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MOVIES: Mission Impossible: Fallout - Review: "The Best Action Movie Since Mad Max: Fury Road"



As the title suggests, Mission Impossible: Fallout is rightly deserving of all the hype and praise that it has gotten from the press. It's the best action movie since Mad Max: Fury Road and the best spy movie of the decade, better than the likes of Skyfall and the rest of the James Bond franchise. From the moment that the sped-up logos start, you know you're in for something special, and director Christopher McQuarrie more than delivers on a thrill-a-minute ride that leaves nothing for the imagination, pulling in with set-piece after set-piece that top even the audacious ones executed in Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation.

Picking up from where Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation left off, Fallout is the first Mission Impossible film to feel like a direct follow up to what came before rather than act as another anthology entry, and it explores the ramifications of not only Hunt's capture of the leader of the Rogue Nation organization known as the Syndicate, Solomon Lane, but also his decision to pick the life of his one of his team over multiple nuclear devices that could be armed for weapons explosives. As a result of his failure the world is at greater risk than ever, and the IMF find themselves under supervision from the CIA in the form of their ruthless assassin, Henry Cavill's August Walker.

A lot of talk in the film has been surrounding Cavill's moustache, which he kept whilst he was filming re-shoots for Justice League, and quite frankly, it's worth all the hassle that it took to keep the moustache on. Walker is an intimidating force of nature, and his very presence means you know something is going to go down. Solomon Lane is back too, and after impressing in Rogue Nation, Sean Harris once again excels in Fallout. The whole cast is great, and even in the most personal film for Hunt yet, Cruise is still allowed to shine in terms of stunt-work.

With the recent addition of a new popular movies category at the Oscars it feels like a major omission on the Academy's part to leave out a category for best stunts and Fallout is a pretty much a perfect example as to why. Cruise propels himself from one set-piece to another, never slowing down. The climatic set-piece is one of the tensest sequences of the year in a major blockbuster, and you are on edge literally to the very last second of the climax.

The supporting cast are great. Simon Pegg's Benji adds some comic relief as per usual, Ving Rhames plays the always reliable Luther really well, and Rebecca Ferguson kicks ass once more as Elsa Faust, who made such an impression in Rogue Nation. Ferguson is the first leading actress to return in a prominent role in Fallout and she more than makes an impression, slotting back into the series so well you feel like she's been around since the very first film.

McQuarrie never forgets to keep the film entertaining and enjoyable. Whilst regular Mission Impossible viewers will expect face-mask twists by now, they never get old even when they are revealed, and the franchise is self-aware at the Scooby-Doo nature of their inclusion by now, with Walker being the character who frequently looks down on their usage. But at the end of the day - it's a Mission Impossible film, aka, another entry in the best movie franchise apart from Star Wars.

The film takes you on pretty much what amounts to a tour of several key places in Europe. We get to go to Paris and London for two of the film's main set-pieces, with the both setting stage for some memorable chases throughout the streets of the respective capital. Whilst elements of London do feel CGI'd on in favour of squeezing in as many landmarks as possible, and something about the makeup of the city felt off as a former resident, that's only a minor niggle as it doesn't really detract from the experience at all and Fallout is hardly the first film to change geographical settings in favour of a more streamlined plot. The Paris chase-sequences are the film's best, as Hunt Jason Bournes his way through traffic on the Champs-Elysee before going the wrong way on the Arc de Triomphe - something that would mean a death sentence for anyone who isn't named Ethan Hunt.

The action never stops. It's literally full throttle for a hundred per cent of the film, and I was on edge from the moment that it started to the moment that it finished. The sheer spectacle of what McQuarrie and cinematographers Rob Hardy and Hugues Espinasse make the film look visually stunning too, arguably the one of the best in the franchise thus so far. It really helps make those set-pieces look all the better to witness.

The fight scenes are clear, well-organized and well-lit. It's easy to see what's going on and they are brutal. Regardless of who's involved (even Benji gets to fight at one point), and they really work wonders. The practical effects around them help them feel all the more immersive too, and this also means that dodgy CGI is hardly a worry.

This is one of those films that is absolutely essential viewing on the biggest screen possible, and I really wish I'd gotten the chance to see this on a bigger screen than I did. By far and away, Mission Impossible: Fallout has all the ingredients to emerge as not just the best blockbuster movie of the year, but also one of the best of the decade.


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