Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Writer: Christopher McQuarrie
Starring: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames
Genre: A Tom Cruise Action Film
After a mission to recover some nuclear weapons goes wrong, Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his IMF team now face a race against time to stop these weapons from falling into the wrong hands or face a global catastrophe, but with the CIA threatening to close the IMF and the possibility that the CIA or IMF has been infiltrated by the very threat that they trying to stop, this mission may just actually be impossible.
The fact it now has 6 films spanning over 20 years means that surely Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible franchise must be held in the same high regards as some of the other most successful Hollywood franchises of modern times. Though admittedly the plots seem to have increasingly moved away from the original concept and basically be plots that could easily be starring Bond or Bourne instead, and the films could have any title as everything within this franchise is built around its leading man. Tom Cruise certainly has many detractors, but I have never been one as for me he is a great movie star (indeed one of the very best) who just seems to really enjoy what he does, and his blatant enjoyment and enthusiasm that is on show usually makes for a tremendously enjoyable viewing experience (The Mummy being a recent exception to this – that was rubbish!).
All involved with this franchise seem to know exactly what type of film they are making, and all that watch this should also know exactly what they are in for by now; A seemingly indestructible Tom Cruise often defying logic, physics and medical science to save the world, and all done with an infectious smile on his face. However, everyone involved knows this, and so the focus is on having fun and just ramping up the ridiculousness as much as possible. Indeed, while in their 6th instalment some franchises suffer from extreme fatigue, complacency or an overall lack of ideas, but writer / director Christopher McQuarrie skilfully avoids this, and what seems to help is that he knows how to get the best out of his regular leading man and the fact that the film is built around him. McQuarrie brings an element of control, focus and a self-aware sense of perspective that means Fallout may contain the silliness of most blockbusters, but yet still enough of a comprehensible plot that means the audience maintain a level on interest in what is happening, as well as some emotional investment in the characters.
In a year of when big budget films seem to be even lazier, blander and more cynical than ever, it is refreshing when one comes along that just wants to have fun and embrace its blatant silliness, and in the case of Fallout it mainly works very well indeed, and is so in my view the best blockbuster of the year so far, and certainly one of the most enjoyable cinema experiences. McQuarrie seems to be growing in confidence as a blockbuster filmmaker and puts together some extremely slick action sequences that are genuinely thrilling and certainly are far better than most the CGI explosions we often get these days, this is also enhanced by the knowledge of the fact that Tom Cruise injured himself while filming on the scenes – and his injury is quite obvious!
Tom Cruise is very much in the form of his life here, and his obvious enthusiasm and commitment enables us to believe in his character enough to make the fact that he does some ridiculously bonkers things be just about forgivable and believable. This whole franchise is built around Cruise, and it is almost inconceivable now that there could be any further instalments without him, as each film might as well be called Tom Cruise Saves the World (Again). The returning characters are also great to watch, and all seem to share a great chemistry with each other (though, what happened to Jeremy Renner?), which just adds to the sense of fun. Meanwhile the editing is top class, and Lorne Balfe’s score is suitably rousing and epic.
Though the pacing of McQuarrie’s script is generally very good, there is of course the occasional moment when things seems to be explained a little too much and a few of the ‘twists’ are perhaps a little too obvious. Also, at just under two and a half hours, Fallout could have done with being slightly shorter, with some action sequences going on for a little too long. Meanwhile, as much as Henry Cavill certainly looks the part, his character is one of the weaker parts of the plot as it is not especially well written and feels like it was added in for the sake of it as a necessary plot device of the can we / can’t we trust ‘new character’. Fallout is of course a film littered with clichés and taken liberties, and overall gets away with them due to its apparent self-awareness of its blatant silliness and almost God-like worshipping of its leading man, but the Cavill character was the one element for me that could have been done a lot better and ultimately did not work too well. These are however some minor quibbles in what is otherwise a totally riotous romp of a blockbuster that will leave most viewers with a wide smile on their face.
Cruise once again delivers and has never made saving the world seem so much fun; Despite its slightly overlong running time and a few plot issues, if you want to be genuinely thrilled, entertained and just have good honest cinematic fun, then Mission: Impossible – Fallout provides this and is undoubtedly one of the best, and definitely most enjoyable, blockbusters of 2018.