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‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ (review by Leyla Mikkelsen)

Produced by Tom Cruise, J. J. Abrams,
David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger,
Christopher McQuarrie, Jake Myers
Based on Mission: Impossible by Bruce Geller
Written and Directed by
Christopher McQuarrie

Starring Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill,
Rebecca Ferguson,
Ving Rhames,
Simon Pegg, Sean Harris,
Angela Bassett,
Michelle Monaghan, Alec Baldwin

Growing up, I would share my father’s enjoyment of the original Mission: Impossible TV series, and when the Tom Cruise-led film adaption was released in 1996, my excitement knew no bounds for the film that would soon become one of the most worn out VHS tapes I owned, as I watched it constantly after my father gleefully presented me with it upon its home video release.

Unfortunately, when the second installment landed in 2000, it would disappoint me about as much as its predecessor had thrilled me, however, as a very welcome surprise, the franchise seemed to be back on track with the third installment before the fourth and fifth installments finally showcased that the franchise had truly found its voice. This voice would be playful and thrilling, not least thanks to the type of mind-blowing stunt work that has become synonymous with Tom Cruise, and it is safe to say that Cruise has out-Cruised himself with Mission: Impossible – Fallout.

In order to up the ante yet again, Cruise & Co. have not only looked at what they have done previously and sought to outdo themselves in terms of the Mission: Impossible franchise, but there also seems to be a sincere awareness about what has worked well in other successful action films of late, especially the John Wick franchise. This seems particularly evident in the bathroom fight – which you will no doubt hear many mention as a highlight – as that sequence seems to have an intensified, more hard-hitting feel than what has come to be expected from the already breath-taking stunt work of the Mission: Impossible franchise.

However, it should be stressed that this thankfully does not mean that Mission: Impossible – Fallout has suddenly lowered itself to resorting to simple mimicry of other franchises in order to cater to the current trends of action cinema. Instead, the voice of the Mission: Impossible franchise remains intact, but it is not a huge stretch of the imagination to presume that Cruise & Co. realized that the John Wick franchise raised the bar for action movies, so the Mission: Impossible team likely sought to up their game to raise the bar even further, and the results are stunning.

Aside from the obvious appeal of the stunt work, another element that has further helped to make the last couple of movies enjoyable is that of the recurring characters. Pegg and Rhames in particular have helped to solidify the playfulness of the franchise, and they are once again an integral part of the backdrop to the Tom Cruise extravaganza, as are a number of other familiar faces of friends and foes from previous installments.

There is also an undercurrent of awareness that Cruise is perhaps getting a little old to be engaging in such a physically demanding film series, however, poking fun at this is kept to a minimum verbally and not overdone in terms the physical comedy of sorts that ensues with showcasing how Cavill is both much bigger and much younger than Cruise. This contrast between Cavill and Cruise even lends notes of a buddy cop dynamic to the film at times, which once again emphasizes the balance of playfulness and competence that has helped make the Mission: Impossible franchise and the world of Hunt both more action-packed and self-deprecating than the world of Bond.

A sixth installment in any franchise frankly has no business being as good as Mission: Impossible – Fallout is, but Tom Cruise once again proves why he is the best at what he does by effectively injecting some much needed life into an otherwise woefully underwhelming summer in terms of large-scale cinematic offerings. Masterfully maintaining a suspenseful momentum for the full duration of its runtime of 2 hours and 27 minutes, Mission Impossible – Fallout is therefore not only as good as this franchise gets, it is as good as action cinema gets, and you should most definitely choose to accept this mission.

Verdict: 9 out of 10.

 

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