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Monday, January 30 2023

“Mission: Impossible- Fallout”: Brilliant action and best in the franchise

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4.0/5 stars

The sixth instalment of the Mission Impossible franchise “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”, is out in theatres and is the most impressive action movie I have seen in a while. The movie sees Ethan Hunt (played by Tom Cruise), an IMF agent, and his team of operatives, Benjamin “Benji” Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) join forces with members of the CIA (American Intelligence) and MI6 (British Intelligence) to put a stop to the operations of a group of rogue operatives who were introduced to us in the previous instalment of the franchise, “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation”.

The plot revolves around Hunt and his team as they work to prevent the end of the world order after they botch an operation. This time, Hunt and his gang are forced to team up with CIA agent August Walker (Henry Cavill), who has been ordered to keep an eye on the team and prevent further mess-ups.

Christopher McQuarrie has returned once again to direct the movie, which is a unique development as fans of the franchise know that actor and producer Tom Cruise had decided that each of the films would be helmed by a different director. Perhaps this has something to do with the movie being connected with “Rogue Nation”. We see quite a few characters come back after their appearance in “Rogue Nation” such as Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust, Sean Harris as Solomon Lane and Alec Baldwin as Alan Hunley.

The movie delivers to the viewers everything they have come to love and expect from a Mission Impossible movie. There’s great action, great stunts, beautiful scenic shots, great comedic timing and great chemistry between the characters. There are also the token scenes with Tom Cruise on a motorcycle and Tom Cruise running… but, this is more of an observation than a complaint. The camaraderie between Luther, Benji and Hunt feels organic. The dialogue between them is natural and this makes you believe their bond.

Tom Cruise is as charismatic and brilliant as ever in his role as IMF agent Ethan Hunt. Cruise yet again does his own stunts for his role, just as he has been doing for his entire career. The stunts he has performed this time around are more daring and impressive. It has been 22 years since the movie franchise was first launched and it is truly remarkable to see how Cruise has come to make the character his own… I honestly cannot see anyone else playing Ethan Hunt. In the movie, we are also made to realise that Ethan Hunt is no longer the young and spry IMF operative that we have grown to know and love. He is ageing and it is evident in the washroom fight scene where we see him panting and struggling to catch his breath.

Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg have reprised their roles as Luther and Benji, respectively. Rhames is at his best, playing the role of the smart-mouthed Luther, who always has Hunt’s back and oozes swag in the way he walks and talks, and Pegg is in a role we have seen him play plenty of times before, a nervous and doubtful yet, ‘loyal-to-a-fault’ teammate. The witty banter and chemistry between the two supporting characters is quite entertaining and warm. 

Alec Balwin reprises his role as Alan Hunley, former CIA Director and present IMF Secretary. While his presence on screen is limited, he gives his best and plays his role well.

Henry Cavill plays the dubious character of agent Walker well enough. Although his acting is not entirely convincing, he does a decent job. When he shares the screen with Tom Cruise, his presence (unlike his stature) falls a little short. His fight scenes, however, were pretty good and convincing.

The villain of the movie is shrouded in mystery for about half of the movie and even then you are not completely sure as to what is really going on. However, by the time the villain is revealed, you are left unimpressed as it is somewhat obvious and formulaic.

Some of the plot lines are a bit predictable and the gimmicks overused but, thankfully this is only on one or two instances. Some of the misdirection too did not fool or convince me entirely. What I love, however, is that the movie is self-aware and the characters on more than one occasion point out these obvious flaws in the plot. It doesn’t excuse the movie for this but, at least the movie doesn’t pretend to be something it is not.

The score of the movie is good but, feels a little lacking somehow. The iconic Mission Impossible theme played in the background, however, is the best part. The cinematography is impressive, especially with a particular sequence toward the tail end of the film (I won’t give out spoilers… just know it’s the scene with the helicopters). Although I am impressed with the way the action sequences are shot, there are some scenes where I wish they had used wide shots just so the audience can get a clearer picture of what is happening and not feel lost in the chaos. The CGI was also pretty good and not very evident. The movie is supposed to be released in RealD 3D and IMAX but, I was able to view only the 2D version. But from what I hear, the IMAX version is a must watch. The movie holds up pretty well considering this major factor.

This is by far the best film in the franchise and doesn’t require you to turn off the logic centres in your brain to enjoy it… unlike most action movies these days. The movie has its flaws but, they are very minor and can be overlooked. It is action-packed, funny, dramatic and an overall blast to watch. If you are a fan of the franchise or even if you love action movies then I assure you that you are going to love this one. It is definitely worth more than one watch.

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Andrea Noronha

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