Review: Mission: Impossible – Fallout, 2018

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Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Writers: Christopher McQuarrie, Bruce Geller
Stars: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson

Mission: Impossible – Fall Out—the most beautiful action movie I’ve ever seen?

This movie is gorgeous, more exciting than I possibly could have expected, and worth every damn penny to see in IMAX. Like the previous few entries, I have a feeling I will like this even more on rewatch, as the plotting is a bit thick. That’s not really a complaint, but these movies tend to improve a second time around when you can see the track they’re laying a bit more clearly.

But Mission: Impossible – Fallout more than earns its spot as the best blockbuster of the summer on the filmmaking alone. There were multiple moments where I said “oh shit” out loud because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. There was literally a moment where I exclaimed “JESUS!” only to have Tom Cruise say “JESUS!” in the movie seconds later. You can really feel the speed of the chases in this movie, you can see Cruise defying death before you eyes in a variety of wild, practical stunts, and even when they’re using some movie magic to convince you something is real that couldn’t possibly be it actually works. There wasn’t a second of this movie that felt like I was watching an algorithm do the work for the movie.

Shout out to the sound design on Mission: Impossible – Fallout here for part of that—I’ve never noticed the sound design in one of these movies before and it’s absolutely incredible here. The guns have weight and impact, the sound of a motorcycle speeding through traffic is that of danger, and Henry Cavill’s fists actually sound like they’re loaded for bear. Coupled with probably the best score in the franchise, this movie sounds as incredible as it looks.

There were a few dramatic moments I found a bit unconvincing. I’m unsure if it was a performance thing or just the fact that this is kind of the first entry since M:I3 that gets really personal with the characters. Rogue Nation successfully dips its toe in those waters, but here they really go for it, trying to ground Ethan especially as a real thinking, feeling human being. Which is great, but I wasn’t always convinced by it. Hoping that’s another thing that gets smoothed over on a rewatch.

I truly hope that once Cruise is tool old to keep up with these (he’s 56, and it’s fucking insane to see a man of that age doing what Cruise is doing here – but he does look 56, I think the time that he can’t top himself is coming soon) they hand the Mission: Impossible franchise over to Rebecca Ferguson. Ilsa has become my favorite character in this franchise, and I would love to see a 20 year old franchise like this get handed over to a woman.

All in all, Mission: Impossible – Fallout was everything I hope for and more, and I can’t wait to see it again. Please see it on IMAX if you can. You will not be disappointed. This was far and away the best IMAX experience I’ve ever had. These sequences are worth seeing as big and as loud as possible. Also, see it with friends! We had a blast, and the whole audience joined us in applauding for the conclusion of the cold open, Henry Cavill’s fist reload, and the end of the movie. Be bold and cheer for Cavill’s fists! You’ll have a great collective moment!

Score: ★★★★☆

This review originally appeared on Garrett’s Letterboxd. Follow him there for more ratings, reviews, and lists.

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Garrett Smith

Comedian of no repute. Co-host of the I Like To Movie Movie podcast and Movie Movie Live! the monthly game show based on the podcast.
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