Film: Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Cast: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Alec Baldwin, Ving Rhames, Michelle Monaghan, Angela Bassett, Vanessa Kirby, Wes Bentley
Director & Writer: Christopher McQuarrie
Rating: * * * * *
Good anarchists want untrammelled freedom for all. Evil ones like Solomon (Sean Harris) Lane in ‘Mission: Impossible-Fallout’ want death and destruction. But good men are unwaveringly committed to preserving life, sacred life to conquer chaos. This is what Tom Cruise’s character IMF agent Ethan Hunt is all about and this is what elevates Cruise’s sixth adventure actioner from standard thriller to standout.
Deftly directed and smartly scripted by McQuarrie, with intelligent dialogues, the film proceeds at a steady pace, ramping up the action with set pieces in Belfast, Berlin, London, and Paris. It even gets better and better and the stakes higher as the narrative moves to a cliffhanger ending. In Kashmir, where the aforementioned anarchist and his cohorts called the Apostles, who are connected to the sinister John Lark, have stowed plutonium nukes to spark Doomsday. This, after horrific bomb blasts in Jerusalem, Mecca and Rome (the Vatican to be precise, with the Pope in residence!)
In between, there are exciting vehicle chases and visceral fights between good guys and bad. But our heroic protagonist Ethan (Cruise) Hunt is willing, as always, to risk his life that others may live. Trying his damned worst to stop him is the slimy, anti-religious Lane (returning from Rogue Nation, the 5th instalment of the Mission: Impossible franchise) who, with his secret allies, plots to execute dastardly deeds including a hit on Hunt’s life, his character and dear ones (specifically, ex-wife Dr Julia Meade-Hunt, played by Michelle Monaghan).
McQuarrie’s script calls for Hunt to get bashed around a lot, making his CIA frenemy August (Cavill) Walker looks better. And boy, does he look good even with a silly moustache! All thanks to the talented cinematographer who ably captures the action and the global locations spanning Belfast, London, and Paris whose beauty the Nazis could not bring themselves to destroy in WW2. McQuarrie situates an important sequence inside a Parisian loo. And such an immaculate loo it is! A bunch of cute Frenchmen indulge in some droll wit here, and there’s a wee bit more later, courtesy Hunt’s dependable buddies Benji (Simon Pegg) Dunn and Luther (Ving Rhames) Stickell.
McQuarrie draws the viewer into the narrative making us feel the agonising dilemmas faced by Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) and Hunt for whom the good and innocent (even a single life) is more important than the (wicked) many.
This moral stance I liked exceedingly, as much the element of surprise in the plot. And oh, the satisfaction of seeing strong women characters like agent Faust, Dr Julia, and the bleached blonde arms broker known as White Widow (Vanessa Kirby) come up trumps. And the music! Lorne Balfe’s percussion-wind-string rich orchestral arrangement builds on Lalo Schifrin’s original score and signature tune. How I loved it, especially those intense drum rolls!
The cast, including Alec Baldwin and Angela Bassett as IMF and CIA heads, is great. Cruise is brilliant. Lest we forget, this is the film where he fractured an ankle performing his own stunts. McQuarrie underlines themes of patriotism, bravery, self-sacrifice, friendship, loyalty,(lost) love and life. Thrilling and highly moral, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT is a must watch.