The MISSION IMPOSSIBLE series of films is an undeniable hit. Any series of films that can make it to six films qualifies. They’ve been able to do so with a continuing cast, adding members as they’ve gone along says a lot about the team behind the movies. That they’ve been able to go this far and continue to make exciting action packed films that don’t play to the lowest common denominator is something to be proud of. This week the sixth film in the series, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT makes its way to disc and odds are it will be this week’s hot rental.
At the end of the previous installment (MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION) Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team were able to track down and capture Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) the man they felt was tip of the iceberg for a group known as The Syndicate, a criminal consortium many in intelligence didn’t believe existed. With Lane in custody that attitude changed and so did the Syndicate. With his capture the group is now a rogue terrorist group called the Apostles.
As the film opens Hunt is on a mission to buy 3 plutonium cores in Berlin. With Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) on his team he is caught off guard when the Apostles take Luther hostage. To save his life Hunt allows the plutonium to leave his hands and a new mission is assembled to track down nuclear weapons expert Nils Debruuk, a man who designed nuclear devices for John Lark. They do so in the hopes of using him to find Lark, a man they are certain has plans for those devises and the plutonium.
CIA Director Erica Sloane (Angela Bassett) is not pleased with this turn of events. In an effort to rein in the IMF team and save face she assigns Special Activities Director agent August Walker (Henry Cavill) to shadow Hunt and his team every step of the way. As the team shifts into gear to take on a different challenge their mission changes from moment to moment as new players enter the arena. When one contact they are supposed to meet is killed they set out after the killer, the mission morphing into something new.
Along the way the team encounters MI6 agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) who we met in the previous film. But is she there to help or to hinder them? Cross, double crosses and triple crosses are found throughout the film and it isn’t until the final 30 minutes or so that we know just who is responsible for what and what they then intend to do. Needless to say it isn’t something good and is in fact devastating for the world. But isn’t that always the case in these films?
The movie is an action packed thrill ride from start to finish. But it’s not just those action fueled moments that make the film work on various levels. The movie works because it’s smart and has a deep story behind it. It works because you find yourself caring for the characters we’ve come to know and love in the course of six films. It works because it combines the action and intelligent story with humor and emotions, a difficult mix at best and one that they seem to accomplish with ease.
Cruise continues to show why he’s one of today’s top stars. He has a charisma about him that is undeniable. He also seems to have found that fountain of youth in his appearance that only Dick Clark seemed privy to. Still insistent on doing many of his own stunts he broke his ankle doing one of these, a painful item to watch is you go looking for it. In an interview the cast members when asked what he did after it happened said he got up and continued walking on it until the shot was done.
The rest of the cast is amazingly comfortable in their roles as well. Pegg remains the comic relief and does it well. Rhames is the tech wizard who cares more about his friend than many realize. Ferguson shows that she is worthy of being on the team and let’s hope she remains there if the series continues. And Cavill shows that he can handle a role other than Superman and do a solid job of it.
I’ve found I’ve been able to watch and re-watch all of the movies in the series and know I will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. They’re never tiring and always guarantee a good night’s film to watch. This one is no different. The only problem with the film is the same problem the others had. It ends and leaves you wanting more. So let’s hope that the success of this film ignites the spark for them to carry on. If James Bond can reach double digits then why not Ethan Hunt?