By: Christian Harding (Two Beers) –
If there’s one modern film franchise that requires no introduction by this point… well, there’s probably a few ahead of the Mission: Impossible series – but they’re near the top of the pack for sure! What was formerly known as nothing more than a continuing series of vehicles for Tom Cruise’s ego and seemingly indestructible physical prowess has since evolved into one of the better and more consistent spy-oriented blockbuster franchises we have right now – while still also being a continuing series of vehicles for Tom Cruise’s ego and seemingly indestructible physical prowess. Hey, baby steps! This latest entry, endowed with the subtitle Fallout, sees the director from the previous entry Rogue Nation returning, in Christopher McQaurrie, and continues the series’ evolution into an ensemble, team picture moreso than a star vehicle for its central hero.
Behold, the mustache that single-handedly derailed the whole DC cinematic universe!
As if the plot was ever the main focus of this particular franchise, Fallout sees Tom Cruise back as Ethan Hunt, as well as his merry band of useful sidekicks who are actually NOT all on the run from the government for a change, but rather working in service of Alec Baldwin’s Secretary of the IMF and Angela Bassett’s Director of the CIA, who places a mysterious Special Activities operative named August Walker (played by the owner of the most expensive mustache ever put to film, aka Henry Cavill) at Ethan’s side in his mission to take down a mysterious terror organization named The Apostles, who are comprised of the remnants of terror group The Syndicate from previous franchise installment Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. And everything else is completely incidental and solely in service of quickly getting the audience from one jaw-dropping setpieces to the next – which is completely, unironically a-okay with this reviewer!
Yes, like there’s any secret at this point, the main reason anybody is going to see a Mission Impossible film in 2018 is to see Tom Cruise pull off a crazily glorious series of in-camera stunts for two and a half hours – and boy howdy, does Fallout ever deliver on that front. Unlike the last handful of series entries, there’s no one single sequence that stands head-and-shoulders above the rest, since they all work in tandem with one another to provide the most cohesive, forward-moving entry to the series so far. It probably helps that director Christopher McQuarrie has returned after directing the previous installment, marking the first time one director has directed multiple films in this series. In this case, it proves to be an effective strategy, since this is one of the most well-handled and polished blockbusters of the year so far.
While Mission Impossible: Fallout indeed works brilliantly during the first hour as a buddy spy adventure thriller co-starring Tom Cruise and Henry Cavill, the same cannot be said for its second and third acts, where it devolves into being just another Mission Impossible sequel. Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that, but it’s just that it’s all the same tropes and switcheroos we’ve already seen a whopping five times before – double crosses, triple crosses, quadruple crosses, plot twists, impossibly helpful and cool-looking gadgets, etc. Returning cast members like Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, and Rebecca Ferguson all do very well with their respective roles, but Fallout seemed like it was headed in such an interesting looking direction for the first act before Cruise’s teammates all came back into the fold that seeing everything switch back into such familiar territory is undeniably a bit of a comedown.
“So where is YOUR big, important mustache?”
This far into the series, you’ll already know whether or not you want to see Mission Impossible: Fallout by now. While this reviewer can’t quite agree with the appraisals that hail this film as the next big, revolutionary 21st century franchise actioner along the lines of The Dark Knight, Skyfall, or Mad Max: Fury Road, there’s no denying the spectacular, adrenaline-fueled ride awaiting anybody that’s interested in checking this puppy out. Sure, it’s more of the same, but considering how viscerally thrilling and consistently engaging this particular entry into the series is, there’s little room to complain. Just sit back and enjoy the ride, as is always the recommended option with this franchise.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) Drinking Game
Do a Shot: whenever the title theme from the television series plays.
Do another Shot: each time it looks like Tom Cruise is trying to kill himself through an impossible stunt.
One more Shot: for every double-triple-quadruple cross.
Shotgun a Beer: for Henry Cavill’s DCEU ruining facial hair!