Mission Impossible Six: Fallout
2 hours 27 minutes, PG-13 for boiling coolant to the face.
Fair Value of This Film: $3.00. Some good stunt work, but nothing really sets this film apart from the franchise. As generic as a Honda Accord. I saw this film twenty minutes ago and I’m already starting to forget it.
Plot: Who watches these films for the plot? I’m not going to bother. The villains are as meaningless as the hero in this film. Vacant masks dancing around vacant masks, not a shred of motive to be found.
BUT I REALLY WANT TO KNOW THE PLOT: Fuck. You. Sigh. Alright: Bad guys have stolen a nuke, blah blah blah. Want to destroy civilization, blah blah blee blee. Your mission, blee blo blegh. Rag-tag team of misfits, scoodily poopy rum tum tum. Betrayed and disavowed, all a complete part of a daily breakfast. We done? WE’RE DONE HERE.
How Were the Stunts? This is the only criterion for a Mission Impossible Film. How well does Tom Cruise run, fight, jump, and climb in this one? Ethan Hunt is a cipher above ciphers; at least James Bond has affectations; at least Jason Bourne was an agenda. Ethan Hunt exists only within a crisis, and then only to resolve the crisis as efficiently yet morally as possible.
TL,DR: A remix of key iconic action sequences from other action movies. Like a highlight reel or a mashup of the standouts from The Bourne Identity, Skyfall, and Gross Pointe Blank
Climbing: Here, Cruise does not top the incredible Burj Khalifa scene from MI 4: Ghost Protocol. Instead, the climbing is a mild retread of the opening cliff sequence of Mission Impossible 2.
Falling: A HALO dive onto a Parisian rave, where Hunt must revive a colleague as they drop through a CGI thunderstorm. Impressive, but undercut by the special effects.
Running: Rooftop parkour across London, racing across the London bridge. Well done but unimaginative.
Fighting: Disappointingly, the punch exchange between Ethan Hunt and International Man of Mustachery Walker (Henry Cavill) is only so-so. The highlight of the fighting is an earlier act two confrontation, taking place in a bathroom, derivative of the fight scene in Gross Pointe Blank.
Driving: Again, highly derivative of the sequences of The Bourne Identity, with motorbike and truck mayhem through the streets of Paris.
Jumping: See the above parkour scenes. I think the Church of Scientology must have stolen alien technology to regenerate Cruises soft cartilage. It is amazing that hes still doing stunts.
Helicoptering: This is the one standout category for this film. Cruises stunt work on a rope hanging from a helicopter is physical mastery on the level of Harold Lloyd. The helicopter chase is thrilling and dramatic, and much better than other helicopter work in the franchise. Here, at the end, is where Fallout briefly lives up to the riveting intensity of the best scenes from Rogue Nation, and Ghost Protocol.
Trickery: The other strength of the Mission Impossible films lays in chicanery- the fact that, unlike Bond or Bourne, the IMF team actually does deceive and misdirect bad guys and bureaucrats alike. In so much as Mission Impossible has a distinction, it lays in these moments. Fallout in particular, adds a layer of surrealism by failing to communicate the boundaries between dream and actual plot, between pantomime and genuine stakes. To the degree this film could be intriguing, it lays in the deep existential murk of Ethan Hunt- we get imagined battles before the actual battles, doomsday scenarios unveiling. These glimpses of the paranoid inner mind of Ethan Hunt are the faint glimmer of a more fascinating film. But paranoia and delusion don’t sell, not compared to helicopter duels.