Hang on to your hats, Ethan Hunt’s back, better and bolder than ever.
Tom Cruise is 56 years old. Fifty. Six. And he’s been making Mission: Impossible movies for 22 of those 56 years. By all rights, Fallout, his sixth high-flying mission, should be to M:I what A View to a Kill was to Roger Moore’s James Bond run (Moore being only a year older than Cruise is when he made his final 007): tired, creaky and a bit embarrassing.
Astonishingly, however, the opposite is true. This is easily the best, slickest and most daring Mission: Impossible installment. Not only that, it’s the finest action movie of the year so far. The plot pulls off twist after twist, with Cruise's Ethan Hunt still haunted by his now-incarcerated Rogue Nation nemesis Solomon Lane (a superbly creepy Sean Harris) and dealing with the global terrorist power vacuum left by Lane’s capture. But you won’t care about any of these details with all the sinew-straining spectacle on display.
This is thanks largely to writer-director Christopher McQuarrie. Being the first director to return for a second go at the franchise, he brings a sense of continuity hitherto lacking. Fallout is a direct sequel to Rogue Nation, bringing back most of the key players and upping the stakes from the most knowing of perspectives. McQuarrie also builds on the last film’s self-aware level of wit and, most importantly, its set-piece-crafting sophistication.
No action sequence is allowed to peter out, or be chopped to ribbons in the editing, or lean on the crutch of CG augmentation. From a frantic Parisian chase to a brutal brawl in a bathroom and a climactic mountain-skimming helicopter fight, it’s all fantastically executed throughout. And the film pays just enough attention to physics to make you feel like it all could really be happening.
Then, of course, you have Cruise at the heart of the maelstrom. Like, really there. If there are stunt doubles, they are ingeniously hidden. This guy commits to an insane degree, and in mainstream entertainment terms, Fallout is up there with his best work. If he keeps McQuarrie on board, we’d happily see him do six more missions. We’re sure he could hack it.
Cast and crew