“I’ll Figure It Out”
Finally!!! This is what I have been waiting for! This Summer has been pretty average in terms of the quality of movies that have been released. There have been some good movies, but nothing that has blown me away. In fact, I had only given one movie above a “9” since the start of the Summer and that one was a slow burn. But now as the Summer movie season draw to a close, life has been reinvigorated into the theaters.
Mission Impossible: Fallout amps up on everything that was set up in Rogue Nation and doubles down on all the action, plot, characters, and humor that came before. Everything has been elevated to a new level making this movie even better than Rogue Nation which some believed, including myself, to be “impossible”. This not only due to the amazing stunts and action scenes that take place causing my adrenaline to ride so high that I could barely sit still during the finale, but also to the characterization of Ethan Hunt in this movie and how it properly follows up on the questions and development from the previous film. And even without that, Fallout stands apart from all other action movies giving it such a unique feel and purpose that makes going to the movie theaters a pure joy.
The title of Fallout is perfect for this film as we follow the complications and downfalls of Ethan’s actions that not only have occurred in previous films, but this one as well. Ethan now has to pay for his actions and embark on what may be his most dangerous mission yet. The stakes constantly elevate both for the world and personally, and it’s up to Ethan and his team to save the world once again not only from the return of Solomon Lane but from Ethan’s actions as well.
The same questions and morals that were brought up in Rogue Nation are explored here in terms of Ethan’s characterization. He has been viewed as a thrill seeker, improvising new plans and risking his life for the fun of it. But from the start of this movie to its conclusion we finally get to see what really drives Ethan and why he does what he does. The actions he makes in the beginning of the film have serious consequences, but he never abandons those morals throughout the run time. In fact, Fallout’s entire story could be viewed as an explanation to why Ethan does what he does and what makes his strengths and flaws unique to his character.
Like always the supporting characters are great and the new addition of Henry Cavill’s August Walker is no different. Walker’s has been tasked with helping Ethan on his mission due to Ethan’s dismay. There is a great rivalry between them that is played up well throughout the movie that adds a new dimension to their mission. Cavill seems to really enjoy himself as well now playing a more morally ambiguous character than he is used to. It’s fun to see their dynamic especially when it comes to the action scenes they are in together.
The film also has some of the best humor of the series. It is always subtle, unwavering, and never compromises the seriousness of the situations they are in. The situational awareness is fantastic and I have to give props to both Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg on the subtlety of their performances.
I have probably said this before but it needs to be constantly stated over and over again. Tom. Cruise. Is. A. BEAST!! Every time we think he has upped the ante from his previous films, we are constantly disproved. It’s amazing to think that Cruise does his own stunts and is actually putting his neck on the line. From actually climbing a helicopter from who know how high, to driving at 100 mph through oncoming traffic, there is no length Cruise will not go to make an exciting action movie.
And my goodness are the action scenes the most tense, suspenseful, and exciting as they have ever been! The hand to hand combat is brutal, filmed with no score just so you can hear the brutality of each punch and the adrenaline of the scene. A HALO jump from 25,000 feet that certainly tops the tension of the underwater scene from Rogue Nation especially when you consider that Cruise commits so well to these scenes. And then there is the finale, which had me on the edge of my seat constantly worrying about what might happen.
This action is elevated even more thanks to the excellent score composed by Lorne Balfe. The way the themes crescendo in and out, heightening the tension or the quiet drum beats during chase sequences puts you right in the action.
The finale’s from previous films have been quite small compared to the stunts that came before them, but Fallout’s finale is probably the best action scene in the entirety of the franchise and consistently kept the tension elevated to the point where my hand started bleeding because I was digging my nails in too hard. It was that intense.
The only flaw that I had with Fallout is that the movie ended. The movie was two and a half hours long and I could have kept watching more. The movie never feels that long and consistently moves at a breakneck pace keeping a perfect balance of plot development, action, and intrigue throughout. I will undoubtedly see it again in theaters because Fallout has reminded me of what a great time at the movie theaters looks like. Having a great action movie like this one only comes so often and rarely during the Summer.
August Walker’s character at one point says, “How many times has Hunt’s government betrayed him, disavowed him, cast him aside. How long before a man like that has had enough?”. Judging by Tom Cruise’s commitment and attitude in this film, I say he’s still got a lot left to keep going and I certainly hope to see more Mission Impossible movies soon!