Mission: Impossible- Fallout is the sixth film in the series. For the first time in the franchise, a director has returned to helm the mission and Christopher McQuarrie, director of 2015’s Rogue Nation has proven along with Cruise, that Ethan Hunt belongs with the heavyweights of cinematic action heroes.
The Mission: Impossible films have taken quite an evolution over its run. The next best thing I can relate them to is the Fast and the Furious series, but those films began as one thing and then the decision was made to make them something else. And it was the right call. Mission: Impossible however began in 1996 with the original film, a spy thriller that closely felt like an episode of the television series the films are based on, directed by a master of paranoia in Brian De Palma. Then in 2000 we get a mashup of a Bond film, crazy stylish action and a vibe of badass, from action maestro John Woo. In 2006, JJ Abrams made his directorial debut with the 3rd film that married the spy thrills and action. The kinks from the first 3 films were ironed out in 2011’s Ghost Protocol that was directed by Brad Bird. Ghost Protocol was a refined version of the prior films that also gave us a glimpse of what the series wanted to become. It was a spy film, but more so than its predecessors, it felt a tad more grounded. The other films were good spy films, but the felt like spy films. Ghost Protocol started making the audience feel the real world stakes. 2015 brought about Rogue Nation and with that film, we see the goal of the Mission: Impossible films. A well blended mix of light and heavy. The events of the film are presented to enjoy as entertainment cinematically, but also allows you to take in world of espionage it presents. And now 3 years after the release of Rogue Nation we come to Fallout.
And what a ride it is.
Fallout is easily best in the franchise. After Rogue Nation, I went back and forth on what I felt was the best of the series between Rogue Nation and Ghost Protocol. The debate is settled. It’s Fallout. McQuarrie and Cruise deliver an awesome film that’s loaded with character and boasts some of the best action sequences since Mad Max Fury Road.
Fallout is not just a title relating to the theft of plutonium that starts the story off. It also refers to the fallout of Ethan Hunt’s actions over the years. The effects that reverberate to his personal life, profession and the world are all in play here. In addition to showing us and telling us these ramifications, it’s best used in the film as being personified as Henry Cavill’s Agent Walker. Forced on Hunt during his mission to recover the nuclear material, Walker is the hammer to Hunt’s scalpel. Hunt wants to accomplish the mission as best and with a little damage as possible. Walker just wants the job done. They are quite the case of contrasting characters. Ethan’s actions also impact his partners in the field as his victories in Rogue Nation play a role with Ilsa Faust (great to have Rebecca Ferguson back). By the end of the film’s final act, we’re given almost a revitalization of Ethan, the IMF and the series as a whole.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout is deserving of all the praise it can get. It is a smart and relentless spy thriller and action film that doesn’t let up, pays tribute to its predecessors adds some new dimension to Ethan Hunt and his place not only defending the world, but his place in cinema history as well.