Release: 3rd December 2018
Format: BR / DVD / DGTL
The best intentions often come back to haunt you. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT finds Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team (Alec Baldwin, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames) along with some familiar allies (Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Monaghan) in a race against time after a mission gone wrong. Henry Cavill, Angela Bassett, and Vanessa Kirby also join the dynamic cast with filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie returning to the helm.
It is very rare, nay, unheard of for a film franchise to improve as it grows. Six films in and the Mission: Impossible universe is stronger than it has ever been. Although Fallout might not have the strongest 3rd act, there is no doubt that between this and previous instalment Rogue Nation, Tom Cruise has finally found his muse in filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie.
For anyone who has followed the trajectory of Ethan Hunt’s career since he first fled a botched mission in Prague, Fallout is the culmination of everything. It has the DNA of all its predecessors. A fully fledged spy thriller, action spectacular, ensemble riot; this is a prime example of how to tweak your recipe after each serving. This feels like the kind of grown up nipple twister that John le Carre would have written rather than Tom Cruise somersaulting amidst a flock of doves (you know you loved it at the time!). Allegiances contort and morph, while truth becomes a commodity rarer than unicorn poo; with Hunt pinged around Europe running, hiding and hunting between agencies, old friends and the criminal underworld. It is mainly this that contributes to a dense 90 minutes that fly by; leaving your head spinning as the final hour approaches. Only after this (sign posted by a ludicrous rooftop foot chase – made famous by a certain broken ankle) does the film start to run out of puff; falling foul to your standard race against time thriller.
As with everything he is in, Henry Cavill represents the weaker element of the film. Although he is not necessarily responsible for these shortcomings, they seem to circle his character. Whether it is the cheesy dialogue or naff plot twists, his Agent Walker has the disposable flavour of the month presence that has long been a frustrating element of these films. Playing host to two exceptionally well executed set pieces, it is shocking how little we care about this particular character in comparison to Hunt’s enigmatic whippet of a special agent. Yet objectively these moments still deliver. The final showdown is not too dissimilar to Sly Stallone’s Cliffhanger (take from that what you will), while the halo jump is a VR headset away from being full immersion. There is a stunning car chase around Paris, and brutal bathroom fight and a cracking heist scene dream sequence reminiscent of Kayne and Lynch. Fallout quite literally throws everything except the proverbial kitchen ceramics at us.
Like everything Cruise touches, Fallout has an element of self-serving hero worship at play (thankfully not as poisonous as The Mummy or as lifeless as Jack Reacher). But just how long can one man dangle from an elevator by his finger tips!? Meanwhile, the utterly brilliant Sean Harris is wasted as Solomon Lane; so the film is as frustrating as it is awe inspiring. Rebecca Ferguson hangs around waiting for something to do (more wastage), while Simon Pegg’s Benji suddenly becomes the second most important spy in Hunt’s menagerie. The only bright spark to make the most lemonade with whatever number of lemons she is offered is Vanessa Kirby. Equal part sexy, scary and utterly crazy, she threatens to steal every scene she is in. Oh yeah, and Wes Bentley pops up…what the!?
Some were debating whether this would be the final mission, but it would be nonsensical for Cruise and McQuarrie to waste this momentum. Tradition has already been broken with this sequel that isn’t a sequel, so why not break all the rules and cap Fallout off with a nice trilogy? Maybe Hunt could take on the biggest challenge of his life…sharing the limelight.
Film Grade: B
The additional disc is loaded with features. But first, let’s address the three Commentaries included on the feature disc. They are, frankly, all great. McQuarrie is such a nerd and a wonderful raconteur. It is film school in podcast form. Meanwhile, composer Lorne Balfe has some surprisingly interested technical details to share about the score, which by the way, you can listen to on an isolated track – ala Star Wars The Last Jedi.
Now for the main course, disc 2 comes with a 60 minutes Making Of split in to chapters. They say a film is well made when they make it look easy. Watch the sequences on how they put the skydive scene together and it will build a whole new level of appreciation for Cruise and McQuarrie’s craft. There is a consistent theme of bum licking that goes on, but we can forgive that for the level of detail that has been shared in this feature. The Deleted Scene montage covers the cable swing scene that is covered in length for the making of; which proves that nothing is sacred when it comes to timing a final cut. Cruise gets to talk about his Love For The Franchise, and Lorne Balfe talks us through the Musical Cues of the foot chase, which is kind of an amalgamation of the existing commentary and isolated audio track. There are also some Storyboard and Trailers. But we have just been happy with the making of alone.
Special Features Grade: B+
It might be absolutely mental in places, but Mission: Impossible – Fallout is a terrific watch, and comes packed with excellent special features.