should be commended for physical work ethic, he should also be praised for the masterful direction that he’s taken this franchise into.
With the James Bond franchise being burned down to the ground by its own incompetence, and a leading man who doesn’t seem to give 2 shits about his role. The Mission Impossible franchise serves not only as an alternative, but a superior one at that.
It’s good old’ fast-paced white-knuckling action with a bit more flavour than usual, and a 56 year-old that effortlessly does death-defying stunts.