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Mission: Impossible - Fallout

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Very few movies are successful in making a trilogy, let alone six films. Yet with $2.8 billion in world box office receipts here we are 12 years after the original with MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT (2018).

Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt and his IMF comrades are back again to save the world without the world ever knowing they need to be saved nor who will save them. Fallout reunites Hunt with Ving Rhames (Luther), Simon Pegg (Benji), and new IMF Secretary, Alec Baldwin (Alan Huntley), but also brings back faces from previous films including Rebecca Ferguson (Ilsa), Michelle Monaghan (Julia), and big baddie, Sean Harris (Lane).

Like past M:I films, the plot seems to be too complicated for its own good. In place of The Syndicate which Hunt and team were tasked with taking down in Rogue Nation (2015), the enemy du jour are The Apostles, a group of hired assassins who are on the hunt (pun intended) for plutonium to produce three wearable nuclear devices. An unknown face, John Lark, who has already killed hundreds of people across the world, wants to bring a new world order so it’s up to Hunt to find Lark and the plutonium. With CIA Director Erica Sloan (Angela Bassett) lacking trust in Hunt, she forces him to partner with the CIA’s best asset, August Walker (Henry Cavill).

Fallout digs deeper into Hunt’s life and what motivates him more than any other film in the franchise. After choosing to save the life of one of his teammates and, in turn, losing the plutonium, Hunt shows the lengths he will go to for those he loves. It’s a theme that is repeated throughout the film as he is faced with having to save others important to him. If Disney were to ever purchase rights to M:I (heck, they own nearly every other major franchise), this installment would be called Mission Impossible: The Spy With a Heart.

What makes the M:I films great is their ability to not take themselves too seriously. When CIA Director Sloan calls the IMF “grown men in rubber masks playing trick-or-treat”, it brings back positive memories of many instances where Hunt and team are seemingly living a spy’s version of Halloween. Pegg’s Benji carefully balances the humorous sidekick with a gentle side of kick ass. And Cruise, as he as does in most films, plays the straight man who can deliver a humorous line with perfect subtleness. A cameo by Wolf Blitzer provides one of the early highlights in the film.

Unfortunately, the ability for Fallout to not take themselves too seriously also separates me from critics across the country who are only praising the newest installment (97% positive as of the writing of this review). It’s true that this film is entertaining and much of what a summer film should be: sexy cars, sexy stars, sexy scenery, and beyond amazing stunts. From an action standpoint, this summer you’d be hard-pressed to find a movie with as much action as this one. Tom Cruise, at 56-years-old, is better than any stuntman half his age. Heck, the guy broke his ankle in one scene yet still finished the take (the scene is included in the film). But this film is also beyond stupid and much too long. When will directors learn that no movie needs to be longer than two hours?! Summer films are designed to be mindless entertainment – sit back and relax – but when an audience laughably groans at the outrageousness of a scene, directors need to understand they’ve gone a bit too far.

This is a mission that many will, and for many reasons, should choose to accept – simply consider yourself warned.

Mission Impossible – Fallout is rated PG-13 for violence and intense sequences of action, and for brief strong language.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Mark Eaton
Mark is an entertainment junkie, spending much of his leisure time watching movies, TV, or listening to any and all genres of music. Most evenings, after finishing a day of work and hanging with his wife and kids, Mark can be found in an eternal battle with his DVR, trying to clear it before another 5-6 hours of shows are recorded the next day. Still reeling from his unpaid gig for the Detroit News where he was fired for being too cruel with his American Idol recaps, Mark is thrilled to be sharing his wicked sense of humor with Movie Reelists.

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