Review: Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Ethan Hunt: The James Bond of the 21st Century?

by Iñaki Oñate

Mission: Impossible – Fallout nails it: Tom Cruise has established one of the best action movie franchises since the Bond films of the 60’s and 70’s.

More than twenty years ago  Cruise and his long-time executive producer Paula Wagner set out to establish a spy-action film franchise based on the classic 60’s TV series. From Brian de Palma’s that lit the burning fuse to  Christopher McQuarrie’s Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation  (2015) the franchise seems to have set the bar higher with every new film.

With the help of his already emblematic teammates Luther (Ving Rhames) and Benji (Simon Pegg), and shady newcomer Walker (Henry Cavill), Ethan Hunt must stop a terrorist group called The Apostles from acquiring plutonium and destroying the world order. Things get a little messy when they discover that this terrorist group is somehow linked to Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), the villain with the scraping voice from the previous film. The beautiful Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson), is also back to help the IMF team achieve their mission.

Although the movie doesn’t quite generate the same amount of excitement as its predecesor it’s still a well-crafted action movie, far better than any of its contemporaries. What separates the Mission: Impossible brand from other films driven by explosions and visually appealing stunts is a particular intelligence in the design of the sequences and in coming up with fresh, peculiar scenarios where the set-pieces take place. Without spoiling anything a perfect example of this is the helicopter chase sequence in a particularly crucial part of the film.

Another interesting aspect of the movie are the very subtle references

to the rest of the Mission: Impossible universe, such as the of the first two movies (a helicopter chase, a motorbike chase) and a British femme fatale and double agent named White Widow (Vanessa Kirby), related to the character played by Vanessa Redgrave in the first film.

The film was known to have started production with only 33 pages written and McQuarrie was literally writing the screenplay as the shooting went along. Even though the plot has a couple of loose ends hanging off it the film comes out satisfying as an entertaining experience. It seems to me that the most “fully realized” spy agent of today is Ethan Hunt. With James Bond in decay since the late 90’s on one side and the superheroes on the other, Tom Cruise brings us an alternative for cinema lovers who still want to get  quality thrills from the silver screen.

It’s rare to find a a cinematic universe where every movie that comes out maintains a certain level or, even better, keeps raising the bar. This is the case for the Mission: Impossible series of films. As Mr. Hunt awaits for his
next assignment I will do so for I know that every time he chooses to accept his mission he never fails in giving people what they deserve.

IñaIñaki Oñate / Writer (Quito, Ecuador – 1988) Iñaki resides in Buenos Aires, where he studied film directing at Universidad del Cine. His short films have been part of the official selection at the New York, La Habana and Cannes festivals.  He’s currently developing his first feature film with his own independent production company, Undergofilms. He also works in music and art illustration.

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