- “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” (opening Friday) does not disappoint in the thrills department.
- There are about five sequences in which Tom Cruise pulls off incredible stunts.
- If you’re looking for a good action movie, you won’t find a better one this year.
“Mission: Impossible – Fallout” marks the sixth time Tom Cruise has played the IMF agent Ethan Hunt, and I know it’s hard to believe, but this may be his most action-packed adventure yet.
It almost boggles the mind that Cruise, at 55 (when he shot the movie), is doing things in “Fallout” that actors in their 20s wouldn’t dream of. But one of the main draws to the franchise now is seeing which death-defying stunt Cruise can pull off, as he is determined not to disappoint. And in “Fallout” there are as many as five that will leave you in disbelief.
In the movie, Hunt and his team – played by Ving Rhames, who has been in all the movies in the franchise alongside Cruise, and Simon Pegg, who has been on since “M:I III” – are once again up against insurmountable odds. I mean, should I even go on? Do you even remember the plot of the most recent movie? I don’t. OK, let’s get to the good stuff.
The action director Christopher McQuarrie (who also directed 2015’s “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation”) has masterfully crafted I promise you will not be topped the rest of the year.
Hunt does an insane skydive, a blitzing motorcycle ride through Paris (including driving the wrong way on the Arc de Triomphe), and a helicopter chase in Kashmir, and then hangs off a cliff when his helicopter crashes … into another helicopter. And it wouldn’t be a Tom Cruise movie if there weren’t lots and lots of running.
Now just imagine how good this movie would have been if they had slipped in a little storytelling.
“Fallout” really has no connective tissue. As much as McQuarrie tries, when there’s a break in the action it’s more just to catch your breath than to pay attention to what the characters are doing. We’ve really veered far away from Brian De Palma’s first “Mission: Impossible” movie back in 1996 (yes, that’s how long Cruise has been doing these darn movies), when it made a little sense for the story why Hunt would do a crazy stunt. Now the basic reply Hunt gives when he’s about to do something insane is simply, “I’ll figure it out.” That is literally said about three times in “Fallout.”
This makes it all the more puzzling why the run time for this movie is 2 1/2 hours. There’s not a lot to explore. Still, the lengthy action sequences and buildup are done so well you definitely won’t feel as if you got shortchanged.
Rebecca Ferguson returns as Ilsa Faust, who was the scene stealer in “Rogue Nation.” She once again gives a great performance, but the standout this time is a newbie to the franchise, Henry Cavill, as a CIA operative who joins Hunt’s team. He’s big, tough, and sporting that now-infamous mustache.
There are moments between the action in this movie that make you sit back and applaud McQuarrie for doing something a little creative with the story, specifically some flashback scenes and dream sequences (that’s right, there are dream sequences in this movie).
But who am I kidding – the stunts, man! We see Tom Cruise jump out of a plane, get struck by lightning, save a man in free fall, and do it all in one single shot.
Go. See. This. Movie.