With Tom Cruise favourite, and writer and director of the last IMF outing, Christopher McQuarrie behind the computer and cameras once again, we’re off jet setting around the world once more.
This time, Cruise and co, that’s Simon Pegg (“Terminal“, “Ready Player One“), Ving Rhames (“Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2“, “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation“), Rebecca Ferguson (“Life“, “The Greatest Showman”) and Alec Bladwin (“The Boss Baby“, “Still Alice“), are on the hunt for some nuclear weapons.
Actually, that’s not true, it’s easy to find the plutonium for the weapons, but Cruise loses it to a gang of mercenaries and has to track it down once more which brings him face-to-face with the White Widow, Vanessa Kirby (“The Crown (TV)”, “Kill Command”), who acts as a go-between in matters such as these.
The Widow doesn’t want money though, good lord no, that would be far too easy. Instead she wants Solomon Lane, Sean Harris (“’71”, “Prometheus“), who is currently in French custody as he gets passed around country-to-country whilst they try to make him talk.
Thrown into all this is Mr Moustache himself, Henry Cavill (“Justice League“, “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.“), who, not content with starring in the “other” IMF-style franchise from a by-gone era, has decided to throw his weight into this one as well.
He plays a CIA agent who tags along with the rest of the IMF crew, they have little choice in the matter, to find and bring home the dangerous stuff.
Obviously, none of this goes to plan, and so we get motorbike chases, car chases, helicopter chases, gun battles, knife fights, fist fights and so much more to bring this all to a conclusion.
Let’s start with the good: McQuarrie has brought his a-game to the party here. The direction is superb and his use of IMAX is simply fantastic. There’s shades of James Gunn in Guardians Vol. 2 but that’s no bad thing.
Couple this with some of the action sequences and they pop and leap from the screen in amazing ways. The only way to watch this film is in IMAX 3D, the latter used to great effect, as it makes all the difference.
A couple of scenes in particular stand out; the skydiving scene with Cruise and Cavill, the break-Solomon-Lane-free scene in the water is truly wonderful and the helicopter chase scene which you may well have seen bits of already.
Also, the bathroom fighting scene involving Liang Yang, who is usually a stunt man, is absolutely remarkable. As someone who has been watching martial arts films all his life, Yang is someone who has passed me by but, my god, that guy can move! He is as quick as they come and some of the moves he pulls are astonishing, I hope we see more of him.
The acting is all good, no-one stands out like a sore-thumb, they all perform their roles admirably. Can’t say I’m entirely happy that Rhames and Pegg seem to get pushed to the back more on this one but I guess you can’t have everything.
So, that’s it then. All good right? Right? Well, I’d love to say yes but sadly, whilst the directing is wonderful, the actions sequences glorious and the acting all good, the story is pure Hollywood action movie circa 1990.
We have all the usual clichés: cars as fast as motorbikes in chase sequences (they’re not), bad guys get away from bullets at the most opportune moments – despite the good guys managing to kill everyone else with single shots, French police electing to transfer a prisoner in convoy through a tunnel, not sending the motorcycles on ahead and a classic British Transit Van with registration plates from I don’t know where, but certainly not London, where they are.
If this sounds like nit-picking then maybe, but keep in mind, Mission: Impossible – Fallout is just shy of 2.5 hours long, all the nice IMAX action sequences still need something to pull it all together and this is where it falls down.
The storyline is so obvious, the double-agent is so obvious, the person on the motorbike in black leathers is so obvious, you’ve guessed the story before you’re an hour in, then you have to wait for the film to catch-up for the reveal, which you already know.
It’s a real shame as everything else is truly wonderful, Mission: Impossible – Fallout is a visual feast for the eyes, particularly in IMAX. Shame they didn’t spend as much time on the story.