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‘Mission Impossible: Fallout’ Review

This+image+released+by+Paramount+Pictures+shows%2C+from+left%2C+Simon+Pegg%2C+Rebecca+Ferguson%2C+Tom+Cruise+and+Ving+Rhames+in+a+scene+from+%22Mission%3A+Impossible+-+Fallout.%22+%28David+James%2FParamount+Pictures+and+Skydance+via+AP%29
This image released by Paramount Pictures shows, from left, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Tom Cruise and Ving Rhames in a scene from

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows, from left, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Tom Cruise and Ving Rhames in a scene from "Mission: Impossible - Fallout." (David James/Paramount Pictures and Skydance via AP)

AP

AP

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows, from left, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Tom Cruise and Ving Rhames in a scene from "Mission: Impossible - Fallout." (David James/Paramount Pictures and Skydance via AP)

Amit Bachani, Editor-in-Chief

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In an era of cinema where gritty action franchises are marketed as “the perfect entertainer” and beloved spy films become prey to lackluster storytelling and a showcase of over the top stunts, it is remarkable to believe that despite five installments that have spanned more than two decades, Mission:Impossible still retains its charm. The franchise, which was first adapted for the silver screen by Tom Cruise himself in 1996,  was considered an ambitious feat at the time, with some critics even venturing to the extent to dismiss the film as nothing more than an ordinary addition to the spy genre. However, as the film witnessed an impressive run at the box office, it spanned a sequel, and its legacy gave birth to its successors. What has ensued since has become a critically and commercially lauded series, one that made Tom Cruise a household name and redefined the standard of action films to come.

 

The result has given us one of the most iconic themes of our time and breathtaking spectacles that have edged over all definitions of safety with the age old question: to what extent can Tom Cruise go for our viewing pleasure? From navigating the grand canyon with a lack of protective support to scaling the tallest structure in the world with mere suction gloves, Cruise has pitted himself against all extremes time and time again to prove he is a performer who is willing to go any extent for his craft. The latest entry in the franchise brings everyone’s favorite IMF agent, Ethan Hunt, back on yet another globetrotting adventure, this time with greater death-defying stunts and his old team by his side. When a terrorist group known as the Apostles plans to attack two of the world’s most prominent religious sites, it’s up to Ethan to recover the weapons and save the world from peril once again. With great performances, stellar direction, and a captivating story line, Fallout’s devotion to the franchise’s vintage formula is what makes this mission its most enthralling yet.

 

Paramount Pictures
Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT

In the director’s chair is none other than Christopher Mcquarrie, who directed Fallout’s predecessor, Rogue Nation. With that said, Fallout’s premise is a direct continuation of the events from the first, and yet it only incorporates minor references in the story that actually require the viewer to pay close attention. A quick debriefing of the Apostle’s intentions and belief in having a greater suffering before a great peace prompts Hunt to assemble his old team and join forces with CIA agent August Walker, played by Henry Cavill. What is perceived at first to be a one dimensional plot unfolds with numerous surprises and a fine pace, and keeps you at the edge of your seat until the end credits. After an initial viewing experience, it can be just to assert that no action film in recent times is as assured and delightful as this film is. This is Mcquarrie’s third outing with Cruise since Jack Reacher in 2012, but the magic they create on screen together feels like their first.

 

Fallout is also host to familiar faces from Rogue Nation, including the supremely talented Simon Pegg as Benji and the voice of reason Luther Stickell, played by Ving Rhames. To match the indefatigable Cruise is MI6 Agent Ilsa Faust, impeccably portrayed by Rebecca Ferguson. Not only does Ferguson serve as the franchise’s best independent female lead, but her fiercely determined and collected demeanor is what makes her the perfect compliment to Ethan Hunt. A capable and loyal member of Hunt’s team, she employs an element of charisma and a grounding presence that humbles the trio. In top form and a new cast member to the series is none other than the Man of Steel himself, Henry Cavill, whose brawn and resolve to complete the mission is a force for Ethan to reckon with. Be it in his witty one liners or his ability to hastily complete the task at hand, Agent Walker is one of the most memorable antagonists in a Mission: Impossible film. Fallout also features the exceptional Alec Baldwin as the IMF supervisor Alan Huntley and Angela Bassett as mission director Erica Sloan, both who do well in their respective roles.

 

Tom Cruise is an out and out director’s actor who is deeply committed to his craft and has emerged as one of the greatest action stars we have witnessed in the last decade, if not the best. As Ethan Hunt, his presence is at times, larger than life, and at others, subtle as he serves as the soul of the franchise. Agent Hunt is a character who is so synonymous and prevalent with Tom Cruise that it is fair to claim that Cruise isn’t playing the character as much as he is living it. As he finds himself confronting the demons he feared for so long, the audience finds the expendable agent at the very zenith of his capabilities; a faltering yet resolute man who, despite his age and restrains, puts himself in unfathomable perils to see the world live another day. Contrary to the notion that one must put themselves above the mission, it’s Hunt’s outlook that paves the way for the  ultimate cinematic experience. While he may find himself at the receiving ends of many hurdles and blows, Hunt just doesn’t give up. As he boldly declares before embarking on his mission, “what’s done is done, when we say it’s done.”

 

It is arguably this phrase that seemingly serves as a sort of mantra for Cruise when he commits himself to do the needful – saving the world- while providing another dimension to his twenty-two year old character. Whether one terms it as method acting or just a simple commitment to do what he does best, Cruise’s return to the role after three years ceremonially marks the beginning of what is yet to come. At 56 years of age, he shows no signs of stopping.  Undoubtedly, the highlight of Fallout is the action choreography and astonishing behind the scenes work by the entire crew.

 

Some missions are not a choice, but the common mission of the entire crew seems to be to raise the stakes and deliver an unparalleled viewing experience. In fact, Fallout’s emphasis upon the complexities and nuances of each character even as they find themselves in treacherous circumstances is what works in the film’s favor as it displays some of the most ambitious stunts ever performed by actors. In a chase sequence between Ethan and  French authorities, he valiantly races across Paris on a BMW motorcycle to apprehend an escaped convict, evading numerous gunshots and vehicular obstacles as his bike struggles to cross narrow cobblestone alleys. What follows in a quick survey of his blind spot is a massive collision with oncoming traffic, causing him to fly off his bike and rendering him senseless for a few moments. As he limps on to gain a higher vantage point, he is navigated to jump out of the highest floor of an office to continue his pursuit, leading him to break a window and unsuccessfully leap onto a nearby scaffolding. The jump, which reportedly shattered Cruise’s knee after the shot concluded, was dismissed by the actor as a small injury as he slowly walked past the camera. While production was halted for a brief period afterwards, footage on social media showed Cruise instructing the crew to resume the shot once again, performing the stunt on the impacted knee.

 

Cruise’s adamancy doesn’t conclude with one stunt. The high altitude low opening jump (or HALO jump) is a manner in which military personnel airdrop into unknown territory, and has been showcased many times in action films- with the use of green screen, of course. A HALO jump occurs at altitudes between 15,000 and 35,000 feet, with compulsory demands for specialized equipment and rigorous training. Compared to normal skydiving at 13,000 feet, this is twice the altitude the standard man can combat. Utilizing a special technology that crafted a HALO helmet that would show Cruise’s face, the actor performed the jump four to five times a day and had to specifically land three feet from the fifteen pound IMAX camera strapped to the crew member’s head each time.  

 

Perhaps the greatest task is none other than the aerial showdown between Tom Cruise and Henry Cavill, which required Cruise to comprehensively learn how to fly a military grade helicopter and fly it through specified checkpoints, involving a nose dive amid a narrow canyon that would take a professional years to master. This, with the additional responsibility of maintaining your character in front of the camera, is no mere stunt rehearsal, and his firm dedication to the part makes this sequence one of the most breathtaking and well executed in the series.

 

All in all, Mission: Impossible- Fallout is the best summer blockbuster one could have asked for. Be in its crisp editing, enthralling cinematography, phenomenal direction, great supporting cast or wholesome storyline, Fallout will be a memorable film for a long time to come. Amassing a colossal $550 million at the box office and delivering some of the greatest action sequences ever seen, it is nothing short of being one of the best action films of all time. It’s a bold testament to the myth and the legend that is Tom Cruise, but then again, this is yet another praise for a man who’s outdone himself in that special way before.

 

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

 

Watch Behind The Scenes Footage of the Helicopter Showdown Here:    

 

Watch Behind The Scenes Footage of the Motorcycle Chase Here:  

 

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‘Mission Impossible: Fallout’ Review