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Mission: Impossible – Fallout Movie Review

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Every year we seem to see more and more sequels, but it’s not often we see a sixth installment in a franchise. It’s even less common that we see a sixth installment in a franchise that doesn’t feel like it’s losing steam or dying. Granted, Fast and Furious is working on its ninth film, but the fifth movie completely shifted the direction of the series. You could even argue that Mission: Impossible is gaining momentum. I like the first one, but the second movie didn’t quite live up to the original. The third movie bounced back with a great villain and J.J. Abrams behind the camera, and in my opinion each movie has improved upon its predecessor since then. I’m not one bit sick of the Mission: Impossible franchise, and I think it’s due, in part, to the fact that every movie has been directed by a different director. Each movie has its own unique stylistic touch, and it always feels somewhat fresh with the same great action hero. This movie also had some conversation behind it. The two biggest stories were Tom Cruise’s broken leg and Henry Cavill’s mustache. So let’s ask the real question: was the mustache worth it?

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Mission: Impossible – Fallout is directed by Christopher McQuarrie and stars Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Angela Bassett, Vanessa Kirby, and Michelle Monaghan. The remaining members from the toppled agency known as the Syndicate have begun selling themselves out, terrorizing for hire and calling themselves the Apostles. When an Ethan Hunt-led mission goes wrong and lands nuclear power in the wrong hands, the IMF must team up with the CIA to stop the weapons from being used for evil.

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I mentioned that this is a franchise that continues to improve with every movie, and with Fallout, Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie have done it again. This is one of the best action movies of this decade. Rogue Nation was already one of the best of the 2010s, but I think Fallout topped it. Whether or not you believe that Fallout is the best of the franchise, you’d have a hard time arguing against it having the best action throughout the entire twenty-two year span of impossible missions. Though Christopher McQuarrie has only directed three films, he has already proved to be a master of action. Everything is so clear and motivated, and it’s obvious what McQuarrie is going for with every single punch, kick, and shot. The action is shot and edited so well, and the actors in the action sequences seem to make execution easy. Every single time Tom Cruise takes up the role of Ethan Hunt, he raises the bar. Somehow he commits even harder in this film than he ever has, which says a lot, and it’s so refreshing. On top of the action sequences being so well choreographed, shot, and edited, they feel so visceral because Ethan Hunt is actually leading the charge. Tom Cruise spent a year and a half learning how to fly a helicopter for one of the best sequences in this movie. Come on. Who does that? On top of making the action sequences even clearer and easier to present, it raises the stakes for Ethan. Six movies later, I’m genuinely attached to Ethan, so seeing him in peril makes my palms sweat and invests me emotionally in the film. In addition the depth Ethan has been given for the past two decades, I love that he takes an absolute beating just about every time he gets involved in a fight. Sure, he usually succeeds, but he pays a price every time, and he needs to use his experience and his awareness to win fights. He’s always thinking outside the box which makes him such a blast to watch.

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That might be the main takeaway of the film. It’s an absolute blast with the story and maturity to go along with it. Whether you’re talking about the pacing, the action sequences, the characters, or the settings, it’s so difficult to take your eyes off the screen. This movie is about two and a half hours, but every single minute flew by, and I could sit through another hour if they had more. Often times you’ll hear fans say that a movie wasn’t long enough or they wanted more when in reality the movie was probably the perfect length. I am 100% sure that I could have gone another hour without getting bored or unglued from my seat. This movie is able to take a serious tone with real danger, real stunts, and high-flying action and inject so much fun into those sequences for the perfect combination. It’s even hilarious at times. Cruise’s charisma and Simon Pegg’s great performance make this movie funny at some points and heart-stopping at others, and I couldn’t get enough. I also thought that Henry Cavill was great, and in case you’re wondering, yes, the mustache was worth it. As someone who liked Justice League, Mission: Impossible – Fallout is a far, far better movie, so I guess that I’m all for the mustache. It’s something that didn’t bother me in Justice League, so I’ll just roll with it. Cavill is great in the action sequences, but he also has a great on-screen presence. His character and Ethan fight side-by-side in a bathroom early in the film, and just standing next to Cruise makes him feel like a physically dominant fighter. Obviously he’s a big guy, but he also handles the fight choreography so well, and the difference in his style from Ethan’s makes the two riveting to watch together.

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I don’t really have many negatives with this film. I guess my main issue with it would be its predictability. No Mission: Impossible narrative has ever been very straightforward. Yes, all movies have twists and turns in the plot, but Mission: Impossible often tries its best to intentionally deceive you. It tries to let you in on its secrets at the same time the characters are let in, and it usually works. In this film, I felt a little bit ahead of the curve just by drawing a few easy conclusions. Nevertheless, even when it makes its reveals that I was able to see coming, it makes them like a great magic trick. If you’ve ever been watching a magic trick and recognized exactly where the magician was going with the trick, it doesn’t necessarily make the reveal unimpressive. A magician can tell you that he’s going to make his lovely assistant disappear, and you’re not going to be surprised when he actually makes her disappear, but you’re probably still going to be awed and impressed. I had a great time with the reveals, even when I knew they were coming, and they were unpacked in such a fun, perfectly timed, almost magical way that the predictability didn’t really affect me.

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Overall, Mission: Impossible – Fallout is one of the best movies of the year, and it’s one of the best action movies of its time. Whether we’re talking about close-quarters fight sequences, huge action set pieces, or Tom Cruise running on top of buildings, Christopher McQuarrie has more than a knack for shooting intense sequences. He has actually ruined standard action for me. He may have even ruined good action. Knowing that these action sequences exist will make dumb fun just dumb. I’d also say that a good portion of the film’s credit has to go to Tom Cruise. Cruise is always finding a way to step it up and commit even harder, and he makes the action so visceral with real stakes by putting himself in front of the camera instead of a stunt double. It’s an absolute blast to watch, but it also has real emotional depth in its themes, ideas, and characters, and it’s able to propel itself right past any summer blockbuster that might just be out to make a few bucks. Mission: Impossible – Fallout intends to be a great action movie, and from an even broader perspective, a great movie, and it succeeds on just about every level. It is a little bit predictable, but predictability doesn’t necessarily stop the reveals from being exciting. Tom Cruise and the rest of the cast nail it once again on their way towards making the best Mission: Impossible movie yet and one of the best action movies of the decade. I’m going to give Mission: Impossible a 9.5/10.

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Will you be seeing Mission: Impossible – Fallout? Comment down in the comment section and let me know! As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!

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Justin Lyons

Hey, it's Justin Lyons! I am the Chief Film Critic for The Pulse. Have any questions for me? Please feel free to email me at [email protected]