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Published August 6, 2018

Somewhere between 2015’s Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and now, I managed to forget that there has been an ongoing story in the last few Mission Impossible films so, while I have seen all the previous installments, I didn’t anticipate needing to re-watch them before going to see Mission Impossible: Fallout.

The first thing you should know about Mission Impossible: Fallout is that there are a lot of ongoing story threads coming in from the previous films. Characters re-appear with minimal introduction and stakes are often outlined ‘in progress’, instead of at the beginning. However, the film’s script (written by director Christopher McQuarrie) makes sure that no audience members are left behind, and everything is explained at some point. Really, it’s a case of watching the previous films recently or having a bit of patience and letting the film catch you up later. As a consequence, a lot of the previous films’ cast returns for this new installment. Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Michelle Monaghan and Alec Baldwin all return alongside leading man Tom Cruise.

At this point, Cruise has a good handle on the Ethan Hunt character, so there’s not a lot of surprise in his work, but he still delivers the charisma of a leading man, so it’s still fun to watch him. Pegg and Rhames have developed a lovely chemistry as the series’ comedy sidekick duo and bounce off each other, as well as Cruise, effortlessly throughout the film.

Henry Cavill, his meme-worthy arm-reloading motion, and his notorious moustache are initially a bit of a shaky addition to the film thanks to a silly one-liner, but once the film is in motion he fits into it seamlessly. Even away from his work as Superman, Cavill is establishing a solid backlog of action films for himself. Now, all I need is for 2015’s delightfully tongue-in-cheek Man from U.N.C.L.E. to get a sequel. Any day now, right?

Vanessa Kirby, as the ‘White Widow’, absolutely lands her role and, if anything could be considered an audition tape for Kirby to play Evie Frye in a film of ‘Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, this is it. From her Jessica Rabbit-esque Jazz Crooner introduction (although she sadly doesn’t sing during it) to her expressiveness and impeccable verbal delivery, Kirby is endlessly entertaining, and I can’t wait to see more from her, since I’ve already finished The Crown.

Director and writer Christopher McQuarrie has a flair for imagery that he shows off to great effect in this film, with the assistance of his Cinematographer Rob Hardy. Once you’ve seen this film, it should come as no surprise that Hardy also shot Alex Garland’s Ex Machina and Annihilation.

Knowing that Cruise performs his own stunts, I took particular notice of how many long takes there are in the stunt sequences, with minimal editing tricks to get around how dangerous it all was. They really reinforced the impression of McQuarrie’s attention to detail during pre-production, which all seems to have paid off in the final film.

Although some prior knowledge of the series is useful, Mission Impossible: Fallout can be followed and enjoyed even as someone’s first, and provides a solid romp with some great performances and impressive action.

 

Mission Impossible: Fallout is in cinemas now.

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