'Mission: Impossible - Fallout' Review
“Mission: Impossible – Fallout” is the sixth installment in the Tom Cruise action movie franchise. As I mentioned in my review of 2015’s “Rogue Nation”, this should’ve been simply titled “M:I6” (to go along with the name of the British Secret Service, which is a part of this movie).
The length of time between “Rogue Nation” and “Fallout” is the shortest of any two “M:I” movies, at just under 3 years. And it shows. The plot – Cruise’s Ethan Hunt has to retrieve stolen plutonium before the bad guys get it and create and detonate nuclear bombs – is so basic and tired it feels like a storyline from 1966 (the year the “Mission: Impossible” TV series debuted).
The first two-thirds of the nearly two-and-a-half-hour “Fallout” also involve a lot of characters in disguise, double-crossing and triple-crossing. It’s a bit much. At one point you just want to call a time-out so you can figure out who’s on the good team and who’s on the bad team. Hunt can still trust longtime colleagues Benji (Simon Pegg) and Luther (Ving Rhames), but what happens when Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson) returns? And there’s also IMF boss Alan (Alec Baldwin). And what about series newcomers – feisty CIA head Erica (a strong role for Angela Bassett) and her Ethan Hunt-wannabe, August Walker (Henry Cavill)?
“M:I – Fallout” takes Hunt and the gang around the globe to exotic locations. To no surprise, the script also has Cruise doing some pretty dangerous stuff. This movie has motorcycle, car, foot and helicopter chases, along with one of my personal favorites: a brightly-lit bathroom brawl.
Most of this action is mildly entertaining, and there are bits of dry humor sprinkled in. But even with all the outrageous stunts (including a leap that sidelined Cruise during production for nearly two months) – nothing is “blown away” amazing or fresh.
Thanks to the appearance of a key person from Hunt’s past, the final act of “M:I – Fallout” is by far the strongest. Returning writer/director Christopher McQuarrie is able to get us to a climax where it all just comes together, even though the members are separated. And for once, this technique pays-off. There’s more on the line for Hunt and the others than ever before, and we’re right there with them to the end. “Fallout” wraps-up this second trilogy nicely, and would make a satisfying conclusion if this is the final “Mission”. But with the continued popularity of this franchise, that may just be impossible.