ONCE ridiculed for bizarrely leaping onto Oprah’s couch, Tom Cruise has redeemed himself in the Mission: Impossible series, leaping from rooftops and skyscrapers and on to airborne planes and helicopters.
The outlandish stunts and action sequences have been the highlight of this now 22-year-old franchise (based on the television series) that is six films deep.
When daredevil with a heart Ethan Hunt’s (Tom Cruise) attempt to take possession of black market plutonium fails, CIA chief Erica Sloan (Angela Bassett) puts brawny August Walker (Henry Cavill) on his team to supervise the mission.
The mission brings villain Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), friend or foe Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) and former fiance Julia Meade-Hunt (Michelle Monaghan) back into his life and with them some moral dilemmas.
While the first three films were distinguishable due to the directors’ styles (Brian De Palma, John Woo and J.J. Abrams respectively), Fallout seems to blend stylistically with the previous two instalments.
Without any stylistic progression, this feels very familiar, despite the hair-raising action sequences which do manage to one-up some that we have seen in the previous films.
The three-man bathroom punch up between Cavill, Cruise and Liang Yang is thrilling and the climactic 30 minutes are genuinely exciting, but there are long stretches of uninspired, surprise-less twists and dialogue-heavy scenes.
It is the longest Mission: Impossible film so far without deserving to be.
Always exuding a sense of humour about itself, there is a cheeky nod to Cruise’s often discussed running with an extensive foot chase shot with lingering shots of Cruise just running at breakneck speed.
Perhaps the next film’s mission should be to find a director that can shake this franchise up a bit.THE ESSENTIALS
Mission: Impossible – Fallout (M)
Directed by: Christopher McQuarrie
Starring: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames
Three and a half stars
Review by Julian Wright
In cinemas now