July 31, 2018 – The Mission: Impossible franchise, which started as a modest TV show back in 1966, has entered the Fast and Furious territory of ever-escalating stunts, car chases, sky dives and explosions that are so outrageous they generate laughs instead of suspense.
Clocking in at nearly two and a half hours, I was wondering, by the end, just how much longer they could stretch out that last helicopter chase before it was finally, really, over. This movie certainly delivers plenty of action, and masked men, from beginning to end, but it fell a bit short in terms of fun.
There has been a welcome element of humor in this series of films (this is the sixth film in a series that dates back to 1996) especially since Simon Pegg joined the team as Benji Dunn in Mission: Impossible III. It seemed to me that the humor was a bit more muted in this film than it was, for instance, in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, which is my favorite of the recent films in the series.
The film's highly convoluted plot involves several key characters with hidden agendas, as well as people masquerading as other people. In this respect, it reminded me a bit of the last film in the series, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. In fact, two key characters are carried over from that movie, Solomon Lane (Sean Harris, reprising his role) and Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson, reprising her role).
This time Ethan Hunt (played again by Tom Cruise) and his team are tasked with finding three spheres of plutonium before they can be made into atomic bombs by fanatics who plan to set them off. This mission ends up being a drawn out chase involving car and helicopter chases, fights, negotiations with shady power players, and of course Hunt being framed by the bad guys. This business of framing Hunt happens so often, his superiors shouldn't be surprised, or fooled by this ploy.
A new character in this film is August Walker, played by Henry Cavill (who has played the role of Superman in several recent movies). Walker, a CIA agent, doesn't like the cute tricks employed by the Mission Impossible team. He prefers the brute force approach. Forced to work together, Walker and Hunt clash numerous times. Cavill's acting range seems a bit limited for this role. Also new is government boss Erica Sloan, capably played by veteran actress Angela Bassett (“Black Panther”).
There is a very nice scene near the end of the film which has Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames reprising his role from earlier Mission Impossible films) working with Julia Meade-Hunt (Michelle Monaghan, also reprising her role from earlier Mission Impossible films) in one of the movie's key scenes. The personal side of some characters is shown in this scene, but very little of this shows up in the rest of the film. I would have liked to have William Brandt (played by Jeremy Renner) in this film, but he was missing in action.
Chances are, if you liked Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, you'll like this one, because it is very similar. I liked Ghost Protocol more than either Rogue Nation or Fallout. This film rates a C+. It delivers the action, but the story isn't all that compelling and the characters are a bit thin.
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