director: Christopher McQuarrie
writer: Christopher McQuarrie
starring: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames and Rebecca Ferguson
genre: Action | Adventure | Spy
released: 27 July 2018 (USA), 2 August 2018 (Australia & Germany), 30 August 2018 (Greece)
'Mission: Impossible' has been Tom Cruise's baby for a while now and its become without a doubt the United States version of James Bond. What both of these series had originally in common, was that previous story threads as a general rule were never utilized for their next film. The 'James Bond' series finally corrected that with the Daniel Craig films and here writer-director Christopher McQuarrie takes full advantage of the continuity created before him and his own, and to make the best of it by tangling things together in such an effortless way that fans of the series should surely enjoy and devour the continuing story and action scenes created.
In the previous film, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his 'IMF' team managed to take down the notorious Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), leader of the anarchist terrorist group called the 'Syndicate'. Their actions didn't lead to the vanishment of the group, but instead to the restructuring and advancement of them into the organization known as the 'Apostles'. This group's mission is again to bring down the global status quo and bring forth a new peace through suffering. Ethan with his team will be the ones again capable of taking the group down, but with the extra help of new friends and old as things turn out to be more complicated and secretive than they first expected.
It's amazing how from one film to the next your mind can easily change on a series due to a few simple changes. 'Rogue Nation' was a decent action flick, but it was just more of something we had experienced a few times over and maybe looking back I was harsher than needed in my review of it, but a point was needed to be made. However, this film followed in what the previous films had already accomplished and also upped the ante in certain areas (mainly stunts), but understood as well that a personal connection was needed with the characters again and that this could only come from the return of a main villain and the domino effect of his return bringing along old familiar faces in new roles and naturally many surprise twists and turns.
Primarily, (SPOILERS) this comes with the involvement of both the main villain of the previous film Lane, that has big plans again for Hunt and the IMF, while also Isla who happens to have a connection with Hunt (in a way is the female Hunt) and a perfect partner for him as we see in the film. Retaining both her and Lane in this new film brings one old dynamic of revenge on multiple fronts, while also bringing new dynamics that shall not be mentioned as that would be MAJOR SPOILERS territory. But, these little twists and character appearances work flawlessly, meaning they are believable and I wouldn't say are that much of a stretch. Naturally, within a world that has magic face-mask making technology. Remember, you have to put things into perspective. Not only, its one one of few times in the series where Ethan Hunt's character seems scared and worried again of what is to come. This in turn does bring doubt to his team and only gets worse with how deep their mission goes down the criminal and terrorist underworld.
Moving on, the film would be nothing without Tom Cruise and his insane need to prove to himself that he's still got it. He is, love him or hate him an impressive professional and a great producer as also an actor. As mentioned in the prologue this series has been his baby and its retained its charm throughout the years without issue and having a steady box office film after film. Here again, with his production team they come up with some outstanding stunts and sequences that are jaw dropping while also a couple of homages to past 'Mission: Impossible' set pieces, which I don't know if were on purpose or accidental, whichever way they did work. Tom Cruise also for all this stunt work is also a great actor in his own right and handles the spy game fare exceptionally as always. He also does have great chemistry from his romantic interest to the bromance relationship with his crew. He is also accompanied this time not by Jeremy Renner who had scheduling conflicts, but by fellow actor Henry Cavill. Who I'm liking more and more with each film I see him in, but would also like him to play a British spy for a change as he is British. This time around I believe this American spy character suited him better than then one he played in 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.'. Also, on a minor note his different fighting style compared to Hunt was noticeable and did lead to one of the better sequences in the film with the bathroom fight. Which also leads us to the film's humor which is one of the best parts of the entire film and eases much of tension throughout its length. From the chasing of nuclear warheads to the interrogation of witnesses, the jokes and humor are not out of place and work very well from the entire cast.
For all of what I have mentioned after seeing the film, the big question remains, should there be another one of the series and more than the last time I believe myself and a lot of other fans would say yes. This was one of the best of the series hands down and if they continue to follow the model with more continuity and that the world they are living in changes due to Hunt's actions while also the organizations he chases, its possible more of the audience will care to see it as well. Not saying that the case of the week aspect that the series started with was bad and that a change of style yet again wouldn't work, but now that they fixed the formula. Another round of an Ethan Hunt adventure with his crew of Benji, Luther and Ilsa and also written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie would be great to see.
Lastly, I had mentioned in my last review that it would be nice for their to be a message or the film to be about something much more. This alluded more or less to the fact that its good that the heroes and villains stand for something and not merely for greed all the time on the villains side and heroes because they happened to be in the right place at the right time. Lane in this film represented perfectly anarchy and maniacal revenge, while at the same time the hypocrisy of leaders in such groups as once they implement their anarchy in one way or another want to control the way things are going and to eventually implement their order through their chaos. The antidote naturally is Hunt and his status quo crew with the men in suits and state lackeys. The people who follow orders and mindlessly to some do their job, but if it wasn't for them we would be in kingdom come already. It really is about knowing your calling and understanding sacrifices have to be made for the greater good and what Ethan Hunt stands for and that's also what the film shows from the beginning to end without touching on specifics due to spoilers.
The latest 'Mission: Impossible' film is energetic, full of suspense and with heroes you want to save the day and not see die for nothing. It's overall money well spent and its majority of practical effects, real sets and locations provides to us the audience the illusion that a one man army in Ethan Hunt and crew is possible to exist.