I saw Mission: Impossible – Fallout last night and without a doubt it is the best movie in the famed action franchise. As a lifelong Tom Cruise stan I have seen all his movies but this one is on a different level. Father Time keeps knocking but Tom Cruise is at the fountain of youth with a daiquiri and a 1000-megawatt smile. Akon spent years trying to provide Africa with power but failed to realize that a smile from Tom Cruise would’ve done the job in half the time. Preceded by the genius of Ghost Protocol and the harrowing Rogue Nation, Fallout has set the benchmark for summer action blockbusters.
The story picks up about 2 years following the events in Rogue Nation. Solomon Lane is being passed around various governments in the world being endlessly tortured. Ethan Hunt gets a mission, should he choose to accept, to find 3 missing plutonium cores being targeted by the surviving branch of the Syndicate. The cores are taken by the Apostles after Hunt makes the tough decision of saving Luther. The beginning really shows the weakness in Ethan Hunt as he would rather save one life than millions. It comes up later in the film but sheds light on who the character is and the motivation behind what he does. Now we get into the good stuff. To get the cores back Cruise has to do a HALO dive into Paris in the middle of a thunderstorm. HALO stands for High Altitude Low Opening and is an incredibly difficult jump for even the most seasoned soldiers. Tom Cruise did over 100 HALO jumps to get the scene to look just right and holy shit does it ever. The movie is thankfully devoid of CGI for the most part and you can tell in every action sequence. Cruise jumping out of a plane 25,000 feet in the air was breath taking and the camera work was superb. Add to the fact that he had to wait until 2,000 feet to pull his chute and this scene was easily one of the standouts. I once jumped 25 feet into the water in Lake George and yeah I fucking killed the jump but I even lost my breath a little.
The party itself has one of the best fight scenes I’ve seen, and it happens so early in the movie you almost forget it. Hunt and CIA Agent Walker (Henry Cavill) attempt to corral a man they believe to be John Lark, the man in charge of the Apostles. This dude was Jackie Chan in his prime on 30 mg of Adderall and 4 Monsters. The choreography of this fight and the skill shown by Lark against Hunt and Walker was incredible. I would’ve been dead 8 times throughout the whole thing but being as smart as I am, never would’ve gone to the bathroom in the first place. It is here we also meet for the second time, Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson). The smoke show of all Mission Impossible women and someone I would also have their baby for.
As the story progresses through deceit and cunning, we find ourselves on the edge of our seats gasping for air. What makes this movie so great is that you never understand what is going to happen next or for what reason. McQuarrie does a masterful job at bringing key elements together while keeping the plot moving along in a coherent manner. As the IMF team escapades from Paris to London cinematographer Rob Hardy captures the essence and beauty of these European cities. There is a scene where Ethan Hunt is running along the London rooftops and everything about it is perfect. Cruise in real life shatters his ankle jumping from one rooftop to another. If you look close enough you can see that he is in actual pain and limps out of the camera shot. That is fucking incredible if you ask me. This guy is pushing 56 years old, jumps from one building to another with just a cable to catch his fall, breaks his ankle and finishes the scene. There is no one else in the world that would do that. It also leads to almost 3 full minutes of Tom Cruise sprinting through London and it is a masterpiece of cinema. There weren’t any radar guns on set, but I can imagine just from the eye test that he was doing 55-60 mph. He would’ve got pulled over in a residential area for the speed he was generating with his perfect posture. Make sure you look out for it because you gain a new appreciation for the dedication Cruise has for doing his own stunts and pulling them off in a ridiculous manner.
As the story brings us to the climax you really get a sense of how well shot this film is. Snow capped mountain shots in the background as a helicopter chase unfolds is as good as it gets. There is an incredible shot of Tom Cruise hanging from a rope attached to a helicopter that will make every hair stand up. The chase itself is nerve racking as hell, with Cruise piloting a helicopter through harrowing caverns and incredible small openings. But that is what Tom Cruise is used to, studying 16 hours a day to get his helicopter license in half the time. The ending shows us the vulnerable Ethan Hunt and how far he has come as a character. Special cameo from Michelle Monaghan will hit you in the feels and is a great touch from McQuarrie to tie everything together.
Summer blockbusters are back and all because of Mission: Impossible – Fallout. This movie has everything, and you need to see it. When that theme song hits you’re going to want to run through a brick wall and my head still hurts from doing it. The action sequences are special, the plot keeps you guessing the whole time. Sublime cinematography makes the experience all the worth it and who doesn’t want to see Tom Cruise do a HALO jump? Shout out to Mastic movie theater for literally forgetting to put the movie on for 20 minutes. Also, the lights came on for like a minute in one of the more important scenes but hey $8 is a steal no matter how you look at it.