REVIEW: Latest ‘Mission Impossible’ delivers where it counts: the action

I’m very happy to report that there’s some Grade A Tom Cruise running in this movie.

Cruise is once again running through city streets because his character Ethan Hunt must once again save the world. In his latest (impossible) mission, Hunt and his crew are tasked with recovering three containers with nuclear materials that, in the right hands, can create weapons of mass destruction.

This time, though, Hunt has some baggage. Because the CIA has issues with his methods, they send one of their own agents, August Walker (Henry Cavill). Hunt begrudgingly begins working with Walker, but the mission becomes more complicated when aspects of his past start showing up, too.

From a story perspective, “Mission: Impossible Fallout” is somewhat weaker than its predecessors. The previous two films, “Ghost Protocol” and “Rogue Nation,” featured stories where the main characters were often on the run because of issues with their agency. This time around, the story is a bit more straightforward and is somewhat less intriguing than other entries in the franchise.

It also doesn’t help that the film is undercut by the subplot about Hunt and his rivalry with Walker. This portion of the picture just isn’t very compelling, as the dialogue between the two comes across less as two spies who disagree on style and more like two juveniles trying to show off who’s tougher.

Another issue is the runtime. “Fallout” clocks in at a whopping two hours and 30 minutes, and there are times when it’s noticeable.

That’s not to say the film’s story is bad, it’s quite serviceable. It’s competently put together, doesn’t feel disjointed and doesn’t come across as convoluted. It just doesn’t hit the level that others did, and isn’t as well paced, either.

With all that said, though, the movie is absolutely worth the price of admission thanks to its action. One example is a fight sequence that takes place in a night club bathroom. The combat is intense and feels authentic, with each blow sounding real.

Along with the fights are phenomenal chase scenes. Chases in this flick take place on foot, in cars, on motorcycles and even in helicopters, and they’re all fantastically well made. Each action moment features top notch cinematography, sound work and especially stunts.

There’s an one moment in particular where Hunt is climbing up a tow cable attached to a helicopter in flight that will have most audiences white knuckling it.

“Fallout” also works thanks to its returning cast who portray the protagonists. Cruise, along with Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg who portray members of Hunt’s operative team, are all solid character-actors and fit in perfectly for these films.

Unfortunately, Cavill’s performance is rather dull, bringing very little charisma to the screen. On the flip side, newcomer to the series Vanessa Kirby, who portrayed an underground market dealer, was actually really good here. However, she was sorely lacking screentime.

If one has seen any of the previous few “Mission: Impossible” films, they’ll know what they’re getting here. There are points that trick the audience, there are fun gadgets, some great fight sequences take place and the stunt-work is world class. But, this one has some flaws that make it lag behind the previous few. 3.75 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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