Impossible James Bourne Movie Review
By David Josselyn
In an industry flooded with sequels, here comes another one. “Mission Impossible – Fallout: is the sixth installment in the MI series, but it is also said to be the final movie. If you remember the television show, “Mission Impossible,” from the sixties and seventies, then you may be one who, like me, thinks the movies have lost the original intent and appeal of the show: getting a mission that seems near impossible, developing a plan, executing the plan, and carrying it off with minimal loss of life and effort in some cleverfake-out of the enemy. The Tom Cruise movies honor the series, but then add elements that were not originally present. Indeed, this newest movie feels like a mash-up of three different series: Mission Impossible, James Bond, and Jason Bourne.
Ethan Hunt, played by Tom Cruise (“Top Gun,” “Edge of Tomorrow”), and his team are challenged to retrieve three stolen spheres of plutonium that are about to be sold to the highest bidder on the black market. The team almost succeeds, but in saving the life of teammate Luther, played by Ving Rhames (“Con Man,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2”), Ethan loses track of the plutonium and the mission is unsuccessful. Now Ethan, Luther, and Benji, played by Simon Pegg (“Star Trek,” “Shaun of the Dead”), have to unravel the subterfuge of the Syndicate to retrieve the plutonium before it’s combined with the required elements of a nuclear bomb and the balance of world power shifts from freedom to chaos.
The Bourne movies feature an ex-spy who is on the run from the government while trying to piece together who framed him and figure out how to clear his name. Much of Fallout was the Impossible Mission Force (IMF) on the run from the government while trying to piece together who framed Ethan and figuring out how to clear his name. There is a feeling of desperation trying to stay alive, instead of a smart plan being carried out.
The Bond movies feature a spy sent on a dangerous mission by himself developing a plan to complete his mission on the fly. Much of Fallout was Ethan Hunt running solo and developing a plan to complete his mission on the fly. Due to sabotage or by design, he is often separated from his team and working without their support.
For the MI fans out there, there are at least two scenes in which the IMF fakes-out their enemies with a cleverly executed plan. Hooray!
Stunts. Tom Cruise once again is doing his own stunts and with each successive movie, he tries to outdo himself. The stunts are amazing; even more so considering Cruise missed a jump while filming and fractured his ankle. The footage was so good, they chose to keep it in the movie, and you may catch the pained expression on his face that has nothing to do with acting.
Music. The familiar MI theme is interwoven in the movie along with some great action-style heart-pounding music. No new themes were introduced in this movie, but the score complimented the action well.
Scenery. With today’s green screen technology, more producers are utilizing the process which saves money, time, and hassle. Fallout was filmed on-location in England, Norway, New Zealand, and France. Sure, they use green screen, too, but the live shots helped give the film a real feel. The plot didn’t take the characters to a couple of those countries, but it was a decent substitute for the locations in the story. Green screen still has a fake feel to it and I am glad they did not use a lot of it.
Mustache. Henry Cavill (“Sand Castle,” “Man of Steel”), plays English spy August Walker who sports a now infamous mustache that had to be digitally edited out of “Justice League” in which Cavill plays Superman. The digital editing job was so noticeable, it distracted from the film and has become a joke, so it is nice to see the real hairy-do in Mission Impossible.
Plot. This movie seems to be recycling some things we’ve seen in prior MI movies and becomes predictable. As someone who watches a lot of movies, perhaps I’ve just caught on to the traditional story-telling devices of scriptwriters and have grown weary of the same plot devices. Other people I’ve talked to did not notice and really enjoyed the film.
Not Mission Impossible. As a fan of the television series (reruns, people, I’m not that old), I still hold a grudge against the 1996 movie making the character of Jim Phelps turn against his country for nothing more than money. If I could only get past that, I might enjoy these movies more, but that is my personal fallibility.
No Renner. The character of William Brandt, one of Hunt’s trusted team members played by Jeremy Renner (“Avengers 4,” “Arrival”), is not in the film due to conflicts with filming a certain Marvel product. Bummer.
“Mission Impossible – Fallout” is a very entertaining action film that seldom slows down and reflects on the consequences of our choices; sometimes valuing one life can endanger or cheapen the lives of thousands. Is the sacrifice of an individual to save thousands worthwhile? As a modern spy movie, it was done effectively with a level of excellence through individual determination and technology. The movie builds on the actions of prior Mission Impossible movies and is more meaningful if you have seen the others. It is rated PG-13 for violence and intense sequences of action and for brief strong language but is not overly scary for the younger crowd. It does not engage the brain as much as it should, but still could get a little confusing if you don’t keep up. I rate the film four and half out of five shots of Tom Cruise running.
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