Trying to fall in love with film again.

'Mission Impossible: Fallout' is my new favourite action movie


Mission: Impossible - Fallout gets a new IMAX trailer and posterStory 

Taking place 2 years after the previous one, Ethan Hunt receives a mission to intercept 3 plutonium cores from a terrorist group known as 'The Apostles' before they are turned into nuclear bombs. However, this doesn't go according to plan and Ethan has to pursue the cores while tracking down the fundamentalist know as John Lark, whilst having the CIA breathing down his neck.
In the grand scheme of things,  the story is on the basic side. Many spy thrillers have a plot that involves the main character going on an international manhunt, that's par for the course in these movies but what makes this movie different is the franchise staples like, Tom Cruise running, or the guarantee that he did most of his own stunts.

I watched Grace Randolph's review of the movie last week and in it, she said that Christopher McQuarrie wanted to make a Christopher Nolan movie and after watching this movie, I understand what she means. In a Nolan movie, the plot is more complex than your average film with plot threads that are left at the beginning that have significant ramifications as the film goes on, anyone who watches Westworld knows what I mean by this. (Jonathan Nolan who is a showrunner on Westworld is a writer for a lot of Christopher Nolan's movies)
However, some of the story beats are on the more predictable side. There are story beats that are very familiar to this genre of film and some of the surprises that the film presents were predictable to me.

Acting

This is Tom Cruise's franchise and has been for a very long time, much like Fast and the Furious is Vin Diesel's franchise. This movie spends a lot of time exploring Ethan Hunt's mortality and you can see the moments where Ethan Hunt struggles with doing what he deems to be the right thing. What makes this movie and Tom Cruise stand out is his dedication to practical stunt work. From HALO jumps to flying a helicopter, having him in those situations makes his reactions more authentic and believable and for the audience, it's more gratifying.

Henry Cavill is the standout of the movie without a doubt. I can't write this review without mentioning his moustache that he was contractually obligated to have, as a result, Superman ended up looking like this...

Image result for superman justice league cgi
And that is a crime against humanity. The question to ask is "Did the moustache add anything to the movie as a whole?" The short answer is no, no it did not, but I will say he looks good so I guess it's a win for the movie.
Henry Cavill has always been one of those actors that's just okay. I have never seen him in a role that has blown me away. To me, his best work in 'The Man from Uncle" and this role is very reminiscent of that one. He has the same charisma and screen presence and physicality that he has in that movie, but in this movie, he's a bit more brutal. Angela Bassett says in the trailer "You like to use a scalpel, I like to use a hammer." August Walker (Cavill's character) is the human embodiment of a hammer.

The supporting cast is brilliant Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Alec Baldwin, Sean Harris and Angela Basset. Each actor is given their own moment to shine especially Alec Baldwin and Simon Pegg who don't usually have a lot of physical work to do in these movies. Apart from the main characters, Ilsa played by Rebecca Ferguson is my favourite characters, she's Ethan's equal in every way even though her morals are more questionable than his most of the time.

Writing/Direction

This film brings back the same writers from the previous movie, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and they somehow manage to up the ante with this film.
Having the same team from the previous movies creates a sense of continuity with the story as well as the structure of the movies. This feels like a direct sequel rather than a different film in the same franchise.
Christopher McQuarrie took what he learnt in 'Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation' and applied it here and it shows. This film is a step up from its predecessor in every sense of the word.
It has to be said that this film is gorgeous to look at, the framing of the shots and the way the way the film was edited made me stop and admire the film, which is a rarity especially as it's a very fast-paced action movie. The movie was filmed on location in Paris and London as well as New Zealand and Norway and the natural beauty of each place was allowed to shine through the film. The Mission Impossible movies since Ghost Protocol have a sense of clarity and scope that lends itself to the immersion of the experience.
The story and characters are the most important parts of the film but it's obvious that the director put effort into how the film looks, it's a structured film with brilliant framing and colour grading.

Even though I didn't see the film in IMAX, I would recommend seeing it in that format because a lot of the establishing location shots are wide shots and as a viewer, you would benefit from it as you'll see the whole picture.

CGI/Set Design

In this day and age, a summer blockbuster without CGI is like a house without a roof, it's incomplete. This movie has it's fair share of CGI but knowing how dedicated Tom Cruise is to doing his own stunts in realistic situations, elevates this from the rest of the CGI heavy movies that are released around this time of year (I'm looking at you Skyscraper and The Meg)
The film looks as sleek as you would expect a spy film to look, from the way the characters are dressed to the way the sets are built and used.

Score/Soundtrack

The movie was scored by Lorne Balfe, and the score is brilliant. When you think 'Mission Impossible' this comes to mind.

Lorne Balfe took the theme and reworked it, it was different enough for me to notice but familiar enough to associate it with the franchise. It's tense when it needs to be, joyful when it needs to be and in some moments the absence of sound lends to more to the scene at hand and helps pull you into the scene. It's a score I see myself listening to in the future.

Overall Thoughts

 I only really paid attention to these movies after I saw Ghost Protocol and the Burj Khalifa sequence in that film, but I have to say that the Mission Impossible movies are something special. They have the ridiculous gadgets of James Bond and the hyper-realism and grittiness of Jason Bourne. It's the perfect summer blockbuster, it's thrilling action-packed and fast-paced. It also has comedic moments littered throughout, the jokes are sparse but when they come they got a reaction from the crowd.
These movies just keep getting better and I'm excited to see where the franchise goes from here.
My mum who doesn't like action films enjoyed this film a lot and if that doesn't indicate how good the film is, nothing will. I will go on record and say that this could be and probably is the best action film of the summer.

Comments