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Film Review | Mission : Impossible Fallout (Part One)

Tom Cruise is back again as Ethan Hunt and this time around he ups the ante in terms of stunts in the film.  He jumped off a plane for a HALO (high altitude low open) jump, zipped through Paris in a motorbike in full speed with no safety harness nor helmet, climbed a rope under a helicopter and fell,  have broken an ankle while jumping between buildings and finally flying a helicopter in a downward spiral.  These alone will make you want to watch this new film Mission: Impossible Fallout.

We have followed the MI films and we were wondering how can they introduce something new considering a lot has been offered already in past films.  Now let me breakdown this article into two parts. The first part is how I felt about the film right after watching it and the second part is the technical breakdown of it after the excitement had died down.

SPOILER ALERT - Do not read if you haven't watched the film yet.

Now during the film, the action scenes are really and truly hang in your seat exciting.  Knowing that Tom Cruise really did those stunts will keep you in awe and admiration.  This fact is both a plus and a minus depends on how you look at it.  Tom Cruise is Tom Cruise, and when you see him doing those stunts, on one hand, you feel great knowing you were not cheated by a green screen or by a stunt double.  This is the plus, now the minus side.  This writer can't see Ethan Hunt in those scenes anymore.  It was me watching Tom Cruise doing the stunts and for those moments I forget that he was Ethan Hunt.  This departure made me lose the thought of the story in itself. The stunts in the film for me stole the limelight more of the story in itself.  I'm not saying the story is bad, that will be tackled more later in this article.

During some of stunt scenes of Tom Cruise err Ethan Hunt, I noticed there were some parts with no background music in them.  Yes sometimes the director purposely omits the music to emphasize a certain scene but in this case of cases, I felt the music should have been added to create the fast paced drama it portrayed.  This is specially true in the case of the motorcycle chase through Paris.  Another annoying thing I noticed is the leg of Cruise always sticking out in those scenes.  I dunno but somehow I felt that he was NOT in full speed thus it sticks out and they simply sped up the film to create a faster chase scenario.  

What made me watch the film are the following 

1)  Return of Solomon Lane.  Never in the history of MI films that a villain appeared in two films.  It was refreshing to see how the story continued from Rogue Nation.  Sean Harris is very actor and he played the part well and seeing him back here is a plus for the film.  We do hope his character would be brought back (not immediately of course) in future MI films.

2)  A love interest in Ilsa Faust? We saw in Rogue Nation that somehow there was a spark in Ilsa, of how she valued Ethan with more than usual interest in that film.  Of how he continually saves and defends Ethan Hunt in most occasion.  In this film, Fallout, Ethan Hunt reciprocates the same interest to Ilsa which made a great side story to the film.  

3)  Closure on Julia.  After seeing Ethan marry Julia in MI3, got a glimpse of her in succeeding films, it was always a long distance love story for both characters.  The long standing relationship for me is a struggle for both and instead of feeling love for the couple, its starting to pity them both.  They should be happy and it was nice bringing her back in a brief but so very important part of the film. 

4)  Christopher McQuarrie directed Rogue Nation and now he's back again.  He is the only director to meg two MI films in the series.

Film Synopsis
The story continued where Rogue Nation ends.  Solomon Lane was captured and is transferred between nations trying to extract information about the Syndicate.  In the process, there were nuclear materials that were going around the market. It was the IMF team tasked to recover and somehow they lost it.  In the pursuit of the items, they were lead to White Widow who has them but in exchange, Ethan had to help break free Solomon Lane.

Along with the MIF team, they are tagged along by August Walker (played by Henry Cavill) a CIA operative and assassin.  They first started off on a wrong foot and just when you are accustomed to them working together, Walker turned out to be the bad guy and are in cahoots with Solomon Lane.

In the end Ethan and the MIF team wins, of course.

Before I move to our review, I noticed the following scenes that were similar to prior films while watching Fallout.  

In the first scene where they tricked the nuclear scientist in a fake hospital room, it was similar to the first scene they had in the very first MI film.  

Another scene referred to MI Ghost Protocol when Ethan posed as Lark hoping that White Widow won't recognize him as not Lark.  

Third scene wherein Ilsa was tied up made me remember Julia tied up in MI3 but with Benji (Simon Pegg) battling out the bad guy.  In this case however, Ilsa was able to free herself and save Benji.  

Another similarity is of Ethan Hunt hanging at the edge of the cliff and being rescued by a helicopter.   A scene similar to the opening moment of MI 2.  

Our take
With these scenes similar to prior MI films, I think they inadvertently made quick references.  The story is rich in content if you ask me, and Mcquarry is a great director and story teller.  I felt that the movie was done in a fast manner that they didn't notice the similarities to the other films.  Although this might be so, still we rate the film as good enough to watch over and over again.

To bolster our push for you to watch the film, what we liked in the film were the side stories, like the closure of the love story between Ethan and Julia, and the start (?) of a new one with Ilsa Faust.  We loved the performances of Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Monaghan, Vhing Rhames and Simon Pegg here.  Stellar performances by Sean Harris (Solomon Lane) , Alec Baldwin (Alan Hunley) and Angela Bassett (Erica Sloan).  Impressive introduction of Vanessa Kirby as the White Widow.  Kudos.

It was a let down for Frederick Schmidt (Zola) and Henry Cavill who sported a mustache to portray him as a bad guy.  I felt Henry was a miscast in the movie and they should have gotten another actor for the role of August Walker.  He is not a bad actor here but its so cheesy and methodological to have him in a mustache.  He is also so tall that he dwarfed Tom Cruise in the film (like Tom Felton in Harry Potter who grew so tall in succeeding films).

As a footnote to our review.  Mission: Impossible Fallout is still a great film to watch.  A nice main story with great side stories, its a watchable movie that will leave you hanging in your seats in terms of action stunts.  If you are not a MI fan, you will not be as detailed as me, and will surely enjoy the film to the max.  

Considering what Tom Cruise did here, every stunt here is a sure hit.  I would like to commend him for doing those things, all for the best of the film.  I will surely watch again this film and enjoy.

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