Action movies have always been big summer draws for the box office. The trend didn’t slow down with the surge in superhero films, many of which fall into the action movie genre. When the Mission: Impossible franchise made a triumphant return in 1996, it felt like new life was given to the genre. Action star Tom Cruise helped make the five Mission: Impossible films feel like unique experiences at the box office. Now, with the sixth Mission: Impossible movie finally here, it doesn’t really bring anything new to the table.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout is the definition of an action movie. In fact, it feels as though writer/director Christopher McQuarrie had a checklist of action tropes that he checked off as he wrote the script. While there are some big action sequences that certainly feel unique within the action movie genre, there are no real surprises throughout the film. Everything you expect to happen will probably happen.
A vast majority of the cast in Fallout are returning veterans to the Mission: Impossible franchise. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is back in action with his IMF team consisting of Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg). Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) is back as the leader of the IMF, while Erica Sloan (Angela Bassett) returns as the head of the CIA. By Sloan’s side is one of the few newcomers to the franchise, CIA agent August Walker (Henry Cavill). Even a familiar villain is back with the return of Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), and a newcomer, White Widow (Vanessa Kirby).
While much of Fallout references previous films and characters, the movie does a decent job of explaining the importance of these characters and events. You won’t need to be a Mission: Impossible expert to follow the events of Fallout. Ethan Hunt is tasked with retrieving three plutonium cores that could be used to power nuclear weapons. The CIA no longer has faith in Hunt and the IMF, so they send their own agent with the IMF team to make sure everything goes smoothly. Action ensues with various degrees of trust and betrayal.
In a time when Marvel is mixing up the action genre with unique take after unique take, just hitting the main tropes of the genre isn’t enough. Marvel has a set formula, but many of their movies are unique and mostly unpredictable. Mission: Impossible has a similar formula, with each movie offering a familiar experience, but typically featuring enough uniqueness to make them compelling cinematic experiences. Fallout relies far too much on an action movie checklist and fails to really elevate the genre or the franchise to new heights.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout is a decent action film, but for some people that won’t be enough. There are a few notable action sequences that truly stand out, but it’s not enough to make Fallout the best Mission: Impossible movie, let alone one of the best action films. If you’re only looking for big action and spectacle, Mission: Impossible – Fallout absolutely provides that. However, if you want something more from an action movie, if you want something that will surprise you and keep you on your toes for two hours, you won’t find that here.
About Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Synopsis: Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, along with some familiar allies, race against time after a mission gone wrong.
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Writer: Christopher McQuarrie
Stars: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg
Runtime: 2 Hours, 27 Minutes