Well, the sixth installment is here, and what as the title implies, it’s an absolute roller coaster. We’re already at the sixth installment, and clearly this series is not stopping. Mission: Impossible is able to create a sense of timelessness and longevity that no other franchise (and I mean no other action franchise in cinematic history) has been able to emulate. More on that later. After being blown away Rogue Nation, before which I was blown away by Ghost Protocol, I was sure that the franchise could not possibly outdo itself. Rogue Nation was the limit. But no. It’s not, as Fallout has topped its predecessor.
So, what happens? Ethan Hunt gets a folder from the IMF detailing the workings of the Apostles, fugitive Syndicate members, and how they want to start ‘great suffering, which will lead to great peace’. There’s no need to go into horribly boring monologues, the information is just given to us concisely. The Apostles are working with a John Lark, some guy who has infiltrated the American government and is working with the Apostles to get plutonium, which they’ll turn into bombs. So Ethan goes to a deal, hoping to intercept the transaction, but he loses the plutonium. CIA agent August Walker (Henry Cavill), brutish and reckless, accompanies him. They meet up with the old gang: Benji (Simon Pegg), Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson), Luther (Ving Rhames), and go on an adventure to save the world.
I understand that movies like Mission: Impossible aren’t exactly intellectual masterpieces – just fantastic action films – but this film does feature very subtle, nuanced themes. The biggest one is the relationship between spy and government. These governments, as Walker puts it, abandon their agents, betray their agents, and cast them aside. The theme is abandonment. It explores how such agents respond to abandonment: Hunt remains loyal to his government, Walker betrays his government, and Ilsa runs from hers. The theme is taken from Rogue Nation and explored more in this film.
Now, while the themes are interesting and thought-provoking, Fallout still is a fantastic action film. Every single stunt and action piece, from the HALO jump to the bathroom brawl is done masterfully. There’s a raw intensity within each set piece, and each stint feels incredibly unique. The bathroom fight is quiet and brutal. The motorcycle chase is dizzying and breath-taking. The rooftop chase is equal parts electrifying and humorous (thanks to Benji). I could go on and on, but do I really need to?
From a technical standpoint, this movie is the best in the franchise. Just the Grand Palais party scene alone showcases the film’s gorgeous lighting and colour palette. The film’s vibrant colours create dazzling hues and truly create a intriguing setting for the entire film. The locations are portrayed in their most ethereal way, be it Berlin, London, Paris, and Kashmir (to be fair, filming did not necessarily take place in Kashmir). The score is stellar: Lorne Balfe mixes fantastic contemporary music when needed with classic piano themes, both of which amp up the film’s intensity tenfold.
And my God, the acting! Rebecca Ferguson still remains one of the best leads of the franchise, while Pegg’s excellent comedic timing ensures that the film will never get to dour. Ving Rhames and Michelle Monaghan give excellently emotional performances, with Ving Rhames’ acting discreetly showcasing the age and the longevity of the franchise and Ethan Hunt. Which brings me onto Tom Cruise, who, in this film, is… Tom Cruise. I could go on about how fearless, reckless, and amazing he is. I could talk about how he is the best action movie star in the world. But I think that’s all a given.
And here’s why I think Mission: Impossible is the best action franchise. Look at it from a historical standpoint: what movie has ever topped itself on the sixth film? Every Mission: Impossible movie has been able to refresh itself by adding on new directors, save for Fallout, which actually benefited off of McQuarrie’s direction. The same really can’t be said about other action franchises. Let’s name a few: James Bond, probably one of the most iconic spies, definitely has a brilliant run. But they’ve also pulled a number of duds. Mission: Impossible’s only bad movie was probably the second one, and even that offered up decent action. The worst Mission: Impossible movie is still a half-decent way to kill two hours. The worst Bond movie can put me in coma, and I say that as a James Bond fan. And besides, has Bond really improved since its beginnings? It’s very debatable as to whether the most recent Bond flicks (Spectre, Skyfall, etc.) are better than the early outings (Goldfinger, From Russia With Love, hell, even Dr. No). And from a modern standpoint, I think we can all agree that Fallout or Rogue Nation – whichever you use for comparison – is better than Spectre. Now let’s consider Fast and Furious. Sure, Five was good and Six was enjoyable, but let us not forget the patchy time in the middle of Fast and Furious’s timespan where the film’s truly were bad. There was a very awkward middle point where the franchise could not decide if it would be a gritty crime flick or a cartoony action outing. And finally, there’s Star Wars. The first three movies were excellent. But now? Star Wars is in tatters. While Mission: Impossible impresses their fans, Star Wars has alienated and infuriated theirs. Episode 7 is overly reliant on nostalgia, Episode 8 is simply awful, and their spin-offs have not found the same success and the original trilogy. Star Wars had its glory moments. Now, it’s a shadow of its past self.
Simply put, Fallout proves that Mission: Impossible is, at the moment, the best action franchise in the world.
My name is Patrick and I have always been a huge fan of movies. Inspired by my parents and friends alike, I have taken up the hobby of reviewing movies, sharing my thoughts on it. Later, I began reviewing TV shows, as i also had thoughts about those as well. I am quite passionate about writing and journalism as well.