[Film Review] Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)

Mission- Impossible - Fallout poster.jpg

Title: Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Year: 2018
Country: USA
Language: English, French
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller
Director/Writer: Christopher McQuarrie
based on the television series created by Bruce Geller
Music: Lorne Balfe
Cinematography: Rob Hardy
Tom Cruise
Henry Cavill
Rebecca Ferguson
Ving Rhames
Simon Pegg
Sean Harris
Vanessa Kirby
Michelle Monaghan
Angela Bassett
Alec Baldwin
Wes Bentley
Yang Liang 杨亮
Frederick Schmidt
Kristoffer Joner
Liang Yang
Alix Bénézech
Caspar Phillipson
Rating: 7.5/10

Mission- Impossible - Fallout 2018.jpg

Hail to the return of the death-defying IMF (Impossible Missions Force) agent Ethan Hunt, and its ageism-defying star Tom Cruise in the sixth installment of this surprisingly long-running franchise, FALLOUT follows the aftermath of ROGUE NATION, both directed by Christopher McQuarrie, when three table-top plutonium cores are fallen into the evil hands of a terrorist group called the Apostles, reorganized by the remnants the Syndicate after their head Solomon Lane (Harris) is apprehended in the end of the fifth chapter, naturally, Hunt and co. must take it on to themselves to face their old nemesis and a mole shadowing Hunt at close range.

The plot is customarily self-complicated and elliptical in elucidating the cloak-and-dagger development, for one thing, it is rather elusive about how and when Lane and his mustachioed accomplice lay their hands on the plutonium cores, or does Lane have a death wish to stay behind when the nuclear bombs are activated? Reading its synopsis on Wikipedia doesn’t help, a compulsive second viewing? nice try!

That said, FALLOUT unequivocally denotes the highest standard of the spy genre film-making, opposite to the limitless boundary of superhero fantasies, as the franchise has been pushing the envelope ever since its genesis. Here, starting with the much plugged HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) stunt performed by Cruise and the new recruit, Henry Cavill, man of steel himself (visibly relishes his not-so-well-kept villainous about-face and is equally mettlesome in tackling high-wire stunt work), FALLOUT cleverly downplays gizmo novelty and instead regales audience with invigorating physical fisticuffs, vehicle barreling thrills and chills, unthinkable airborne jeopardy and of course, Ethan running and leaping from building to building, a là James Bond, only more relentless and awe-inspiring. Indeed, FALLOUT does set up a formidable exemplar for the upcoming Bond 25, and throws down the heavy gauntlet to Daniel Craig, 6 years junior to Mr. Cruise, how can you top that Mr. Bond?

Nevertheless, if MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE intends to elongate this money spinner’s life span like its more esteemed British counterpart, there is a catch, because up to this point, the franchise categorically lives and dies with Cruise, whose star charisma and undimmed spirit is audience’s main attraction and to achieve that, no matter how much materialistic incentive is behind the motive, is a miracle per se in this day and age.

Also notably, McQuarrie wisely amps up Ethan’s own characterization arc, as if for the first time, a viewer can limpidly see through him among those action-packed commotions, saliently, sacrificing innocent individual for the greater good is not above him, and he does care for his teammates and those who are close to him, tries his best to keep them out of harm’s way, an unpremeditated re-connection with ex-wife Julia (Monaghan) transpires harmoniously in tandem with the tacit rapport between Ethan and fellow ass-kicker agent Ilsa Faust (Ferguson, slightly underutilized here than her jaw-dropping entrance in ROGUE NATION), there is chemistry flickering, but both dare not to make it personal, a love triangle seems to be in the pipeline and both women are sensible enough to detect that in their casual interaction, oops, the plot thickens… and needless to say we will pony up for the next adventure when it comes, as long as Ethan and his team can continue upping the ante.

referential entries: McQuarrie’s MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION (2015, 7.4/10), Brad Bird’s MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL (2011, 8.0/10).

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