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|Mission: Impossible – Fallout|
dir-scr Christopher McQuarrie
prd JJ Abrams, Tom Cruise, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger, Christopher McQuarrie, Jake Myers
with Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Sean Harris, Alec Baldwin, Angela Bassett, Michelle Monaghan, Wes Bentley, Frederick Schmidt
release US/UK 27.Jul.18
18/UK Paramount 1h27
Tough guys: Cavill and Cruise
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
Christopher McQuarrie is the first director to return for another go in this franchise, and he makes this sixth film a direct sequel to Rogue Nation. It's another intricately plotted thriller with an array of complex, surprising characters and a story that grips even though it never stops twisting. But it's the emotional resonance that makes it one of the best action blockbusters in recent memory.
After a Belfast operation goes wrong, Ethan (Cruise) faces a serious challenge to unknot the mess. Accompanied by CIA goon Walker (Cavill), he heads to Paris to find an anonymous anarchist who's trying to acquire three rogue nukes. His teammates (Pegg and Rhames) join in as he runs into old flame Ilsa (Ferguson), now working as a mercenary, then makes contact with the plutonium seller, known as White Widow (Kirby). But completing this mission will involve releasing Ethan's ruthless nemesis Solomon (Harris) and placating the jittery agency bosses (Baldwin and Bassett).
Things kick off immediately with the first in a series of gritty, nerve-jangling action sequences that send our heroes hurtling through streets on motorcycles, over rooftops on foot and above icecaps in helicopters. Each set-piece is inventively staged to make sure it's coherent, relatively believable and, most importantly, clear that Cruise does all his own stunt work. So even though we know McQuarrie can't kill off Ethan, it's thrilling to see Cruise risking life and limb.
A boyish 56, the actor dives into the physicality with gusto while playing darker dramatic scenes with a terrific sense of shifty urgency. But what's surprising this time is the amount of emotion he layers into scenes with his teammates and especially with Ferguson and Monaghan. Together with Kirby, all three women have meaty roles here, holding their own opposite these action men. Speaking of which, Cavill is terrific as a blunt-force meathead.
By adding a strongly engaging relational element, McQuarrie more than makes up for dodging the issue of populist politics. The one pointed moment here centres on a shocking event involving religious holy sites, although there isn't much time to think about the fallout from this before things ping in yet another new direction. The dialog crackles with clever banter, some of which is knowingly hilarious (including a running gag about the series' use of face masks). Indeed, this is sure-handed filmmaking that fires on every conceivable cylinder. And it's a rare epic-length action movie that we don't want to end.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
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© 2018 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
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