Posted Jul 26 2018
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Mission Impossible Fallout - This Movie Totally Bloody Rocks

Dir: Christopher McQuarrie

Starring Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Alec Baldwin, Vanessa Kirby, Sean Harris, Michelle Monaghan, Angela Bassett, Wes Bentley

All Hail Tom Cruise – The Saviour of Summer!

Summer 2018 got off to a sublime start with Infinity War. A tough act to follow and, well, no one could. Deadpool2? More of the same. Everything The Rock did? More of the same. Jurassic World? Less than the same. Ocean’s 8? A heist movie with an easy, uneventful heist. Solo? Should’ve stayed a team player.

Simply put, the blockbuster has been lacklustre.

And then along comes old reliable 56 year old Tom. Last of the movie stars? A man  right on the edge of being past his prime??

And the man simply – and elegantly – knocks its out of the park.
MI6 (not to be confused with the people that Rebecca Fergusson works for) is a delicious old fashioned espionage movie. A film that eschews CGI excess for double crosses, false allegiances, shoot outs, car chases that nod to The French Connection (literally, they are in Paris after all), brutal punch ups, and running – and Jesus, that man can run. To the point where there is no finer sight this summer than Mr Cruise going hell for leather over the rooftops of London with St Paul’s in the background and finding himself adrift atop the Tate Modern. Having, as we all know all too well, broken his ankle mid-route. And while there may be plenty of action, the one thing that producer Cruise and the IMF’s first returning director McQuarrie have chosen to do is scale things back a bit. This one doesn’t open with Tom Cruise hanging off the side of a jet, but with character beats, little reel to reels that self destruct in five seconds and, yes, someone ripping off a hugely implausible rubber mask. Oh, and that Lalo Schifrin music – and when that music kicks in, you just know this is gonna own you.

There is a plot of course but, as with all good spy stories, from Bond to U.N.C.L.E. and, indeed, the original TV incarnation of Mission, it doesn’t add up to much – Ethan and co are forced to track down Sean Harris’s nefarious bad guy from the last one, there are rogue nukes involved, mysterious agencies (Vanessa Kirby & “The Apostles” this time - great name for a band!), misunderstandings with their own government – and everyone else’s, lots of different countries as luscious backgrounds. Oh, and running – did we mention the running?

But this outing also has a good degree of humour between the drama, and, more than anything, a real emphasis on character and personal relationships. The needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many? Yes, they do here, leading to a surprisingly effective and poignant denouncement.

More than anything, this series understands how to present the notion of heroism on screen. And convey the weight of what hangs in the balance. We all know that the odds of Tom/Ethan making the final scene are pretty likely – but try telling yourself that during the ridiculously nail-biting final helicopter/cliff top fight, brilliantly orchestrated by McQaurrie and his editing team. This is how you do it Dwayne the Cock – take note pretender to the throne, because this is the real deal.

Which leads us to Tom Cruise, at once a team player here, but also the Last Movie Star Standing (ankle permitting.) We should all take note here – and all give thanks. We may well be witnessing the end of a era in filmmaking. Of a time when a star was a star, and a movie hero didn’t need an Iron suit, a mystical hammer or a Vibranium shield to capture an audience. In respect of this maybe, this sixth Impossible Mission of a movie is so delightfully old school, we may never see its like again. If that is the case, it’s a hell of a way to go out. More than that, it’s the film that just saved summer. Cue the Lalo Schifrin…(and in your head, you’re singing along, aren’t you?)

 

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