Ethan Hunt and the IMF team join forces with CIA assassin August Walker to prevent a disaster of epic proportions. Arms dealer John Lark and a group of terrorists known as the Apostles plan to use three plutonium cores for a simultaneous nuclear attack on the Vatican, Jerusalem and Mecca, Saudi Arabia. When the weapons go missing, Ethan and his crew find themselves in a desperate race against time to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.
I was primarily interested in checking out this film purely because of Henry Cavill's moustache. The moustache that is one of the many, many reasons that people hated the Justice League movie. But I came away with a greater appreciation of the Mission: Impossible franchise. A moustache is a silly thing for people to get up in arms about, but I was intrigued to see why the moustache was so vital to the Mission: Impossible film, that it would be an issue.
But it really does add so much to the general vibe of Cavill's character. His portrayal as August Walker, a CIA assassin was brilliant, and definitely one of the most powerful performances I've seen from Cavill. He looks not just aesthetically muscled, but actually heavily built and strong. He looks more dangerous than all of the times he has been Superman combined. And its one of the aspects that makes him such a great character in the film.
The film itself flows really well. It never really stops to let you have a break. There is always a timer somewhere. Right from the start, each part of the mission has a time function to it, which is constantly pushing the film forward at speeds. Chase scenes, bomb timers, they all add tension and suspense. Add to that the constant challenges to Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) being pushed to make choices between maintaining an undercover profile to continue the mission, and doing what is ethically and morally right. These elements all build up the character of Ethan Hunt, and help him continue to be an engaging character, even in his sixth film in the franchise. Pirates of the Caribbean couldn't even maintain the integrity of Captain Jack Sparrow for five films.
A surprising thing I noticed with Fallout, is that while Tom Cruise movies as usually based solely around his character and ignore everything else (*cough cough* The Mummy), the film actually makes use of his team properly. Ethan Hunt is constantly put into situations that while he is the primary character driving the plot forward and doing most of the work, there are so many aspects that he cannot physically complete without his team (Luther Stickell and Benji Dunn portrayed by Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg respectively). That too is another source of tension as more players means more chances for things to go wrong.
As far as action goes, Mission: Impossible has always created as much of its scenes as possible with practical effects. Tom Cruise is well known for not having a stunt person, and performing all of his own stunts. Even flying a helicopter, a skill that generally takes 12 weeks to get a license for, Cruise got in 6 weeks by training for 16 hours every day. That dedication to the craft shows in the film as each facial expression and body movement is real, and allows for more creative camera angles without the extra stunt doubles on set.
Arguably, the plot is convoluted. So complicated that I couldn't even begin to explain what or who the villains actually are. But you never really have a chance to worry about who the bad guys are. You know who the good guys are (Ethan Hunt and Co.), and they are your moral anchor. everybody else could go either way, but you are really too tense and on the edge of your seat to really take note of who is on what side anymore. The plot does get a little over-the top in the end, and things do get a bit weird, but really, when your film has been building up and accelerating for over two hours, you have to either go big or go home.
Mission: Impossible Fallout is proof that even if your plot is absolute bollocks, if you have great suspense, strong, fleshed out characters, and practical action scenes, you can still make a brilliant film.
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