Mission: Impossible – Fallout – Review

As the sixth entry in the Mission: Impossible franchise, Mission: Impossible – Fallout sees Tom Cruise return once again to save the world.   Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, Cruise is again joined by Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg with Henry Cavill also joining the cast.  The franchise has definitely had its ups and downs over the year, so how does this latest entry fare?

The Mission: Impossible films are usually pretty solidly stand-alone type pictures.  While there are some elements of Ethan Hunt’s life which carry on, there are normally new villains and new objectives.  Mission: Impossible – Fallout mixes things up a bit and is almost a direct sequel to the prior entry in the franchise.  It takes place shortly after the evens of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.

Plutonium cores have been stolen and in their efforts to retrieve them, Ethan is faced with a critical decision to either save his teammate or save the plutonium.  He chooses his teammate and the plutonium vanishes.  Due to this “mishap”, Henry Cavill’s character is assigned as sort of an internal check to stay with Ethan as he tries to recapture the plutonium but the rabbit hole just keeps getting deeper.

What Mission: Impossible – Fallout does so well is complexity.  There are countless straightforward and generic action films with fancy stunts and car chases.  This film does those things very well, so well in fact that some scenes, such as the helicopter chase, is among the most exciting moments in recent memory.  However, the myriad of ways in which Ethan becomes entangled in complicated and and challenging situations leads to a very exciting adventure.  Instead of a the typical non-stop race to the climax, Ethan Hunt finds himself entangled in a massive web without easy answers.  This web is both epic in scale yet retains strong personal elements.

Ethan is forced into impossible situations.  What do you do when your only option to recover the plutonium involves killing police officers?  What do you do when your only option to recover the plutonium involves turning over someone you love?  What do you do when you have yet again been disavowed and have no support, but still most save the world?

These are impossible situations, and that is why this is Mission: Impossible.  For a franchise that has sometimes failed to deliver, it is sometimes easy to wonder if Cruise should just move on.  However, while it is impossible to ever usurp the original film, Mission: Impossible – Fallout ranks right up there and is an excellent addition to the franchise.  Cruise continues to be on his A-game and as long as he can continue to get this kind of quality in screenplay, lets hope there are more impossible missions to come.

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