When Tom Cruise is inevitably killed while attempting some insane stunt for one of his films, he will likely be remembered for two things: his Scientologist beliefs and the “Mission: Impossible” movies. He may often get made fun of for the former, but deserves real credit for the latter, as proven by the latest installment of the series, “Mission: Impossible – Fallout.”
Here, Cruise reprises his role as IMF special agent Ethan Hunt, picking up where the previous installment left off. The villainous Solomon Lane is in prison but the remnants of his crime organization are still on the loose (the fallout, if you will). Ethan, his team, and CIA agent August Walker (Henry Cavill) are tasked with recovering three plutonium cores before their enemies can use them to carry out their destructive plans. Of course, twists and betrayals cause Ethan’s careful plans to fall apart, leading to some ever-entertaining improvisation.
Let’s face it: these movies are just excuses to watch Tom Cruise engage in crazy stunts and the creators know it. And, for me, that’s a good enough excuse. The action scenes in the film, all done with practical, non-CGI effects, are wildly exhilarating and creative. Cruise never uses a stunt double, so all of his stunts (yes, even the HALO jump and the helicopter chase scene) were done by him, giving each sequence a sense of legitimacy missing from other rival action films today. Forget the plot: I would probably still watch this movie even if it was solely made up of the stunts.
Speaking of which, the plot was surprisingly competent for such a pure action film. The screenwriters aren’t going to win any Oscars, but it had a reasonable story that made room for the stunts, but still kept my attention when Ethan wasn’t flying out of a plane. Despite being a tad predictable, it served its purpose, referencing previous movies for die hard fans but still giving context for new viewers.
Overall, “Mission: Impossible Fallout” is a wild ride, should you choose to accept.