MI: Fallout: action, action and more action, with action

Film | by Jorge Ignacio Castillo

Mission: Impossible – Fallout
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4 out of 5

I’ve been a Thomas Cruise Mapother IV apologist since that business with the couch. As long as he keeps delivering quality entertainment, Cruise can worship 75-million-year-old aliens or even an opossum for all I care. It’s his business. But my faith in “The Cruise” was tested last year after the below-average, back-to-back combo of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and The Mummy.

I didn’t have to worry. The 56-year old’s commitment to excellence reaches its pinnacle in Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Sure, the plot of every single M:I movie can be boiled down to the pursuit of a MacGuffin. Don’t care. It’s the lengths Cruise and company go to that make the story entertaining and keeps audiences interested. The action scenes alone are impeccably staged, and the M:I films carry four to five showstoppers per episode.

I can describe the plot of Mission: Impossible – Fallout in two lines: Ethan Hunt and the IMF operatives chase three bomb-ready plutonium orbs across Paris and London. Hunt faces two major obstacles: the resurgent terrorist organization he decapitated in the previous installment and the CIA, who blames the super-spy for losing the plutonium in the first place.

Writer/director Christopher McQuarrie (M:I – Rogue Nation) keeps things interesting by officially putting an end to the rotating cast approach and digging into Hunt’s saviour complex — the most likely cause of any eventual downfall. Cruise is excellent but he’s been as good in every previous installment. The extra oomph comes from the perfectly calibrated supporting cast: MVPs Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames, the charismatic Rebecca Ferguson, a quietly intense Sean Harris and a never-better Henry Cavill as the muscle, along with Alec Baldwin, who excels as the IMF’s “tough dad”.

As in any superior action movie, Fallout accelerates from start to finish. Every brief stop adds more stakes for the next sequence. Whee! And unlike, say, the Bourne saga, the Mission: Impossible franchise keeps its distance from current events. While in real life the most infamous terrorist organization uses brutality  and unskilled recruits, Hunt’s nemeses are technology-savvy anarchists. M:I is determined to be escapism that brings everyone together to see Tom Cruise risk personal injury for our amusement. In these troubled times, that makes him some kind of hero.