‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ Review: Our Greatest Action Franchise Reaches New Heights

/Film | 7/12/2018 | Karen Han
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That energy sustains almost the entirety of Fallout. Directed by Rogue Nation’s Christopher McQuarrie, Fallout does nothing if not cement Mission: Impossible as the greatest franchise we currently have, and manages it by leaning fully into the near-demented earnestness given tangible shape in Cruise’s running. It hurtles along at such a breakneck speed that it might as well combust, and that even talking about it almost feels like spoiling it, as the temptation is to name every insane set piece in simple awe.

Granted, that pacing isn’t entirely consistent — following a prologue that pretty neatly encapsulates just how crazy (and great) the franchise is, the film has to pause to set every piece of the game into play. But even then, it’s fun, in part due to the easy chemistry of the core team. There’s Hunt, and then Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames), Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), and Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) to round out the crew. The wrench in the works this time around is CIA agent August Walker (Henry Cavill), who’s been sent along to ensure that Hunt doesn’t once again go rogue.

Walker - Film - Man - William - Brandt

Walker isn’t given quite as much to do as the last film’s straight man, William Brandt (Jeremy Renner, sitting this one out), which is less a reflection on Cavill, who acquits himself well, and more a symptom of the way that Ethan Hunt has become a force of nature rather than just a man. The Mission: Impossible films aren’t superhero movies by the conventional definition of the genre, but they might as well be for how unstoppable Hunt seems to be, and for the way that Hunt’s place in the world has gone from “the living manifestation of destiny,” as per Rogue Nation, to pretty much the one man keeping the entire world from falling apart.

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