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Review - 'Mission: Impossible - Fallout'

Review - 'Mission: Impossible - Fallout'

We're at number six now when it comes to these Mission: Impossible films, and if you aren't already on board for what Tom Cruise is dishing then it's not likely that you're going to catch on with Fallout. But for those of us under Tom Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie's spell; this is a near-perfect Mission: Impossible film and a shining example to all others on how you make an action movie the right way.

In Mission: Impossible - Fallout, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) along with his Impossible Missions Force consisting of Luther (Ving Rhames), and now Benji (Simon Pegg), find themselves in some trouble when there mission goes awry. Plutonium is involved. 

 We go to these movies to see Tom Cruise attempt a slew of death-defying acts that somehow surpass the ones featured in the previous installment, and boy does Fallout deliver in that respect. I won't spoil anything, but there are three huge set-pieces that are perfectly spaced apart from one another and each add a new element that amps up the white-knuckle tension to staggering new heights. There are some stunts in this film performed by Tom Cruise himself that are so insane, that I fear that if he attempts to make another one of these, he's probably going to get himself killed trying to top them.

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For all the praise I heap on Cruise, it would also not be possible without director Christopher McQuarrie. This guy knows how to shoot the hell out of an action scene, and somehow make it look artful as well. Because of McQuarrie there is not a single dull moment and not one shot where there isn't something interesting to look at, and this isn't exactly a short film. Mission: Impossible - Fallout makes its 2-hour-and-27-minute run-time look like child's-play. I was never bored, never shifted in my seat except to the edge when something tense was happening and I never wondered what time it was. 

The only area where Mission: Impossible - Fallout sags a bit is with its plot. The story of Fallout is a tangled ball of yarn that's been set ablaze. There are so many double-crossed and baffling plot revelations that I quickly lost track of what was happening. Fortunately, if you know the Mission: Impossible franchise, the story is hardly the reason people turn out for these movies anyway. Still, if the plot had been stream-lined a smidge and explained just slightly better, it might not have bugged me at all.

Though the plot is incomprehensible at times, the actors still manage to sell the hell out of it all. Tom Cruise, as always, turns it up to 11 as the now-mythical Ethan Hunt and you can tell he is leaving literally everything on the table for this one.  Rebecca Ferguson returns here as Ilsa Faust, and while she's not quite the breath of fresh air she was in the first movie, she's still absolutely magnetic in the role and steals scenes every time she is on-screen. Simon Pegg gets an expanded role here as Benji, and deservedly so. Benji finally gets to flex his muscles as an agent alongside Cruise, and their banter is pitch-perfect. Ving Rhames also returns as Luther, and though he gets the lion's-share of exposition-driven lines, he also gets one of the most touching moments. Henry Cavill is probably the sole disappointment here. His delivery is very wooden, and whether that was intentional or not I'm not sure, but his performance just wasn't quite working. At the very least; he brings a different kind of physicality to the action scenes that contrasts Ethan Hunt's in a smart way. Other notables in the cast include: Alec Baldwin, Sean Harris, Angela Bassett, Michelle Monaghan and Vanessa Kirby.

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Overall, Mission: Impossibe - Fallout is a blistering, non-stop adrenaline rush of a film that puts other contemporary action movies to shame. The craft that went in to making Fallout is on full display in every frame and it reminded me of how much better action movies can be when they look and feel real. For me, Fallout joins Rogue Nation and Mad Max: Fury Road as one of the best action movies of the past five years. 

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