In recent years, the cinematic landscape has become increasingly packed with remakes and reboots, but Tom Cruise’s signature franchise has really stood the test of time. Along with writer-director Christopher McQuarrie with whom he frequently collaborates, the pair present the sixth instalment of the showstopping spy thriller series. Mission: Impossible – Fallout sees IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his team attempting to track down stolen plutonium cores. Matters are made more complicated when they are joined by moustachioed CIA assassin August Walker (Henry Cavill) who is assigned with keeping tabs on their controversial methods.
With a convoluted narrative consisting of double-crossing, exhilarating car chases and death-defying stunts, McQuarrie delivers exactly what we’ve come to expect from Hunt’s sensational missions. The story itself is nothing special and suffers from a wealth of naff dialogue in its substandard script, but wince-inducing fight sequences and action set-pieces work as satisfying distractions. In white-knuckle sequences shot across photogenic locations Paris, London and Kashmir, Cruise pulls out all the stops in sharply edited, brilliantly farfetched moments that are handled with a flourish by skilful director McQuarrie.
When he’s not jumping out of planes or brushing up on his parkour, Hunt is suffering from interrupted sleep because of his complex past. His trademark moral compass has led to relationship issues over the years, and the film winds up for an emotional punch with a subplot that explores this further. Though this is an ambitious step into character development, it’s far less interesting or entertaining than his action-packed escapades.
The ever-charismatic Cruise leads an impressive cast that includes Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg who reprise their roles as Hunt’s loyal compadres. They provide a degree of light comic relief while Sean Harris also returns, on creepy form as ally turned anarchist Solomon Lane. There are a couple of newcomers that come into the fold; Vanessa Kirby enjoys a seductive femme-fatale performance as an arms dealer known as The White Widow, and Henry Cavill is suitably annoying as irritating fun sponge August Walker.
When playing to its strengths, Mission: Impossible – Fallout is fantastic. Boasting some of the best action scenes I’ve seen in as long as I can remember, this is a more than worthy entrant into the hugely successful series. In his second foray into the franchise, filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie’s mission to craft a spectacular summer blockbuster is very much accomplished.