Coming three years after Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, the sixth instalment, entitled Fallout, arrives with a first time returning director for the franchise in Christopher McQuarrie. This proves to be a shrewd decision that certainly pays off in this latest dose of pure action magnificence.
Bossing the blockbuster genre
What follows is two and a half hours of relentless hard-hitting action of the highest technical quality. This is surely the pinnacle of modern action blockbusters, even putting Bond and Jason Bourne to shame. Ethan Hunt is a superhuman, and there is ballet-like precision and beauty to Cruise’s stunt work, even when it results in a broken leg, which was still ultimately deemed good enough to make the final cut. I distinctly remember thinking that nothing could better this after the last film in the franchise (MI: Rogue Nation, 2015), the one where Cruise hung from the side of a plane, yet somehow this surpasses once again.
No time is wasted getting stuck into the new mission as all the exposition we require is spoon-fed to us in the first ten minutes. Nuclear plates have been acquired by a shadowy terror organization and now the CIA, MI6 and IMF are racing each other to recover them and put a stop to global destruction. There are no ground-breaking new ideas or themes at play here, however this is combatted by the exquisite collection of acting talent on show, and the ludicrous action choreography.
An imposingly muscular as always Henry Cavill is Cruise’s younger challenger, playing a CIA agent from the new-school of intelligence work. Then add IMF chief Alec Baldwin, Angela Bassett’s stern CIA boss, ice cool MI6 agent Rebecca Ferguson and Cruise’s usual team of dependable rogues, and you have a truly outstanding ensemble cast. Not to mention slimy, husky voiced villain ‘Sean Harris’, as well as the always excellent Michelle Monaghan reprising her role as Cruise’s secret partner.
Once the hunt to retake the weapons of mass destruction begins, Cruise effortlessly jumps from a frantic motorbike chase in Paris, to a rooftop pursuit through London, ending with a breathless climax on the roof of the Tate Modern. Then the grand finale, a simply incredible Helicopter dogfight weaving through the mountains of Indian Kashmir. The other standout moment is an utterly terrifying HALO jump sequence with Cavill’s character, as we tumble out of the plane and plummet the entire drop side by side with the pair as they grapple 35,000 feet in the air.
No signs of slowing down
Yes, the imminent threat of worldwide nuclear fallout is a tired action cliché, and the plot seems a little unfeasible and thinly webbed together at points, but that really bares no importance in this franchise, as that would be severely missing the point of the films. Just like its five predecessors it’s an almighty, unashamed dose of riotous cinematic fun. This instalment also remains an enthralling accessible standalone for any newcomers to the world of Mission Impossible, as there is only vague backstory tying this to the previous films.
The classic instantly recognisable and ever-present MI theme is given a subtle revamp this time round, pulsating in and out of the tense action sequences, perfectly complementing and elevating the stunning visuals. Similarities can definitely be drawn to Hans Zimmer’s recent collaborations with Christopher Nolan, as narrative tension is echoed exquisitely through the fraught and frantic soundtrack.
There have been quiet rumblings and whispers in the build up to release that this is to potentially be the last Mission Impossible outing, as even Tom Cruise can’t carry on at these ferocious standards forever, and a recast is obviously out of the question. The Ethan Hunt we see in this film does seem somewhat more weathered and grizzled yet remains just as indestructible as ever for now.
If this is indeed to be the final swansong for the franchise, then it goes out on an almighty unrivalled high. Dazzling chase sequences twinned with Tom Cruise taking classic Tom Cruise stunt work to new standards of insanity. Fallout is truly the perfect summer blockbuster and finds itself setting new benchmarks as the pinnacle of modern action cinema. You know precisely what you’re going to get with a Mission Impossible outing, and it delivers perfectly once again.
Words by Ed Budds