Movie Review: Mission: Impossible Fallout
Mission: Impossible- Fallout is a direct sequel to its predecessor, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. The villain from that movie, Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), looms large over this one as superspy Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) races against the clock to stop Lane's followers from acquiring and detonating nuclear weapons. Hunt is helped by CIA bruiser August Walker (Henry Cavill) and enigmatic British agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), who also appeared in Rogue Nation.
This may be the best Mission: Impossible movie when we look at the other parts of the movie. Mission: Impossible - Fallout steps up the action as impossible a mission as that might sound -- and the stakes, with the personal screws, tightened on Hunt and horrible consequences for failure. Though spy-movie watchers will expect the requisite twists, betrayals, and MacGuffins, writer-director Christopher McQuarrie's compelling filmmaking grabs your attention and doesn't let go. Fallout delivers the death-defying stunts the series demands. The execution of, for example, the series' best car chase -- really, a car/motorcycle chase -- is so expertly done that you're less aware of the slickness that the jeopardy. Fallout also has the best fight of the series thus far (hint: it takes place in a bathroom). It's exciting and visceral, with real emotional impact. Cruise's performance is lean and focused, and hopefully, Ferguson is now a fixture in the series; she can act and fight. It's also fun to see Superman (Cavill) brawling like an utter brute.
Rob Hardy's (Ex Machina) cinematography captures everything we need to track the action while also conveying different atmospheres, moods, and textures. Each of the film's locations -- exotic, dingy, or otherwise -- is well-served. Eddie Hamilton's editing is superb; he's amassing a spectacular resume (X-Men: First Class, Kingsman: The Secret Service). Lorne Balfe's versatile score builds on previous entries while recalling Hans Zimmer's Bat-music and Jóhann Jóhannson's nerve-rattling Sicario. Fight Coordinator Wolfgang Stegemann and Stunt Coordinator Wade Eastwood pull rabbits out of their hats. So does feature fight performer Liang Yang; let's see more of that guy! Given the deeply ingrained habits of this genre, it's hard to surprise veteran fans. But McQuarrie and company get fresh reactions with the effective and thrilling Fallout by involving us in the dilemmas, making us feel the atmosphere and a ticking clock, and hitting every action beat, dead center.