It dawned on me that Tom Cruise is in his early 50s. He does his own stunts. He still runs. He flies his own helicopter in the movie. The dude makes me feel like I'm wasting my 30s but do the physical theatrics add or distract from the action? Let's dig in...
Mission Impossible: Fallout is the first proper direct sequel of any of the MI movies. So we have a lot of returning characters from the regular team: Ethan (Cruise), Benji (Simon Pegg) and Luther (Ving Rhames)... teamed up with our favourite villain from the previous instalment, our favourite female spy Elsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) and Superman, Henry Cavill, who brings his physique and notorious moustache, as they go up against another rogue MIF agent.
Christopher McQuarrie does the script again like he did for Rogue Nation and is the first Director to do two back-to-back MI movies. So how does he improve on the perfection that was Rogue Nation?
He went bigger, with more real stunts by Cruise and he explores Ethan's humanity more.
It's bigger in a sense that there's like an action set piece for every plot beat, and McQuarrie brings in the plot twist from the opening scene. Pity we've seen so many of these that we all know where it's headed but I'm willing to admit the kinetic action sequences make a great distraction.
The commitment to the stunts by Cruise is incredible and really takes you in. But it's not just about the action.
McQuarrie tries to get to the meat and bone character that defines Ethan Hunt. What makes Hunt different from James Bond, Jack Ryan or Jason Bourne. This really worked for me.
The other smart thing Fallout does is pay-off some threads from the previous Mission Impossible movies, with some clever call-backs and scenarios. Some call-backs are deep cuts, like the White Widow being the daughter of Max from the first movie, and some call-backs rip off its own lore - I won't point these out for the sake of the plot.
Honestly, I still think Rogue Nation is the best Mission Impossible movie thus far, Fallout comes second only 'cause it does sag towards the end... the movie is a tad bit long and we need a Mission Impossible movie without the team being disavowed or an IMF traitor.
Maybe Cruise needs to think of who he passes the baton to, 'cause it's incredible that he can do this in his 50s but it will be eerie to see a 60-year-old Cruise jumping on rooftops and getting the girl literally half his age.
What Did it Feel Like: the greatest hits of Mission Impossible with Jackie Chan-influenced stunt work minus the laughs.
*utter crap **ja nee ***its cooking ****almost perfect *****instant classic