The Mission Impossible franchise is kind of…well, a weird one. I thought the first one was okay…but the second film was a mess. J.J. Abrams streamlined things a bit and made an improvement with the third film. Brad Bird and Christopher McQuarrie directed the fourth and fifth installments…and these turned out to be the most entertaining films of the franchise. With the sixth film, Fallout, McQuarrie is the first director to return to the franchise.
The actions of the previous film have had an impact on the world terrorism scene. Ethan, Luthor and Benji lost weapons grade plutonium on a mission, and their attempt at cleanup ends up being overseen by the CIA who assign their top agent and assassin Walker to join the IMF. Angela Bassett’s Erika Sloane states that the IMF is like a scalpel, but she prefers a hammer.
Full of twists and turns, McQuarrie keeps the action going and strives to avoid being to predictable, though some of the tropes of the franchise seem unavoidable. Nobody stops the secret weapon five minutes before the countdown will end…because where is the drama in that?
Cruise does not show any signs of quitting, and he manages to keep up a convincing performance as an action hero within the franchise. Hunt is portrayed as the guy who has the small picture in mind allowing his higher ups focus on the bigger picture. Two different characters inform Ethan that he pretty much cares about the individual lives so they don’t have to.
Cruise, Rhames and Pegg have good comedic chemistry and play well together as a team. He and Rebecca Ferguson have a good tension, but thankfully, Ilsa continues to have an agency beyond a potential love interest. The film manages to make every character feel pretty important, and saving the day falls on all of their shoulders.
I really enjoyed the film…but here is my one caveat regarding the Mission:Impossible Franchise. I have enjoyed the films…but find them hard to remember. I remember I liked them. I just do not really remember much about them later. I wonder if Fallout will continue this trend.