Writing a review for “Mission Impossible – Fallout” gave my thesaurus a workout. The film, the sixth instalment in the Tom Cruise franchise, is jammed to the gills with next-level stunts that require an expanded vocabulary to describe. Words like ‘extreme’ or ‘exciting’ or even ‘epic’ (and those are only the ‘e’ words) don’t come close to describing the behemothic action sequences contained within.
Cruise returns as the seemingly invincible action man and IMF (Impossible Mission Force) agent Ethan Hunt. Hunt and his crew, tech wiz Benji (Simon Pegg) and agent Luther (Ving Rhames), are charged with finding and capturing anarchist Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), a baddie who was the leader of the Syndicate during the last film, “Rogue Nation.” “Whatever you heard about Lane,” explains Hunt, “if it makes your skin crawl it’s probably true.” Lane is working with the mysterious and murderous John Lark, a man with some extreme ideas about squashing the world order.
As Lark and Lane collect the necessary plutonium to fulfil their plan the CIA begins to have doubts about Hunt’s loyalty. Add to that the return of former MI6 agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), and some newbies, CIA assassin August Walker (Henry Cavill) and black market arms dealer and lady of mystery White Widow (Vanessa Kirby) and you have lots of characters to fill the space between the stunts. Complicating matters is the fallout from some of Hunt’s previous, well-intentioned missions.
There are a lot of very good-looking people in “Mission Impossible – Fallout.” Handsome fellas and femme fatale‘s, they are all woven into a stylish story of international intrigue and plutonium. Like the others “MI” movies it’s packed with exotic locations—only James Bond has more air travel points than Ethan Hunt—doublespeak and double crosses but the narrative doesn’t matter that much, it’s all in service of the Bunyanesque action.
Choreographed to an inch of Hunts life—Cruise really puts himself out there for this one—the realism of the stunts gives the movie a sense of danger and the Green Screen Department the day off. Monumental, vertigo inducing single sequences take place on land, wheels, water and air. Only the screeching of tires score one eye-peeling chase scene between a motorcycle and a car. Visually it is so visceral director Christopher McQuarrie wisely avoided cluttering the scene with frenetic music. It doesn’t need it.
Of course those looking for a finely crafted John le Carré style story of espionage in “Mission Impossible – Fallout” will be bitterly disappointed. While it does contain huggerymuggery it frequently falls just this side of making sense. That’s not to say it isn’t entertaining. Even when Hunt isn’t in action the movie is in perpetual motion, but Frederick Forsyth this ain’t. Instead it is an elephantine (although no actual elephants appear) action epic that breaks the blockbuster norm of cutting away to an action sequence every ten minutes or so. It’s made up of three Brobdingnagian set pieces stitched together by words that mostly make sense.