Review: Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

PLOT: After a mission gone wrong, Ethan Hunt and his team must track down a dangerous element that will lead to worldwide devastation.

REVIEW: After watching Tom Cruise climb the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, it is hard to imagine he could possibly top that incredible stunt. Well, that was way back in 2011 with the exceptional MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL. And now, after taking on the latest in the franchise, you almost have to wonder if there is anything that the man wouldn’t do. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT is a massively entertaining new chapter in the series, one that brings Cruise’s Ethan Hunt and his team a new villain with even deadlier intentions. Christopher McQuarrie once again takes on directorial duties and places Mr. Cruise in some of the most jaw-dropping scenarios you’ve witnessed on-screen. In fact, the last hour or so is a relentlessly-paced adventure that will more than satisfy fans of this consistently entertaining franchise.

After making a choice to save his team, Ethan Hunt (Cruise) loses a briefcase loaded with plutonium. Thus, Ethan, Luther (Ving Rhames) and Benji (Simon Pegg) find themselves working to recover it. However, they are forced to bring along CIA Agent August Walker (Henry Cavill), who instantly clashes with Hunt. The team is led to a mysterious woman known only as the “White Widow” (Vanessa Kirby) who claims she can return the missing items. However, her only price is that they help recover a valuable asset; Solomon Lane (Sean Harris). Hunt soon finds that he is not the only one looking for Lane, when Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) returns, seemingly with an entirely different agenda. It all leads to an epic finale that somehow manages to top the previous entires.

The MI franchise continues to soar to new heights and I mean that both figuratively and literally. When it comes to action, the level of suspense and thrills here is astounding, as incredible as what has come before, yet on an even grander scale. If you can find even a couple of fantastic action sequences in a feature film, most audiences will be more than satisfied. FALLOUT is loaded with them. This includes a brilliant fist fight that breaks out in a restroom. If memory serves it may be one of the most brutal in the series as well. Watching Cavill and Cruise duke it out with Liang Yang is impressive enough. If you add a little humor, it is easily one of the best in a movie filled with intense action sequences.

Another one of the most impressive moments in the film happens after a recovery attempt gone wrong. We’ve certainly seen Tom Cruise on a motorcycle a number of times, but this particular chase scene in Paris is one for the books. While it is certainly risky for the actor to handle his own stunts, he continues to raise the bar. Watching him take on all the stunt work brings real jeopardy to the series. In fact, I’m shocked that he only broke his ankle during filming what was, ironically, one of the more simple stunts in the film. Of course that exact shot is the one the used in the film, and you can certainly see – and perhaps even feel – the moment it breaks.

The masterpiece of FALLOUT, of course, is the last hour or so, when all secrets are revealed and the final battle plays out. From an awe-inspiring helicopter chase to scaling a massive cliff, McQuarrie has gone all out with creating what may be the best in the franchise. However, I may have to revisit GHOST PROTOCOL before that is official. Either way, McQuarrie and Cruise appear to have perfected this incredible series. The stunt work is beyond exceptional and it’s always welcome to see Cruise, Rhames and Pegg working together. And then you have Rebecca Ferguson, who once again steals nearly every scene she is in. The chemistry between her and Cruise is simply fantastic.

As much as I admired FALLOUT, there are a couple of very slight issues. One involves a twist that you can see coming nearly the second the credits roll. So much so that I found myself questioning whether it was actually supposed to be a surprise. And while I did enjoy Henry Cavill as the film progressed, his performance felt a bit flat early on. That said, his intense physical presence added an extra layer once the story begins to play out. And while it may be brief, anytime you can get Angela Bassett to kick somebody around, you’ve made a fine decision. In addtion to that, you have the stunning Vanessa Kirby who gives FALLOUT a little extra intrigue with her mysterious and sultry “White Widow." 

Seeing this is IMAX as I did, you may just have a perfect movie-going experience.Technically speaking, FALLOUT is a visually stunning work thanks to cinematographer Rob Hardy and McQuarrie. Certainly, the action set pieces are some of the best we’ve seen in the franchise, yet even the quieter moments shine. When Hunt realizes that Faust is following him, it is a beautiful sequence that represents some of the best romanticized stalk and follow sequences this side of Hitchcock.

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MISSION IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT is a monumental success in an already impressive franchise. This latest chapter has everything that makes MI work, yet it feels as though they have gone even farther with the wondrous action sequences. Aside from the previously mentioned obvious twist, the screenplay by McQuarrie is top notch as are his directorial duties. Once again, you'll find that this is a terrific cast on a whirlwind adventure, one that rarely lets up. There is much to admire about FALLOUT, but you may be exhausted when the end credits roll. And of course, Tom Cruise once again brings Ethan Hunt to life. This isn’t just a great action flick, it is likely the most thrillingly exciting film of the year.


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JimmyO is one of’s longest-tenured writers, with him reviewing movies and interviewing celebrities since 2007 as the site’s Los Angeles correspondent.