Impossibly the best

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 28 Jul 2018 12:12:15



By Farina Salim Quraishi,

Mission: Impossible - Fallout

Going by the headcount Mission: Impossible - Fallout is the sixth edition in the long-standing Mission: Impossible (MI) series; and by all accounts (Hollywood’s penchant for vapid reboots included) should’ve been a listless rehash of the edgy thrills of the MI world, which have enchanted generations of spy sagas. Predictably enough, Fallout - much like other MI movies - begins with a signature cliffhanger of a beginning, it then, surprisingly, ups the ante and charts out a distinctly engaging path for itself. Much to audiences delight the standout line in the film, “Same old Ethan…,” doesn’t hold true for Fallout, which is packed to rafters with adrenaline-pumping action. Sure IMF’s star agent is old and even greying around the edges this time round, but same and generic is something Ethan Hunt is definitely not.

Picking up the piece after having exposed The Syndicate, a global criminal organisation and Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) in London; Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has a new mission, should he chose to accept it. And to our delight he does. The remaining members of The Syndicate have regrouped under a new name - The Apostles - but continue to adhere to the same agenda that global peace can only be achieved through great suffering.

The Apostles are attempting to acquire plutonium for nuclear bombs. Ethan and his team while attempting to stop them, by buying the plutonium themselves, are unprepared for the ambush by The Apostles. The mission is blotched and the plutonium cores fall into The Apostles’ hand.

Hunt chalks out a plan to retrieve the bombs, but is stopped by CIA. Its boss Erica Sloane (Angela Bassett) has little trust for either Hunt or IMF and want to do things her way. She want CIA’s agent August Walker (Henry Cavill), who has been hunting down The Apostles for two years, to be part of the new mission and take tough calls; something which Hunt is unable to do! With Walker in tow and plutonium out in the open, Ethan must take on the ‘Mission Impossible’ with time fast running out.

Fallout is easily the best addition in the series which, since its reboot with the spectacular, Ghost Protocol (2011), have only gone from strength to strength, the long time-span of the franchise notwithstanding. More of a sequel to Rogue Nation (2015) than a regular standalone adventure, Fallout raises the bar by a mile as it hits the ground running from the word go. Serving all loved aspects of MI franchise liberally - car chases, fist fights, rooftop races and helicopter pursuit- and some more, Fallout is also backed by a plot which is not entirely idiotic!

Returning to MI series, writer and director Christopher McQuarrie knows his brief and raises the stakes to an impossibly high, creating new obstacles and taking action across the globe, literally too.  The twists and turns are back with force as well, effectively ‘masking’ most permutations and assumptions. The humour too keeps cresting throughout the film, as franchise regulars Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames bring on the laughs with their one-liners and good-natured squabbling

Also, Simon Pegg was not exaggerating when he said that Tom Cruise gave his all in the action sequences of Fallout! The action is brutal, gasp-inducing and superbly choreographed. Just when one thinks the action couldn’t get any more heart-stopping, out comes another vertigo-inducing sequence.  To top it all, the spectacular stunts do not feel fake! The touch of reality in the stunts seamlessly meshed with CGI makes the relentless action exhilarating. So be it the nerve-wrecking motorbike ride, with Hunt sticking out his leg more than once to balance the bike, or the Olympic-fast foot chase through and above London, where the strain and stress of exertion make Tom Cruise’s veins stand out, it is the practical touches which make the stunts shine strong.

Fallout is not Tom Cruise’s mission alone, other players too get a decent shot at spotlight and action as well. Right from the Super(man) new addition, Henry Cavill to a handful of old faces including Hunley (Alec Baldwin) and Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), all leave a mark. Despite the shared attention, there is little denying the blinding charm and charisma Tom Cruise brings to the role. Returning confidently as the indestructible secret agent, Cruise plays Hunt with enthusiasm that hasn’t lessened in the 22 years he’s been playing it. As soon as that familiar music starts, he’s off like a shot, running, jumping and flying like there is no tomorrow.

Fallout also makes a great point of building upon Ethan’s greatest weakness that incidentally is also his strength; never disregarding a life for greater good. The emotional arch lends a lot of heft to Hunt’s character, effectively making him a humane hero - with feet of clay of course - but one who is entirely relatable! Cruise's dynamic bond with Cavill is the film’s highlight and their showdowns are simply fantastic! Superbly sculpted Cavill is more than a match for the ageing Ethan haunted by his past mistakes and imbalance in the equation further ups the tension.

Though a moustachioed Cavill brings a lot of muscle to the role, he fails to bring in the heart. Keeping a straight face for better part of his role, Cavill pales in front of the all heart and soul outing of Tom Cruise. With a truckload of twists, turns and the whole rainbow of death-defying stunts, one will game for more as soon as Fallout credits roll. But with more than a fair touch of finality about Fallout, it is time faithful fans step in and strap up for what could possibly be Mission: Impossible - Ultimate.

The Hitavada Rating: O O O