Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise), Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames), and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) must track down some missing plutonium before it falls into the hands of an organized crime ring known as The Apostles. Just as they think they have secured the plutonium, the mission takes a turn for the worse. With the plutonium missing again, Ethan and his team must find a way to complete their mission. As they head off for a second shot, Erica Sloane (Angela Bassett), the new head of the CIA, insists that August Walker (Henry Cavill), one of her agents, must accompany them to make sure they don’t lose the plutonium a second time.
The search leads Ethan to a woman known as the White Widow (Vanessa Kirby), who is in possession of the plutonium. Ethan must prove himself to the White Widow including a plan involving former MI6 agent Solomon Lane (Sean Harris). When Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) shows up in the middle of the mission, things get complicated. With the fate of the world at stake, Ethan and his team must act quickly to stop the terrorists before they get their hands on the plutonium.
We are now six movies into the Mission: Impossible series. This deep into a franchise, it would be easy to get lazy and complacent with the movies. Not many franchises can keep up this level of stamina. Mission: Impossible – Fallout, however, finds a way to not only keep things going, it somehow kicks it up a notch or two.
Tom Cruise is 56. Let that sink in for a minute. The stunts that Cruise performs in this movie are absolutely insane. Whether it’s a rooftop jump, racing a motorcycle through traffic, a HALO jump, or falling from a helicopter, Cruise shows no fear. And he can act. Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, and Alec Baldwin make up Ethan’s M:I team. Each brings their own style to their character, with Pegg providing some of the movies funnier moments. Henry Cavill is the no-nonsense CIA agent who is basically the Anti-Hunt. He is a formidable presence both physically and mentally. It isn’t just the men who get in on the action. Rebecca Ferguson reprises her role as MI6 agent Ilsa Faust. She isn’t afraid to get into the fray, mixing it up with the men on-screen. Vanessa Kirby is ruthless and cunning and finds a way to get what she wants. Altogether, it is a solid cast.
While the story is a bit predictable, it doesn’t detract from the film. It serves as brief interludes between the intense action scenes and gives the movie a reason to be. Speaking of the action scenes, they come fast and furious and rarely let up. Things move at breakneck speed, barely giving you a chance to catch your breath before moving on to the next. All of them expertly choreographed and filmed, many time eliciting gasps from fellow audience members. The practical effects used in the film give it an authenticity you just don’t get from the heavily CGI enhanced shots you see in most movies these days.
Just shy of two and a half hours, Mission: Impossible – Fallout is a beast of a movie. (Though nearly 30 minutes of it seems to be Tom Cruise running through Paris.) Fortunately, the pacing of the action keeps things moving enough that it doesn’t really feel overly long. It is a high-adrenaline, edge of your seat action movie that makes spy movies fun again. Definitely see it in the theater, as a smaller screen won’t do it justice. I do recommend rewatching Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation to catch up on where everyone fits in. If you don’t, no worries, it will all come back to you quickly enough.