Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF mates (Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Alec Baldwin) are back with Mission: Impossible – Fallout. the great news is Director/writer Christopher McQuarrie, who helmed Cruise in the first rate Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and Jack Reacher, is behind the camera, and his top notch skills are on full display. Years ago McQuarrie penned the script for The Usual Suspects, and his adept touch at crafting twisty narratives is well suited for the M:I franchise.

Hunt’s nemesis Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), though imprisoned, continues to hold power thanks to three plutonium bombs that need to be retrieved. The IMF’s goal is to retrieve the bombs before they detonate, and as usual their mission has friction from the government, as CIA operative August Walker (a buff and ready to slug it out Henry Cavill) joins the team with his own agenda at the insistence of his boss (Angela Bassett). Scene stealer Rebecca Ferguson returns as Ilsa, and like before her true motivations are unclear. The Crown actress Vanessa Kirby is thrown in for good measure as the White Widow, a powerful middle person who may hold the key to the IMF’s ultimate success or doom. 

The Paris and London locales are the backdrops from several of the movie’s stunning and immersive action sequences, while the climactic sequence serves as a slight nod to the second M:I flick. At 56, Cruise doesn’t look any worse for wear, even if he was seriously injured during the London building to building jump. To give away any other plot details would lead us into spoiler territory, and the only clue I’ll share is that Hunt’s personal life, and not just the actual mission, is given a ton of attention this go round.

While Brian De Palma’s Mission: Impossible was wonderful at delivering the double cross and intrigue (plus who could forget that train sequence?), Fallout is actually the most well rounded of the series. It’s great to see Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg fully engaged in the mission, and this time around Hunt is not just the star of the show, he’s really part of the team. Hunt’s taped messages may destruct in several seconds, but the franchise is currently at its peak, with no “fallout” in sight.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout opens July 27.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi