For my reviews of the previous films, click the following links:
- MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE (1996)
- MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II (2000)
- MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III (2006)
- MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL (2011)
- MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (2015)
Mission: Impossible is something of a marvel, isn’t it? I mean, when you think spy films, the longest running is James Bond, which has literally been going for decades and almost regularly churns out movies every few years or so. But Mission: Impossible has earned it’s own fair share of achievements. For example, have you noticed that Tom Cruise is to Ethan Hunt, like Hugh Jackman was to Wolverine? Cruise has been Ethan Hunt since 1996. There has not been a reboot of the films, no spin-offs, it’s just been him for twenty-two years. No other actor who has played a spy has done that. Maybe you can argue that Sean Connery might be the closest, but he had his tenure in the first few years of Bond, then reprised his role… twice, I think, but all in separate years and between each of those movies, there was another Bond actor. The point is, Connery wasn’t as consistent playing Bond as Cruise has been as Ethan Hunt. Also, how often do you see a franchise get so much better than where it started? Eh, Fast and Furious, but we’ll get into that another time.
Another little fun fact, this is the shortest time frame we’ve had to wait for a Mission: Impossible movie. Think about it, between one and two, it was four years. Between two and three, six years, making that the longest we’ve waited for a sequel. Between three and GHOST PROTOCOL, five years. GP and ROGUE NATION, four years. Now, between RN and this one… it’s only been three years. Impress your friends with math, kids!
So what are my thoughts about the franchise? Well… it’s really only from three and on that I truly fell in love with the franchise. One was… iconic, in its own right, but it doesn’t hold up as a whole package. Two, psh, yeah right. Could be worse. But as soon as Bad Robot and J.J. Abrams got hold of the franchise, I’ve been hooked. So you can bet your sweet, sweet asses that I want to see this latest installment.
The story looks like it’s about Soloman Lane escaping IMF’s clutches and somehow, Ethan gets hunted down by a dude who is authorized to kill him. And Ethan’s wife Julia makes a proper reappearance, as well as Ilsa Faust. The plot as a whole feels pretty unclear given the trailers, but as blind as I am, that’s probably going to make my experience even better.
Here’s the cast. Starring, of course, is Tom Cruise, known for AMERICAN MADE (2017), JACK REACHER 2 (2016), and the upcoming TOP GUN: MAVERICK (2019). Alongside Cruise, we also have Henry Cavill (JUSTICE LEAGUE , BATMAN V SUPERMAN , THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. , and the upcoming NOMIS ), Rebecca Ferguson (THE GREATEST SHOWMAN , THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN , and upcoming films THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING  and DOCTOR SLEEP ), Sean Harris (PROMETHEUS , HARRY BROWN , and the upcoming THE KING ), Ving Rhames (FATHER FIGURES ), and Simon Pegg (READY PLAYER ONE , STAR TREK BEYOND , STAR WARS: FORCE AWAKENS , and upcoming films SLAUGHTERHOUSE RULEZ  and LOST TRANSMISSION ).
In support, we have Angela Bassett (BLACK PANTHER , LONDON HAS FALLEN , and upcoming films BUMBLEBEE  and OTHERHOOD ), Alec Baldwin (THE BOSS BABY , CONCUSSION , and upcoming films BLAKKKLANSMAN  and THE BOSS BABY 2 ), Michelle Monaghan (SLEEPLESS , PATRIOTS DAY , and PIXELS ), Wes Bentley (PETE’S DRAGON ), and Vanessa Kirby (ME BEFORE YOU , EVEREST , and upcoming films GARETH JONES  and HOBBS AND SHAW ).
Now for the crew. Writing and directing is Christopher McQuarrie, known for THE MUMMY (2017). Fun fact, McQuarrie is the only director to have directed two Mission: Impossible movies now. Composing the score is Lorne Balfe, known for PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING (2018), FLORIDA PROJECT (2017), 13 HOURS (2016), and TERMINATOR GENISYS (2015). The cinematographer is Rob Hardy, known for ANNIHILATION (2018) and EX-MACHINA (2015). Finally, the editor is Eddie Hamilton, known for KINGSMAN 2 (2017).
Early reviews are pegging this as not only the best in the franchise, but one of the best action movies ever made. Holy shit, dude, you’ve got me more hyped than I want to be. Something’s telling me I’m going to be disappointed in this regard, but I think I’m still going to love it. The M:I franchise hasn’t let me down yet. Some early predictions, I think Soloman Lane is going to get killed off semi early on. I don’t know, he’s only in the trailer twice. I know he escapes, but I’m calling it, he gets axed off after that. Maybe pinning his assassination on Ethan and his crew somehow. Oh, and I really don’t want to see Julia killed off, but I do want to see her have an active role in the movie. Beyond that… nah, this is going to be awesome. Wary of the whole “one of the best actions movies of all time” phrase, but I’m down. Let’s light this fuse!
This is my honest opinion of: MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT
Set two years after the events of ROGUE NATION. Though Soloman Lane (Sean Harris) has been passed around from one government to another, constantly interrogated, he has had a league of followers, called The Apostles, who are planning to build nuclear bombs and detonate them in various parts of the world to dismantle the established world order. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team have been tasked with preventing the disaster before it happens by acquiring the plutonium that’s needed to construct the bombs. The mission is a fail and The Apostles get their hands on them, but Ethan manages to extract information from a nuclear weapons expert and makes a plan to retake the plutonium. However, this won’t be done without aide from the CIA, whether Hunt likes it or not, and that help comes in form of operative August Walker (Henry Cavill).
Dude, I needed a nap after walking out of that auditorium. I mean that in the best possible way. The moment I got up from my seat, my mind was spinning like Leonardo DiCaprio’s top from INCEPTION and I wanted to see that shit again. I couldn’t bear to go home right away, so I went back to Umami Burger for a second visit and two rounds of Jack and root beer, and some well done fries, just so I could reel myself in and comprehend what the hell I had just watched. I’m making the declaration, I’m going to see this five times in theaters. I want to keep seeing it until I’m sick of it.
Where do I even start?
Lets start with how my predictions came out. Nope, Lane wasn’t killed early on. He really is the main antagonist of the film. Julia’s role is… more active than her cameo in GP, but still far less than in M:I 3.
How about the obvious question? Is this really as good as the reviews have been making it out to be? Is it really not just the best of the franchise, but “one of the best action movies of all time?” The answer is a resounding yes.
The action. Man… my brain could barely process this. A skydive through lightning-filled clouds, a motorcycle and car chase through Paris, a fist fight in a bathroom with some martial arts thrown in, and bar-none the best helicopter chase I’ve ever seen put to film… man, I couldn’t even begin to tell you how awesome everything was. But let me focus a bit on a couple of these aforementioned action scenes. They hearken back to previous installments in surprisingly seamless ways. For example, the bathroom fight scene with martial arts can be interpreted as a nod to M:I 2, which, for those of you who did not read my review on that, was directed by John Woo and had many scenes featuring over-the-top martial arts. Though funny enough, the fighting in M:I 2 was laughably cheesy and didn’t quite fit Ethan’s character, this movie manages to not only do the stunts better, but make the action feel a lot more visceral. Ethan and Walker are no slackers in the act fisticuffs, and every punch to the rib cage and throw through a bathroom mirror feels painful in its own right. But the bad guy still manages to successfully hold his own against these top notch fighters, having a bit where both men are on the ground and the bad guy on his feet with a smug on his face that made you want to punch him in his face too.
One could also argue that the helicopter scene is a throwback to the first movie. It’s low-flying, the choppers crash with Ethan being flung from them via destruction, it’s during the climax, which is arguably when the action was the most intense. Hey, maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I like to think the coincidences were by design.
So now that Lane has made a re-entry into the franchise, how does he stack up in the long line of M:I film villains? Well, I said this once in a previous review, but I thought Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Owen Davian from M:I 3 was the best villain in terms of sheer intimidation. I thought Michael Nyqvist’s Hendricks from GP was the most forgettable, albeit with the most poetic and gratifying death, as someone who seeing how close he came to winning, only to die knowing it all failed. I say that Lane’s is more gratifying to see defeated. Again, it feels like a callback to GP when the bad guy was so close to winning, but ultimately fails at the last possible second. Except here, Lane doesn’t die. He’s alive and well. And with no other plans up his sleeve, he’s once again tossed around between governments and the final shots we get of him are of him getting out of one trunk of a car into another like a cheap bottle of wine. There’s something that’s just so “middle finger” to that guy that makes me so happy to watch.
Honestly, there’s so much to discuss, but this movie needs to be seen to be believed. I will say that if you haven’t watched ROGUE NATION, then you’ll hear dialog that you won’t follow. And honestly, it’s a damn fine film anyway. But when you hear people saying that this is the best of the franchise and one of the best action movies of all time, it’s not a joke and it’s not an exaggeration. I’m not kidding when I say that I want to see this a million more times, so you can bet that I’m going to recommend everyone to see this at least once. I may not agree that greater suffering means greater peace, but I agree that this is the best in the franchise.
My honest rating for MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT: 5/5
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