Written by Fajar binti Benjamin
TOM CRUISE. Tom Cruise is an honest-to-God psychopath, there’s no denying it. But goddamn if he doesn’t frickin’ go for it. Unfortunately, the first and only other Mission Impossible movie I’ve been subjected to is the second one, and it was so god-awful bad that the idea of seeing another one was incomprehensible to me. A job is a job though, so I went into this movie with all my cringe shields up, prepared to tear it a new one…
I could not have done a one-eighty harder. This movie… just woah.. *shakes head like a wet cat*. This movie was AWESOME.
I didn’t even know running could be hot until Tom Cruise started sprinting across those rooftops. Every shot in this film, whether he’s clinging to a rope hanging from a helicopter, skydiving through a thunderstorm or scaling a cliff with his bare hands is raw. The lack of green screen brings a whole new element of realism and teeth-clenching tension to it that you simply can’t find elsewhere these days. Even if you can’t pinpoint the difference with your mind, your gut sure feels it as Tom Cruise’s completely real body gets bashed over and over throughout the course of the movie. No stunt doubles on this set.
There was some drama in this movie, much of it boring. Been there, done that. “I won’t save the world the easy way if it means sacrificing one of my friends!”, “I like this girl but she’s tryna kill my bargaining chip!”, “the government doesn’t believe I can legitimately just be a stand up guy and now wants to kill me too!”. You know, the usual stuff. Even the plot, while engaging and requiring the watcher’s full attention, didn’t bring much to the table except a framework upon which some truly incredible stunts could be built upon.
You know how it is when you’ve watched every goddamn Disney movie put out in the past 10 years and you feel like nothing can visually stun you anymore? Like yeah, I’ll like the pretty colours, but nothing will ever induce a breathless “woah” moment quite like the hyperspace ship-through-ship scene in “The Last Jedi” or Thor crashing down on his enemies crackling with lightning in “Ragnarok”. Well, as it turns out, all that’s needed to bring out more “woah” moments is to ditch the CGI and have Tom Cruise leap across the gap between two buildings.
Henry Cavill is in this movie too. Remember when he had to go for reshoots for Justice League and they had to CGI his moustache out? And it was a meme? Well whatever humiliation he’s had to bear has been worth it. His facial hair in this movie is a character in of itself. Added along with his perpetual “b***h face”, it really rounds out his character as a springboard for Tom Cruise to jump off of and kick ass, or as a whiteboard to frame the colourful and dynamic charm Tom Cruise just oozes with every puppy-eyed stare.
(Note: If you can’t tell, I’m insulting Henry’s subpar acting skills) (He ruined Superman) (It takes a truly amazing jawline to be cast without actually having talent) (At least he has that going for him?)
There are two actresses in this movie who look nearly identical and I’ll admit it confused me several times over before I could identify them as different people – Rebecca Ferguson as Tom Cruise’s “will they won’t they” love interest (and badass in her own right) versus Michelle Monaghan as Tom Cruise’s beautiful, amazing and mature ex-wife. These two ladies have actual roles as human beings. One a doctor, one an assassin-type and then another lady, Vanessa Kirby as a shiv-carrying, smexy businesswoman with alluring eyes and a definite done deal to appear in the next few films. These characters give me some hope for the future of women in action blockbusters. Not so much for diverse representation, but at least for “realistic” and “complicated” roles.
A brief summary of the movie, since I need more space to fangirl over Tom Cruise: Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt needs to steal back three radioactive balls from the bad guys before they blow up the water supply to a third of the world. Along the way, his loyalty is called into question, the CIA start playing chicken, two of the aforementioned pretty ladies put more obstacles in the way, and the cheesy rubber mask gimmick is used almost to the point of exhaustion. Pretty much everything you’d want from a Mission Impossible flick.
The linear storyline is compelling, the script holding just the barest amounts of banter to cushion the aggressive story building it has to carry the bulk of. Unlike 99% of the action movies we see these days, this is not trying to be funny. There are some quips here and there, but the largest laugh it gets out of the audience is one of relief more than actual amusement.
I never thought I’d have to say this, but having a not funny blockbuster is somewhat of a relief at this point. To not have serious moments undercut with quips and slapstick? To be treated as a person who can handle tension for more than 0.5 seconds? I mean – wow, I’ve forgotten what it’s like to watch a movie that’s not trying to be as edgy and feel-good as it possibly can.
I give Mission Impossible: Fallout an 11/10. 56 year old Tom Cruise is even more badass than 20 year old Tom Cruise and all the more respectable for the face punches that do actually knock him down. The directing is so freaking tight – the camera work on the action had me immersed in the scene, moving seamlessly with a score that just killed it. I love pop songs accenting action scenes as much as the next person but to see these miracles happen with only an orchestra ramping up the stakes in the background was a wonderful switch up.
It’s impossible to not enjoy this film. Go see it!