Mission Impossible: Fallout Review

Mission Impossible: Fallout, released on July 27, 2018, is the latest addition to the over two decade old Mission Impossible franchise. Despite the longevity of the series, the latest entry doesn’t disappoint. Fallout stands out from its predecessors with an engaging plot line and crucial character development, but also ties in with the rest of the films by bringing back old characters and sticking with the death-defying action sequences that have always defined the Tom Cruise films. Characters such as Julia Hunt, Ilsa, and Solomon Lane, as well as the core team of Benji and Luther make for strong individual performances. Unlike the more recent films, Fallout isn’t just another Ethan Hunt story.

Rebecca Ferguson’s Ilsa is nothing short of Ethan Hunt’s female counterpart. Her entrance into the film was arguably the best and she proves crucial to the team as the movie progresses. Strong-willed and brave, with a backstory developed throughout the previous films, she steals every scene she appears in. Henry Cavill’s August Walker was also a treat to watch. Despite the huge contrast to his notable role as Superman, Cavill still pulls off a good villain alongside Sean Harris’ Solomon Lane. The strong contrast between Solomon Lane and August Walker adds depth to the darker side of the film. Walker plays Ethan Hunt’s physical opponent while Lane plays on Hunt’s emotional turmoil. The combination of both characters put Hunt through more in this latest mission than any of his previous ones.

This film stands out as more than an action film with its emphasis on Hunt’s character, or what I’d call the humanization of Hunt. First off, the action sequences are more believable. They aren’t any less dangerous than the scaling of the Burj Khalifa, but they are woven into the film more seamlessly, instead of the plot fitting around the action. Secondly, Ethan Hunt’s heroics were motivated by human reasons. Throughout the majority of the franchise, Hunt rushes to save the world alongside his team simply because his moral compass is in the right place. He may not have been a superhero in a cape, but he had the heart of one. It gave his stunts a more superhero quality as well. In Fallout, Ethan’s rush to save the world becomes more personal with the increased screen time of his wife, Julia Hunt. One of the most pivotal interactions in the film for Hunt’s character is between Hunt, Julia, and Solomon Lane. It underscores Ethan’s greatest fear, losing his wife to the danger that surrounds his work. His fear comes to life in the final moments of the film, making the climax of the film heartbreaking and the final helicopter sequence more believable and integral to the development of Hunt’s character. Ethan Hunt becomes a man fighting his worst fears, and grows stronger for it at the end of the film. Fallout stands out from the rest of the films in the franchise by giving its protagonist more growth than all of the previous films combined.

All of this aside, Mission Impossible: Fallout is still an action film, and an excellent one at that. Action sequences, such as the bathroom fight, the bike chase through Paris, the parachute jump and many more make Fallout any action’s lover’s dream. Keeping with Mission Impossible tradition, Fallout has a compelling plot full of twists and turns, and its action sequences are harrowing, with lives hanging in the balance until the last second of the film. The movie doesn’t slow down from start to finish. Brief comedic sequences keep the film lighthearted as well. Visual effects were never overdone since Tom Cruise was performing his own stunts as per usual.

Knowing this fact only makes each stunt more fascinating to watch. The film is a reflection of Tom Cruise’s commitment to his action sequences. At 56 years old, the actor did his own stunts, breaking two of his ankle bones in the process. He also trained 16 hours a day to get a pilot license for the final helicopter sequence and jumped off a helicopter 106 times for the parachute sequence. All-new gear was developed for Tom Cruise’s parachute jump just so his face could be seen. The scene only lasted two to three minutes in the movie, but the making of it took well over three months. The payoff could be seen on screen, making Fallout the best entry into the franchise.

Mission Impossible: Fallout is an effective culmination of the films thus far, but still leaves loose ends for the films to come. The Apostles are still out there and Ethan Hunt’s next mission, should he choose to accept it, will most likely tie in there to add another bold, daring, action-packed film to the Mission Impossible franchise.