I can safely say that among the long running action franchises out there, “Mission Impossible” might just be my favorite. Not only has the series managed to re-invent itself time and time again, but Tom Cruise continues to impress and compel as series hero Ethan Hunt. He is a classic hero, a man who is bound to his work, or else the world literally falls apart at the seams. He’s a daring, bold, and clever force of nature, but he’s also one chained forever to the IMF, forced to confront not only terrorist threats, but the fall out of his past enemies that have come back to finally haunt him.
Ethan Hunt is given a new mission from the IMF and is forced to work with the CIA and muscle bound assassin August Walker. Played brilliantly by Henry Cavil, Walker is the opposite of everything Hunt is. He’s blunt, big, faster, younger, and prefers to solve his problems with fisticuffs. The pair team up to take down arms dealer John Lark and a terrorist cell known as the Apostles who plan to detonate a nuclear attack on separate crucial locations. When the weapons disappear, Hunt and his team race against time to find them, and go to the edge ensure they’re not detonated, ultimately unleashing their nefarious plans for society. All the while Hunt’s relations with former allies are put in jeopardy when he uses a past foe as a bargaining tool for the Apostles.
Christopher McQuarrie’s “Fallout” is the culmination of all the past films, as it combines breakneck balls to the wall action from parts two, three, and four, with the very mind bending twists and mysteries from parts one and five. “Fallout” is the sequel where Hunt has no choice but to rely on his group, even the shady August Walker, as the enemies they’re pitted against always seem to be one step ahead time and time again. “Fallout” feels a lot like a serial, not just chronicling the globe trotting adventures of the IMF, but also calling back a lot of the classic scenes from the previous films. There are so many great nods to the previous movies in the series that you’ll not only recognize them, but enjoy how much purpose they serve to the overall goal of saving the world.
McQuarrie’s “Fallout” is one of the only movies in the series to date that feels like an actual sequel, where we get to see how Hunt’s actions and role in the IMF have affected everyone of his allies. McQuarrie embraces a lot of what has appealed to audiences in the past staging mesmerizing sequences like a nearly tragic Halo jump, a battle in a night club, an intense rooftop foot chase, and a mind blowing throw down in a bathroom (that I intend to watch over and over when the film is on Blu-Ray). “Fallout” is very much a spy movie, with a ton of great espionage and out there plot twists that will leave audiences struggling to beat the characters to the punch. As always the cast are on their A game, with Cruise as incredible as ever, while folks like Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, and Rebecca Ferguson are top notch.
Henry Cavill is also excellent as Walker, a foil to Hunt, whose allegiances are always ambiguous. “Fallout” is easily the best entry in the “Mission: Impossible” series yet, and while a sequel is pretty much guaranteed, it’ll be a very tough to top this absolutely stellar installment. I haven’t always been on good terms with the “Mission: Impossible” series, but “Fallout” has guaranteed my attendance with future entries.