Tom Cruise once again risks life and limb for our entertainment, with death-defying stunts and crazy choreography.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ½
In a world populated with increasingly lethargic spy franchises – we’re looking at you, Bourne – one series has risen above the rest. With each successive entry, the Mission: Impossible franchise consistently ups its game. Its sixth instalment Fallout entertains and astounds from beginning to end, with consummate professional Tom Cruise once again illustrating why he’s the best action movie star working today.
In Mission Impossible: Fallout, Ethan Hunt (Cruise) finds himself on the trail of some missing plutonium after an operation goes south. The retrieval mission sees him paired with burly CIA operative August Walker (Henry Cavill) and parachuting into Paris for a meet with the White Widow (The Crown’s Vanessa Kirby), a broker with her own agenda. It isn’t long before some familiar faces in the form of MI6 agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) and international terrorist Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) crop up –with the former again proving a wonderful ally/nemesis for Hunt.
If the opening hour of Fallout feels like a convoluted slog weighed down by exposition, it’s only because returning writer/director Christopher McQuarrie is taking his time in moving all the chess pieces into place for the riveting final act. When Fallout gets going, boy does it let loose. From a breathless chase through tight Parisian streets to another dizzying dash across London rooftops, the action set pieces arrive one after the other, each more exciting than the last. A highlight is a bathroom brawl where each of Cruise and Cavill’s blows land with a sickening squelch. In a film characterised by vehicular mayhem, it’s this bruising salvo that proves especially satisfying and visceral.
McQuarrie, as devious with the knotted screenplay as he is inventive behind the camera, delights in highlighting Cruise’s commitment to his craft. Each stunt is framed in such a way that there is no denying that it’s Cruise holding the handlebars or dangling from the bottom of said helicopter. But it’s not showy or ostentatious. Complex shots, such as an elongated tracking shot that follows Cruise as he speeds around the Arc de Triomphe, are thrown into the mix casually, demonstrating the competence of the filmmakers at every turn.
Cruise and McQuarrie are a dynamic duo who revel in pushing one another to achieve higher heights with each passing collaboration. It takes a while to kick into gear, but once Fallout starts to roll it doesn’t let up for anything. Simply put, you won’t find a more exciting or daring blockbuster in cinemas this year, or possibly next year for that matter. At least until the next Mission: Impossible film opens. So, sit back, strap in and enjoy the ride.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout is available in Australian cinemas from August 2
Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures