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Mission: Impossible - Fallout - Review

Mission: Impossible - Fallout

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 4.5 out of 5

THERE’S a term given to football players when they’ve given their all during a match: leaving it on the field. And likewise, there’s a scene at the end of Mission: Impossible – Fallout, which sees an exhausted Tom Cruise lying flat on his back, in which he looks as though he has literally done just that.

Few modern movie stars throw themselves into stunt-work with as much gusto as Cruise. But therein lies one of the great joys of watching this sixth instalment in the seemingly indefatigable Mission: Impossible series unfold… the stunts are breathtakingly brilliant.

Christopher McQuarrie, the returning writer-director of fifth entry Rogue Nation, has upped the ante considerably for this breakneck adventure, combining thrilling action with high stakes personal investment and a plot shot through with deception and betrayal.

Fallout rates among the best in a series that isn’t short on highlights. It’s fast moving, even at a couple of minutes shy of two and a half hours, but it’s also engrossing. And it’s sly enough to compensate for some of its shortcomings.

The plot, this time, finds Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his IMF colleagues once more scrambling to save the world from a nuclear threat after a mission has gone wrong. In doing so, they must reluctantly take on board new member Walker (Henry Cavill), a CIA operative sent to observe and possibly usurp them, while putting aside personal feelings for former villain Solomon Lane (Sean Harris, still orchestrating the mayhem he created in Rogue Nation) and MI6 agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), once more throwing a spanner in the works with her conflicting loyalties.

McQuarrie has a track record for penning slick dialogue and twisting storylines (he wrote The Usual Suspects and The Way of The Gun after all), and is given free reign to go as convoluted as needs be here. But he also drops in the odd knowing wink to the storyline’s absurdity, whether in the facial expressions of his leading players as they’re faced with the next impossible scenario, or in some of the more OTT dialogue exchanges (as exemplified by Alec Baldwin’s IMF chief).

Mission: Impossible - Fallout

By doing so, he also gets away with some of the film’s weaker elements. For while Fallout is undoubtedly gripping and clever, it’s not as surprising as it perhaps could have been (coming from a writer of McQuarrie’s calibre). A couple of the ‘reveals’ are a little too obvious, while the screenplay does eventually drop in some clunky emotional exchanges relating to Cruise’s character.

That being said, Fallout really delivers where it matters most: in spectacle. The action sequences genuinely do astound, by virtue of their chutzpah, magnitude and ability to exhilarate. What’s more, there are so many of them.

A three-way fight in a men’s toilet in Paris is brilliant for the way in which it combines bone-crunching choreography with sublime humour; a motorcycle chase also in Paris is breathlessly exciting; a foot chase across the rooftops of London is supremely well staged (and wince-inducing come the now notorious ankle breaking leap), and the climactic helicopter pursuit over fjords and mountains just mind-blowing in terms of ambition and scale. The film delivers time and time again.

Cruise, as previously mentioned, gives everything for the cause. He’s a whirlwind of energy and enthusiasm, and yet prone to moments of vulnerability and self-deprecation. It’s a nicely judged performance that endears Hunt as a character even more.

But there’s strong support from the likes of Ferguson (once again striking a blow for the feminist movement), Harris (suitably creepy as Lane), Cavill (muscular and no-nonsense) and Simon Pegg (once more providing the humour to offset some of the more serious elements).

If Mission: Impossible – Fallout turns out to be the last hurrah for this particular franchise, then it’s a mighty high on which to end on. But such is the energy and enjoyment of the film that the prospect of a seventh entry still excites, so long as Cruise’s body can live up to the challenge!

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 2hrs 27mins
UK Release Date: July 18, 2018