It’s difficult to know where to begin when talking about the new Mission Impossible film. Now the sixth film in a 22 year old movie franchise, the saga just keeps getting better and better. The worst chapter was easily 2002’s John Woo effort and judging by the latest and previous instalment, the franchise would do very well indeed to stick with director Christopher “The Usual Suspects” McQuarrie for as long as humanly possible.
‘Fallout’ is the second (and presumably final) part of the story that was left unresolved by 2015’s ‘Rogue Nation’, which saw Cruise hanging off the side of an Airbus A400 military cargo plane in the opening frames.
Again Cruise’s commitment to his action craft is on a par with Daniel Day-Lewis’ commitment to virtually becoming his characters during shooting.
Whether it be spending 16 hours per day training for an unbelievably dangerous action sequence towards the end (of course I’m saying nothing), running like only Cruise can on an ankle he shattered during a rooftop jump (actually visible to eagly-eyed viewers) or ripping a motorbike the wrong way around the Arc De Triomphe roundabout, Cruise’s commitment to his adrenaline addiction is indisputable, regardless of what many might think of him as a person.
In essense, ‘Fallout’ is an absolutely jaw-dropping piece of action cinema, and this is coming from somebody who watched South Korean action thriller ‘The Villainess’ a few weeks ago (a jaw dropper in itself!) and thought I had just watched the most astonishing action film of the year. How wrong I was.
Utilising minimal amounts of CGI, real stunts, comitted by real people (mainly Cruise), ‘Fallout’ is an absolute belter. If the first hour might seem comparatively slow, with just two brilliant, brief action scenes to pepper the complex and labyrinthine story, those with even some semblance of patience will be richly rewarded with a final ninety minutes that barely lets up until the final frames.
The globe-trotting hi-jinks takes in London, Belfast, Paris, New Zealand (doubling for Kashmir), United Arab Emirates and Norway, and the story just hurtles along with the usual double-dealing and skull-duggery thrown into the mix, interspersed amongst the truly heart-racing action sequences (one being a chase through Paris which would give The Greatest Car Chase Ever Filmed from ‘Ronin a run for its money ( https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MxxH0lZSYgU ).
There are surprising revelations, lots of laughs (courtesy of Simon Pegg’s ‘Benjy’, of course, who has some absolutely sublime technology-mishap zingers in this film!) Pure gravel-voiced reptilian menace is brought in spades again by Sean Harris’ villain ‘Solomon Lane’ and some surprise guests re-appear from previous entries to thicken the plot even further.
Special mention must go to Henry Cavill’s marvellously-mustachioed Agent Walker who brings some serious crunch to some of the fight serious with his barely-big-enough shirts and sweaty back.
The star of the show is, of course, Cruise though, who commands the screen for almost every frame with his usual mix of slick charisma and glib one-liners. To say too much about the action scenes is of course only going to ruin the fun, but personally I have watched this film twice now at the cinema and could happily watch it again.
It’s THAT great.
Fittingly enough, Rob Hardy’s crisp and immaculate cinematography is cold, clinical and precise, knowing exactly when to stand still and let the story breathe, and when to hot-foot it as well, meaning the pace never flags once the action kicks off properly.
By the time Lorne Balfe’s (Inception, Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows) thunderous, booming score glowers over the immaculatelt staged final scenes, one is only left wondering how the next chapter of the franchise can possibly top this.
A truly stunning piece of action cinema which easily stands up to repeated viewings.
I cannot recommend it enough.
Project Square Eyes – Sunday 19th August 2018.