By Andrew Jenck
It’s kind of incredible how the Mission Impossible film franchise is iconic, to the point where it has overshadowed its original TV show, but seems to go under the radar when it comes to the general public. The films have always done well, but you rarely see them discussed in the same vein as comic book films. Apart from the second installment, each film has been solid and is running far better than any other franchise at its age, and Fallout continues the trend.
Ethan Hunt may not be the most in depth main lead in an action scene, but Tom Cruise has always given it his all and retains conviction throughout the action scenes. You get the sense that he’s a good man in a complicated world and is always willing to risk himself, and even his mission, for the sake others. There’s especially some great moments involving his former wife, played by Michelle Monahan, regarding how selfless he is. One scene, in particular, shows a vision from Hunt of how his mission could endanger the lives of a few, despite how he needs to save many. Any other film would’ve had this scene play out in quick-cut visions but Fallout showcases it as almost its own action scene, extending a minute.
The rest of cast play their parts well, as there is well-written dialogue and solid chemistry among them. Heartfelt moments feel earned and you want to see them get through the whole ordeal. The weak link among the characters are the villains, unfortunately. They’re well-acted and get the job done, albeit in a hallway sense. What struck me particularly was the color pallet. For a film that is tonally darker and dramatic, the colors really pop in this film with excellent use of lighting. I always appreciate films like this, just because a film ups the drama, there can still be a sense of fun and color to it.
The real star of the movie is, of course, Cruise’s stunts and action scenes. Director Christopher McQuire finds a unique voice that he is able to convince the audience that the impractical is practical. There is Cruise jumping over buildings, a helicopter chase, and all sorts of ridiculous scenes but all in realism. McQuire knows how to walk that fine line and always have the actors react genuinely to the situations. Variety of action is widespread, in addition, to prevent the scene from getting dull with a good mix of smaller and larger scale scenes. Just about everything you could have in a spy film makes it into one action sequence and is a pleasure to watch.
Mission Impossible: Fallout is a strong contender for the best action film of 2018. While I’ll need to see it multiple times to call it one of the best action films of the decade, as so many others have, I find myself wanting to revisit it. Few films are enhanced by IMAX screenings, normally used as a gimmick to mark up ticket prices, but the film has such scale to it, that I feel it may be worthy of the price. Compelling, intense, and fun, Mission Impossible: Fallout is a must-see summer blockbuster that is bound to appease everyone, no matter how familiar you are with the franchise.