RATING: 4 out of 5
If there ever was a fountain of youth, it could very well be that Tom Cruise has found it and hasn’t told anyone about it. In the latest installment to the Mission Impossible series, Cruise scales the cliff sides of the fjords in Norway, runs (as is the case with any Cruise movie, there’s a lot of running involved) and leaps on the rooftops of London’s central business district, weaves through traffic on a motorcycle in the busy streets of Paris, and hangs on to a rope for dear life while being towed by a helicopter.
Mission Impossible: Fallout, the sixth installment from the series that first came out 22 years ago is easily the most entertaining and action-packed film that Tom Cruise has made in his long and storied career. The action is absolutely relentless and the stunts are jaw-droppingly intense. I seriously doubt that you’ll see a better action film this year that doesn’t include Thanos.
In the film, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and the IMF team join forces with CIA agent August Walker (Henry Cavill) to prevent a disaster of epic proportions when rogue agent Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) takes possession of three plutonium cores. Lane, along with a terrorist group called the apostles, plan to plunge the world into chaos by simultaneously blowing up nuclear bombs at the Vatican, Jerusalem, and Mecca. Racing against time, it’s up to Ethan Hunt and his crew to retrieve the bombs and save the world.
While the charming ensemble cast deliver great performances, there’s no denying that it’s Tom Cruise that carries this franchise on his shoulders. With his last Oscar nomination 18 years behind him, it seems like Cruise is determined to establish himself as one of the best action stars of all time. I mean sure, kayang tirisin na parang garapata ni The Rock yung ulo ni Tom Cruise. But when it comes to his craft as an action star, there’s no one as maniacal as Tom Cruise. There’s a scene in the movie where he’s hanging from a flying helicopter and he’s pulling himself up a rope na parang flying palo-sebo. It’s absolutely insane to know that he’s doing that for real. His insistence to do his own stunts is what makes every entry in this franchise crazier than the last one. It also lends an intensity that you can’t recreate with CGI no matter how big the explosions.
(I’m looking at you Fast and Furious series! Narealize niyo bang sila Vin Diesel nagnanakaw lang ng DVD player sa unang Fast and the Furious movie pero recently nagnanakaw na sila ng nuclear warhead? I-aasa mo ba talaga ang kapalaran ng sangkatauhan sa kalbong lalaking laging naka-sando?)
Credit should go to director Christopher McQuarrie and cinematographer Rob Hardy. The film is beautifully shot, especially if you see it on IMAX. The action scenes are coherent, you won’t get lost in all the debris and explosions and you can actually keep track of what’s going on despite all the chaos.
But like most of the Mission Impossible movies in the past, the plot can get convoluted and “Fallout” is no different. Go to the bathroom at the wrong time and you might miss a major plot twist that will leave you confused on what the objectives of the chess pieces really are. There are also a few things in the movie that seems like they were purposely put there just to serve the plot or to showcase an action sequence. For instance, there’s a part in the movie where Cruise and Cavill paradrop into Paris because the enemy supposedly has spies everywhere. (Okay, sure.) It doesn’t really seem like it would be the most logical thing to do but it does give director Christopher McQuarrie an excuse to give us a thrilling paradrop sequence. In the helicopter chase scene, there’s a payload for which Cruise can climb up to even though it makes zero sense for it to be there. In one of the pivotal parts of the film, the villain whips out a picture of Ethan Hunt’s wife for no real reason. Ibig sabihin dala dala niya lang yun sa bulsa niya all this time?! While it might seem like nitpicking to some, scenes like these just take you out of it a bit.
All these flaws tend to be forgiven because of how great an action movie Mission Impossible: Fallout is. Simply put, the movie is what you get when a blockbuster action film is done right. And although it won’t seem like it from watching the movie, at 56 years old it’s hard to imagine Tom Cruise being able to do movies like this in the coming years. It’s really the stunts that sets this movie apart from all other action films; this almost maniacal obsession of Tom Cruise to do his own stunts is what makes these MI movies great. Hopefully he still has at least 2 or 3 of these movies in him because they are immensely entertaining. Just remember that the next time you see Cruise hanging on for dear life from a Boeing 747, he’s doing it for you.
God bless your crazy ass, Tom Cruise.
And just to show you how insane the stunts in the movie are let me leave you with this video. INSANE.
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT is now out in cinemas.
All photos courtesy of Paramount Pictures.