MISSION IMOSSIBLE – FALLOUT – 8.5
In a word: breathtaking
You gotta like pure action-thriller movies to enjoy this flick. In doing so, do not expect much in the way of reality, it’s all about edge-of-your-seat implausible scenes, that – in this case – don’t really matter very much. What matters is the pace, the non-stop action, death defying stunts and THE man who drives every scene: Tom Cruise.
Here’s a brief plot, (admittedly) partially plagiarized from an on-line notation:
“Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and the IMF team join forces with CIA assassin August Walker (played by Henry Cavill) 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”
Some of the dialogue is stilted, almost as if they’re resting before leaping into the next action scene. Alec Baldwin, playing a former CIA chief, wasn’t bad, but he was Alec Baldwin, too well known off screen to be believable on screen. Considering the genre, actors are fine, though I found one of the primary characters (Cavill) unconvincing and far too amateurish for the part. It didn’t matter. Tom Cruise, alone, is what rivets the viewer to the screen in this movie.
In real life, Cruise is (amazingly) 57 years old, an age where old timer actors like Henry Fonda, Walter Brennan, Spencer Tracy and Richard Burton played middle-aged grandfathers, not daring stunt men. Taken from IMDB trivia, here are a few examples:
In one scene where he’s running on foot across the roofs of Paris buildings, Tom Cruise leaps from one high-level roof top to another across a standard roadway. In this scene, they had to halt production for eight weeks until Cruise healed from a broken ankle.
While performing four elaborate set pieces (mostly without green screens or stunt doubles): he did a HALO jump, an unusually dangerous variety of low-altitude parachute jumps; a helmet-free motorcycle chase through Paris, including a portion in which Hunt rides against traffic in the circle around the Arc de Triomphe; the extended foot chase across London rooftops; and a helicopter chase in which Cruise does most of the piloting in the snow-covered Himalayans. That’s not all: just see the movie.
This is the 6th M.I. movie in the 22-year series, and I suspect the last. Not only would it be hard to beat “Fallout.” Tom Cruise must begin aging sometime. He faces a lot of challenges if he continues doing his own stunts. I seriously doubt Hollywood have another stand-in who can match a performance like this.
Considering all the implausible facets in the movie, and so-so acting outside of Cruise’s character, the movie should be rated 6 to 7. But I would give this a higher rating, if only for the sheer physicality of the star actor.
Rotten Tomatoes, an on-line rating site, claims this movie having a 97 % favorable rating.
I give this 8 ½