In Mission: Impossible – Fallout, being the good guy has serious consequences

In the last two decades, the film franchise Mission: Impossible has become the reliable and comforting house that is always ready to house Tom Cruise. Regardless of the turns his career takes, there is always Ethan Hunt: the stubborn agent of the Impossible Missions Force who always gives 110 percent, putting himself at risk perpetually to ensure the safety of other people.

At a different time, Hunt would serve as a kind of platonic-action hero ideal, and there would be no need to dig beyond the archetype itself. But there has been an interesting wrinkle in the franchise, beginning with the 2011 shot by Brad Bird, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol . Hunt has had to face the notion of consequences, and not just the usual ones, where if it fails, some crazy person could blow up the world. Now, Hunt faces personal consequences for his actions, as he has to leave behind his wife Julia (Michelle Monaghan) because he can not maintain a relationship while traveling the world to save the world.

Mission of Christopher McQuarrie : Impossible: Fallout builds that central idea into a full movie. Or, at least, build that central idea in a frame for setpieces that leave open-mouthed and unusual twists of the plot. The result not only feels like the sixth installment of a long-running series, but like an authentic sequel to Rogue Nation of 2015 that brings together many of the key characters and stories to explore whether the ideals of a character like Ethan Hunt makes sense in the modern world. And explore those ideas while narrating a bold and stimulating story.

Fallout begins with a new IMF mission: after Hunt captured Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) in Rogue Nation Lane's criminal cohorts reorganized under the name The Apostles, and they are trying to obtain some lost plutonium. They hope to create order from the chaos of the world by inflicting massive damage through a series of attacks and forcing countries to work together as the old world order falls. Hunt organizes a mission to buy the plutonium before the Apostles can have it in their hands, recruiting their habitual cohorts: Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames, still the master of the inexpressive reactions) and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg).

When things go wrong, Hunt suddenly faces a choice: save Stickell, or protect the plutonium. The conflict clearly establishes the central enigma in Hunt's character, but IMF director Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) explains it anyway to the public: Hunt's inability to prioritize the greater good in a single life can make people I see it as a hero, but it can also lead the world to be much more dangerous.

With the CIA not trusting Hunt's abilities, agent August Walker (Henry Cavill) is assigned to team up with Hunt to recover the plutonium. That sounds like a lot of configuration, but it's not even Fallout's first act . The movie is full of frame reversals and new characters arrive each turn. Vanessa Kirby of the Crown appears as White Widow, a weapons agent who can help Hunt get the lost plutonium. Angela Bassett plays the director of the CIA, Erica Sloan. Harris Solomon Lane returns as a key figure, and so does Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), the MI6 agent who infiltrated Lane's network at Rogue Nation . All this is a lot for audiences to follow, and at a certain point, there are so many micro twists of the plot that it is easier to stop trying to make sense of everything, and let the story go by the wayside. to the next sequence of action.


Photo: Paramount Pictures

That's where the movie really makes a statement, because Mission: Impossible – Fallout merges the big budget show of the franchise with a completely fierce style of action filming that surpasses what McQuarrie executed in Rogue Nation or Jack Reacher . It is full of motorcycle chases, kinetic sequences of cars and brutal brutal battles. When called to action, Cavill & # 39; s Walker is such a wild fighter that it is hard to see at times, whether he is landing hitting body shots or hitting his opponents in the bathroom sink. Many of the blows of action feel worse than industry standards, whether Hunt suffers a bruise on the pavement after being thrown from his motorcycle or the relentless and violent shooting that produces so many scenes.

Sometimes it feels like Fallout is more action reel than movie. The fighting sequences are dazzling, but they get so long that they can not always maintain the energy. What makes them constantly observable, however, is the great variety: McQuarrie stages so many different types of action sequences in so many different places that Fallout begins to feel like a James Bond movie. IMAX visual images also help. McQuarrie and cinematographer Rob Hardy appear in the immersive IMAX aspect ratio of 1.90: 1 throughout the film, and the footage they capture with the IMAX cameras is impressive, particularly during a helicopter chase over the snowy mountains of Cashmere.

Those IMAX cameras are particularly effective at capturing the absolute audacity of Cruise's stunts. He has made a personal mark of making his own movie doubles as often as possible, especially in the series Mission: Impossible . The famous actor broke his ankle during the filming of Fallout and yes, the shot where he suffered the injury is in the finished movie. ( The Graham Norton Show had a more horrible collapse in early 2018.) Cruise's dedication is surprising, but his commitment to paper makes him almost as well based on a character , which causes a sense of discord in later scenes, where the film pushes to almost comic levels of spectacle.


Photo: Paramount Pictures

But no matter how ridiculous the action sequences are, the dedication to that central idea finally elevates the film. At one point, Lane warns Hunt that evil will eventually triumph, and the bloodshed that follows will be the result of Hunt's inability to modulate his worldview: "the consequences of all his good intentions." Other action films have similarly explored the idea that in an ethos it is not convenient for a hero, perhaps more notably in Daniel Bond's performance on James Bond. But re-framing an American action hero, particularly one played by Cruise, as too heroic to be effective gives the idea a different sense of weight. As an interpreter, Cruise is known for his firm dedication to his work projects. With the most controversial aspects of his public persona, he is known for his intense devotion to his personal religious beliefs. And as an actor, he has developed a career mainly in the idea of ​​being the star of American action. Fallout channels all that, using both his acting and everything the public thinks he knows about Tom Cruise to his advantage. Build the portrait of a man so determined in his own beliefs that keeps people away, even those he loves the most.

But Fallout is still a Tom Cruise movie, so while the movie surprisingly continues with the implications of its main theme, however, it prepares events so that, in the end, everything feels good with the world. The door is open for another entry in the series, if everyone involved (plus Cruise's ankle) thinks they are ready for another round. But if this ends up as the final inning of the series, it's hard to imagine a better and more appropriate ending than Mission: Impossible – Fallout . It's hilarious and exciting. It recognizes that unique devotion is what allows characters such as Hunt to do what they do, while admitting that they would be unable to adapt to any kind of normal life. And it is the ultimate expression on the screen of Cruise's own personal dedication to stunstmanship at all costs. In many ways, Fallout feels like a movie about Tom Cruise himself, with a clear message to convey: he's a complicated celebrity figure, but he's still a very good movie star.

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