Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018) Review

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Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Writer: Christopher McQuarrie

Actors: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris

Every time a new action-blockbuster comes out in the theaters, I rarely care. These films have become so similar that they all start to mesh into one big blob of Hollywood clichés. However, something strange happened this time, one of these films managed to grab my attention. Mission Impossible: Fallout for some reason was being highly praised. All over twitter and letterboxd I see some of my friends giving it rave reviews and speaking its praises. At one point I even saw some people comparing the film to The Dark Knight and even Mad Max! I was certainly intrigued. Why was this film singled out from all the other action blockbusters? What is it doing differently? I had to find out. Unfortunately, even after watching the film, I am still asking the same questions. Why is this praised so highly? I have no idea.

This is not to say that this film is bad. It’s just, above average. At best. I seriously cannot see anything unique about this film. It does not do anything horrible. It executes a basic action story-line well and doesn’t falter on anything specifically. But just doing everything okay and going through that checklist does not make a film worthy of such praise in my opinion. Let’s go through the film bit by bit. First off the plot. It follows a very typical action blockbuster narrative that we have been seeing in many other movies. The only difference is that Fallout is tighter in its execution of said narrative. All the plot points fit well and they don’t leave any stone unturned. Furthermore they give each character room to breathe and for the audience to relate to them which is certainly good. However I say again, it is nothing special. Evil villain with convoluted plan to cause mass destruction is to be stopped by our heroes in a very convoluted way. Basically it. Something I did like about the story and how it was executed was the tone. It felt very gritty and grimy. There were sometimes where it broke that gritty tone which bugged me but it is understandable. Something that really helped bring that tone out was how some of the action scenes were shot. For example, during the scene where the gang were being chased by the motorcyclist across the city. That whole scene was presented with no soundtrack in the background. All we could hear were the sounds of the car swerving back and forth and the motorbike right behind them. It gave somewhat of a raw feeling which I liked. I just wish they capitalized more on that aspect.

Aside from the story, one of the main elements of this film is the action. Being a Mission Impossible film, you would expect great action scenes and elaborate stunts. Well you get both, sort of. You get a lot of action scenes but not all of them are great. As I explained, I enjoyed the chase scene between the car and the motorbike halfway through the film. I also enjoyed the quick scene when Cruise picks up The Black Widow at the club. Other than that, all the other scenes just felt okay and did not excite me. There were definitely some elaborate stunts and grand set pieces. Especially towards the end, with the final confrontation. Yet it was still just okay. I would rather watch hours of chase scenes through the desert in Mad Max then see Tom Cruise hanging from a helicopter. It’s unfortunate but it’s what I truly feel.

I don’t really have much else to say about Mission Impossible: Fallout. I went into the theater with an open mind, waiting to be impressed. But I just came out with a feeling of “that was okay I guess”. That’s not really what I want out of a movie experience. Maybe some of you can tell me why you enjoyed this film, or if there is anything I am missing. As of right now however, I am not that excited for the next Ethan Hunt story.

7/10