MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT

After twenty-two years, six films, several breathtaking stunts, and a $70 million insurance payout for a broken ankle, the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE movies have reached a point where we now need to seriously discuss its ranking amongst The Greatest Action Franchises of All-Time.

***SPOILER WARNING***: That ranking will be high.

Henry Cavill’s moustache may not have been worth the headache, but MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT is an intense action thrill ride that literally doesn’t know when to quit. While the two and a half-hour runtime does feel a little long, Christopher McQuarrie’s brilliant directing makes up for the slight failings of his not-as-strong screenplay. More importantly, the practical effects-heavy action scenes — both visceral and applause-worthy — are sure to satisfy even the most jaded moviegoer.

Tom Cruise, of course, is the true star here — and his performance as Ethan Hunt is nothing less than an absolute gift to moviegoers. Now 56, Cruise shows no signs of slowing down for anything (the footage of his on-set injury, BTW, made the final cut), and you have to wonder just how much further he can go when it comes to performing his own stunts. For now, thankfully, the action scenes continue to deliver above and beyond hype and expectation.

FALLOUT’s plot is basic: After an IMF mission goes terribly wrong when Hunt is forced into a difficult decision, the world (or, at least, a third of it) becomes in danger of experiencing a catastrophic event. Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, and Rebecca Ferguson return to help foil Solomon Lane’s (Sean Harris) plan, andzzzzzz…

Truth be told, the story here isn’t exactly fresh, and many beats feel like retreads from earlier M:I films, but these films are judged mainly for their ability to keep you on the edge of your seat. Strangely enough, there are parallels with the FAST & FURIOUS series (granted, MISSION is far more grounded), and FALLOUT feels a lot like this franchise’s FAST FIVE. The action is non-stop and unrelenting, and this entry is pure summer blockbuster fun.

Four and a Half out of Five Beers.

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