"I take orders from the Octoboss."

Mission: Impossible – Fallout

On the way home from the new MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE I mentioned to a grocery store checker that I had just seen and enjoyed it. He asked if I was a big fan of “the original series” and as we discussed this I realized that he just meant the other movies. He’d forgotten it started as a TV series until I mentioned it.

This is one of those things as you get a little older, you lose track of how much time has passed. It also happened with JURASSIC WORLD a few years ago. In my mind JURASSIC PARK was an ongoing series that had made it to part 4. But to a whole generation it was holy shit remember that movie we saw in our youth, now a million years later can you believe they’re bringing it back for a new version, oh the nostalgia?

And lately I’ve noticed people declaring the stealth greatness of the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE series, as if this wasn’t a thing you would be aware of just from watching popular mainstream movies. It reminded me of when FAST FIVE came out and suddenly a whole bunch of critics picked up that those movies were fun. Yeah, no shit. The only other people in on this secret are the, you know, however many paying customers it takes to get a series to part 5.

Well, shit. Nobody be alarmed, but according to these figures I’m looking at we’ve been watching these MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE movies for 22 god damn years. That’s almost as long as the original show had been off the air when the movies started. The series is a month older than the guy currently playing Spider-man. I still think the first one is the best, and there was that time in 2000 when I was a little disappointed that the second one wasn’t the type of John Woo movie I was hoping it would be, but also I enjoyed it as the other lesser type of John Woo movie, and it has grown on me since. Every other chance I got – 2006, 2011, 2015 – I was satisfied and excited by the new chapter.

Now for the first time we have a returning director – Christopher McQuarrie, Academy Award winning writer of THE USUAL SUSPECTS, director of THE WAY OF THE GUN, JACK REACHER (first recipient of the 5.0 Action Comprehensibility rating) and MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION. And though that violates what I once thought was the main purpose of the series (a new take by a new director every time out), McQuarrie (who also did uncredited rewrites on the set of GHOST PROTOCOL) has enough experience in the format to make a 100 proof summation of all the series hallmarks. Especially the ones that involve spectacular action sequences.

Any of the M:Is can stand on their own, but there’s some continuity. Ethan (Tom Cruise, LEGEND) and Luther (Ving Rhames, THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS) are in all of them, and later Benji (Simon Pegg, LAND OF THE DEAD) and Julia (Michelle Monaghan, CONSTANTINE) repeat. But this is the first direct sequel, following up on the villain Solomon Lane (Sean Harris, HARRY BROWN), building off of things that happened in the last one that I didn’t really remember (but it didn’t really matter).

I like that it has references or echoes of little things from all the other installments. The helicopter action scene that seemed so crazy at the time of part 1 is dwarfed by a way more crazy one (so intense they were able to cut the part that ended the trailer without me even noticing). Hunt’s part 2 skill for free climbing comes in handy. Luther tells Ilsa the story of Ethan trying to get out of the game and live a normal life as a married man (part 3). There’s a little speech about how many times Hunt has been betrayed or disavowed by his country, an accurate description of the series. Along with ROGUE NATION’s villain and his organization we thankfully have the return of that chapter’s breakout star, rogue MI-6 agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson, HERCULES). And I’ve read about other things I didn’t pick up on, like a supporting character being related to a character from way back in part 1.

Not that it doesn’t have its own thing going on. It’s the longest one by 15 minutes. It has a new cinematographer (Rob Hardy, BLITZ, EX MACHINA, ANNIHILATION) and kind of a darker sound courtesy of Lorne Balfe, a Hans Zimmer padawan who recently caught my ear with his needlessly good score for . The early scenes go from surprising grimness to a joke almost out of CHARLIE’S ANGELS, as if to say don’t worry guys, this is gonna be fun.

This time out Ethan, Luther and Benji are after some plutonium that fell into the hands of The Apostles, formerly The Syndicate, when Ethan wouldn’t let Luther die for the cause. The CIA (Angela Bassett, CRITTERS 4) forces them to bring along her operative August Walker (Henry Cavill, HELLRAISER: HELLWORLD), who has a not-quite-friendly rivalry with Ethan. Obviously we will bob and weave through a maze of twists and turns and convoluted plans that include disguises, elaborate hoaxes, switcheroos, sleight of hand, betrayal, bluffing, and handy devices. One theme is that they’ve painted themselves into a very dangerous corner with no clue what to do next and at least one person there is ready to start panicking but Ethan is saying don’t worry, he’ll figure something out, and even he seems a little unsure. But he will figure something out. He is “the literal manifestation of destiny,” according to Hunley (Alec Baldwin, THE SHADOW) in a moment of Just How Badass Is He? poetry.

You may have heard some less flowery but similarly hyperbolic superlatives about the action scenes. Many have said “the best action since FURY ROAD,” which people tend to take as “as good as FURY ROAD,” which is not fair for any movie to have to live up to. Being partial to martial arts I’m not gonna say this has better action than KILL ZONE 2 or THE VILLAINESS, but let’s not worry about ranking. It’s definitely true that it’s a movie with spectacular stunt-based action that would stand out in this or any year.

One of the most insane and unusual stunt sequences is near the beginning and is just to transport the team to the site of their mission. In the tradition of ROGUE NATION’s underwater scene that I assumed was a special effect but it was actually real comes FALLOUT’s H.A.L.O. jump sequence. According to USA Today “Between training for the stunt and shooting, Cruise jumped from a C-17 military plane a total of 106 times to get the three takes he and director Christopher McQuarrie wanted.” And by the way the ones they filmed had to be done near sunset. I bet everybody was real happy about that decision.

There’s a car and motorcycle chase that’s definitely among the most thrilling I’ve seen in a while. There’s a rooftop foot chase where Cruise is running so fast I don’t understand how he doesn’t trip over himself. And I don’t think any of those are the sequence people are referring to when they call one of them the best [whatever] since [whenever].

The second unit director/stunt coordinator is Wade Eastwood (no relation), a Dolph Lundgren stunt double who did second unit for BRIDGE OF DRAGONS before apparently impressing Tom Cruise enough to do EDGE OF TOMORROW, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION, JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK and THE MUMMY. Fight coordinator/trainer Wolfgang Stegemann is also the go-to guy for this era of Cruise, having worked with him on ROGUE NATION, NEVER GO BACK and THE MUMMY. The fighting is very good for a non martial arts based movie. Very powerful looking moves, especially in that restroom scene hyped up in the trailer. You know I’m a fan of public restroom fight scenes and once again I must note that it would be cool if the hero stopped and washed his hands afterwards. Some day. Additionally I will point out that McQuarrie and Cruise’s JACK REACHER had an excellent fight in a very small one-person bathroom.

And furthermore there’s a weird thing here where to some bystanders it looks like the IMF dudes are doing each other in a restroom stall, and my audience laughed in the same way they would for a “ha ha, they’re mistaken for gay” joke in a Michael Bay movie. But there’s a bit of a twist on it when it turns out the people who misunderstand what they’re seeing are gay themselves and cheer them on instead of being scandalized.

Anyway that’s a good fight but my favorite move is Ilsa’s when she appears out of nowhere to hook her leg over a guy’s wrist and pull his gun down before he shoots Ethan. She loves those leg scissors.

Remember back when Tom Holland was starting kindergarten and we would complain that the Mission: Impossible show was about a team and why are the movies so focused on this one guy being awesome? They’ve long since overcome that problem, and it’s always satisfying to see the teamwork. Here they use one of my favorite tropes of action camaraderie: after the team pulls through to extract Ethan from a precarious situation they simply nod to each other. Ethan’s nod says “I want you to know that I appreciate you saving my ass even though you know that I respect your skills and professionalism enough that of course I had no doubt that you would.” And Benji’s says “Yep.”

There’s alot of heavy exposition and light banter and some of the intrigue is a little hard to follow. But it all comes together and ends up in a satisfying place with just-exhausting-enough thrills, opportunities for all the characters to contribute, one of the best villains of the series, unexpected closure to a major storyline from previous episodes and a statement about what makes Ethan and the team the type of heroes the world needs. It’s not any kind of drastic reinvention, but it’s such a muscular and agile version of what we love about the series that it feels stronger than ever. I like all the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLEs, and this is definitely one of the best.

Additional notes:

When Luther says that Ethan has only truly loved two women in the time he’s known him, I felt for Nyah (Thandie Newton) from part Woo. Maybe that was just a fling after a hell of a flirtation (involving high speed car dancing) but jesus, she poisoned herself and was ready to jump off a cliff to save the world. I guess the vacation they went on at the end must’ve gone really bad and the relationship self destructed. They had to disavow it. Or maybe it went great but then she ghost protocoled him?

Although I enjoy the continuity in this one I hope they continue to mix things up and let the movies stand alone. But if we’re gonna connect them all I need to reiterate that Maggie Q and Paula Patton were cool in their installments and they should show up again. But Ilsa is one of the most exciting characters in the series so I’m proud of her achievement as the first female combatant to be in more than one installment.

Also I really liked Jeremy Renner as Brandt in 4 and 5. They left him out of this one because he had to film INFINITY WAR (the second part, I guess), so hopefully he’ll be back. And Benji or somebody can say “I wish you were on our team last time because we had this CIA guy instead and he was the worst.

Speaking of which, I hope people will be able to get past Kryptonian politics to acknowledge that Henry Cavill is fucking awesome. I don’t see how anybody could deny that he makes a great Superman, but of course they will. He was funny and charming in THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., but we as a society failed to see it. So here he is now and he grew a mustache and everything. Give the man some credit.

It’s kind of amazing that I saw the trailer before every single movie I saw in a theater for months and not once did I ever spot that the big bathroom fist fight between Cruise and Cavill is actually a cleverly disguised scene where the two of them together are fighting a third person (stuntman Liang Yang). That’s some creative editing. I don’t know why they wanted to hide that, but it’s impressive work.

This entry was posted on Monday, July 30th, 2018 at 11:44 am and is filed under Action, Reviews, Thriller. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

82 Responses to “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”

  1. Glad someone else noticed the weird ‘Well golly… the new MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE is good! Great even! Whodathunk!?’ They do this every entry and every time they are surprised that a Tom Cruise movie could possibly be good. Then they go write articles on how Cruise is a weirdo and is part of a religion that is bad.

    Another thing I’m dismayed by is guys complaining about Cruise doing his own stunts and how that is lame and irresponsible and won’t help the movie in any way. Thank goodness these guys have never and would never ever watch a Hong Kong action movie. They’ll either faint from the lack of safety concerns or wonder they got CGI to be so good back then.

    I see it tomorrow night and I am super-excited for it. Hope I’m not hyping myself too much to where I’m disappointed and have to re-watch it months/years later and go ‘oh yeah… that one was really good… Boy is my face red!’

  2. Larry Sternshein

    July 30th, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    I’ve built up that fight in the bathroom like way to much in my head that it’s all I want to see from the movie.

  3. These movies are kind of starting t remind me of the Call of Duty video games. Every year or so, a new one comes out. It is super polished, fun as can be, with a few standout set pieces. But at the end of the day, I can barely distinguish which one is which. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I bought all of these digitally last week and watched 3, 4 and 5. Loved all of them.
    The helicopter scene is fantastic. Superman is really great in this, and makes me wish he will get a viable action franchise of his own (Superman and Uncle don’t count).


    Superman’s death has to be one of the best, more memorable death scenes I can think of.

  4. Haha, jeffg, I just watched Justice League for the first time last week and literally asked out loud, “How did Superman die now?” I suspect this says more about my aging, fading memory than about the Dawn of Justice, but it made me laugh to read your post so soon after asking that exact question!

  5. Oh shit, I’m sorry I didn’t include a spoiler warning.

  6. Rebecca Ferguson is so poised and cool. But i liked Thandie Newton as well, she really should’ve been mentioned.

  7. I would’ve loved if there was a post credits scene of Jeremy Renner waiting by the phone for the IMF to call him.

  8. I loved Laing Yang’s badass moment when he kicks Walker to the floor and does that little jacket straighten in a ‘come the fuck on then’ gesture to Hunt.

    That motorcycle then car chase was so well shot and edited I think it will be studied for years to come on a technical level. Paul Greengrass should hold his head in shame.

  9. Liang Yang had another existing IMDb page that wasn’t updated with MI:Fallout, but that’s been taken care of.

  10. McQuarrie speaks

    'Mission: Impossible' Director on the Dark Plotline Cut From 'Fallout'

    Christopher McQuarrie also explains the complicated relationship between Ethan Hunt and Ilsa Faust in a wide-ranging interview.

  11. Side note I wanted to bring up: who else thinks it’s BS that movies rarely have memorable themes and tunes and scores anymore but a nostalgia baiting one like this one very proudly trumpets it’s theme song and score and ends up being way better and memorable for it?

  12. The first hour of this film is impeccable. I’m a weirdo who enjoys analyzing film structure, so I often check my watch in an unobtrusive way during a screening. During MI6, I didn’t look st my phone until over an hour in. It didn’t even occur to me to think about anything, I was just totally absorbed in the momentum. I couldn’t tell you the last time I watched a movie for an hour without thinking about its construction. My brain wasn’t turned off, my senses were just fully engaged.

    However, there are some problems in the back-half. The foot chase through London goes on too long and takes too comedic a tone for a scene right after *SPOILERS* Baldwin bites the dust *END SPOILERS* it undercuts the impact of the previous scene. This is doubly troublesome because said scene is the lynchpin of Cruise’s character arc in the film. It’s triple-y troublesome because the footchase is the only less than stellar setpiece in the whole movie. It’s kinda ironic that Cruise broke his ankle for a scene that probably shouldn’t have existed in the first place.

    Finally, I HATE the idea of Hunt and Isla becoming a couple. It’s a total betrayal of everything awesome about her character and if they follow through and make her the love interest/colleague in the next entry, it could well ruin the entire franchise. It just doesn’t work. I hope that Isla returns for part 7, but that she remains a somewhat adversarial force and NOT a member of the IMF. The idea of Hunt being in love with his sometimes-enemy has tension and stakes and places to go. Isla as a girlfriend can only end with damseling.

  13. 2 more things —

    I thought the European dudes in the bathroom thought Cruise and Superman were doing blow, it blowing each other. Did anyone else get that vibe? Maybe it’s ambiguous because an overt cocaine reference could be too much for a PG-13.

    Which brings me to point 2… how the fuck is this a PG-13? It’s a memorably brutal affair, complete with copious amounts of blood and gory on-screen finishing move for the central villain. We see man’s face cave all the way in! I’m not complaining, just pointing out how incredibly inconsistent the rating’s board is. I suppose there isn’t more of an uproar because there isn’t much appeal to children in the film. But this isn’t even pretending to be family friendly. It’s more hardcore than most of Arnold’s 90s films, to be sure. Can anyone name a more hardcore General Audiences film in recent memory?

  14. *doing blow, Not blowing each other.

  15. Joe – thanks for the correction on Liang Yang. I thought it was weird that he allegedly had no other credits.

  16. Honestly, I am one of those people who keep forgetting how great the series is. Every time a new one is announced, my first reaction is usually “Ugh, why? Oh wait, I love these movies! Fuck yes!”*

    It might have something to do with the complete lack of character in the protagonists. Ethan Hunt isn’t exactly the most iconic superagent that ever graced the screen. Quick: Name one character trait of Ethan Hunt, other than “being able to survive the most impossible stunts”. Simon Pegg plays a Simon Pegg character, Ving Rhames a Ving Rhames character and I enjoy seeing them all together on screen, having incredibly exciting adventures, but even Jason Bourne is as a character more memorable than any of them. And he can be summed up with “Matt Damon beats people up and wonders who he is”.

    Haven’t seen this one yet, so I don’t know if anything has changed by now, but it’s interesting that we are now so deep into a series, yet nobody has figured out yet to elevate the character of Ethan Hunt to the level of at least Jack Bauer! Imagine Nic Cage would play him! He would constantly add interesting things, even if it would maybe just a weird love for Flutschfinger popsicles, that he imports from Germany.

    *For some reason I keep having similar reactions about Jim Jarmusch movies. They always look so boring and uninteresting and it takes me a while to sit down and watch one, but when I do, I normally end up loving them and remember that he is actually one of my favourite filmmakers.

  17. Tawdry, while i agree that Ilsa works best as a mysterious secret operative. Being a regular IMF operative (like she is in the final quarter of the film) takes away her distinctiveness.

    Nevertheless, i am okay wither Ilsa and Hunt being a couple. They belong to rival agencies and thus can have differing agendas (while still being in a relationship).

  18. Johnny Utah


    When I said Superman’s death being memorable I was referring to this movie’s death by helicopter scene with Cavil. I can’t for the life of me remember how Superman does in justice league.

  19. Jeffg, that makes much more sense to me now, thank you! And I kind of liked Dawn of Justice, certainly more than conventional wisdom seems to allow. It’s just that my only real memory of it is….that I kind of liked it!

  20. I imagine character’s are named before casting is complete, but Cavill’s Walker really reminded me of Clint Walker, at least physically.

  21. I am old enough to remember the TV show and to’ve loved it, and I can never quite forgive the first M:I movie for – SPOILER FOR A 22 YEAR OLD MOVIE – making Jim Phelps the villain, even if I couldn’t agree with Greg Morris who said that it was an abomination.

    I also regretted, though I understood, that the movie travelled away from the elaborate sting structure of the shows and towards action set pieces. The IMF of the show was really an assassination squad for a country that couldn’t overtly assassinate: a truly impossible mission. So the show frequently involved trapping the villain of the week, via complex deceptions and their own pride and hubris, in situations where they would be killed by their own side. I miss that sense of poetic justice, though the films have had fair attempts at it, notably M:I 2 and ROGUE NATION, even if – SPOILER ALERT FOR FALLOUT – Solomon Lane still ain’t dead!

  22. And yeah, props to Lorne Balfe. I think it’s a given that Lalo Schifrin’s original credits theme is one of the all time greats, but Balfe’s use of Schifrin’s other M:I theme, The Plot, to round off the scene mentioned in the review where Hunt escapes and just nods to acknowledge his team was just perfect.

  23. I couldn’t help but notice the strange coincidence that both “Justice League” and “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” star Henry Cavill and feature a scene where the heroes have possession of a box that could destroy the world, but after leaving it unprotected during a fight, they discover it has been taken by the bad guys while their back was turned. Ethan could have avoided a lot of this if he had just locked the damn thing in the car before rescuing Ving.

  24. Enjoyed the hell out of this one, but I don’t think it quite matched ROGUE NATION for me. The biggest problem I think I had was that I didn’t quite understand the flip in the villain’s motivation. In the last one, Lane seemed like a pretty standard terrorist-for-hire sort of bad guy but now in this one he (and his associates) seems to have transitioned into some kind of true believer apocalypse cult and I never quite caught when or how that shift happened.

    Certainly didn’t sink the movie for me, though, and I loved the addition of Cavill. I’m glad it seems like he’s maybe going to be able to break the Superman curse.

  25. Oh also- I’m not much of a gearhead, so does anyone have any idea what exactly squirted all over (avoiding spoilers) the bad guy’s face towards the end of the flick that burned him so badly? It seems kind of unsafe to have xenomorph blood pumping through your helicopter’s hydrolic system like that.

  26. I think the fluid was just really hot fuel/oil.

  27. Just saw this last night and really enjoyed it. The byzantine plot was fine for me. I think that is the stock and trade of these films. The more ridiculous the better! It has been great to read a few reviews that have noted Cruise should be considered a latter day Gene Kelly or Jackie Chan in that for years we have underappreciated his physicality in movies. While I agree, this hasn’t reached the heights of Fury Road it is still pretty much peak modern action movie. There is a great 30 minute choppy behind the scenes video. It is amazing how much of this (including piloting the chopper!) Cruise does. He is almost a second unit director (or co-director).

    One of the things I found really interesting about this movie is that it was a movie that was cast and started pre-production without a script. Not in a cheap way but in what sounds more lose improv sort of way. They had set pieces that they wanted to try and built a screenplay around it. The fact that they still found ways to keep up interesting continuity was perfect.

    Also, on the Faust joining Hunt as co-IMF or even as romantic partner, I am not so sure that is where it is headed. Faust was hell bent on getting her cred back to “go home” to the MI-6 and returning Lane made that possible. If they continue to make these (are they going to? This seems like a great finale) I still think Faust being a girl frenemy is still much more interesting and likely. Also, they kind of made the point that as long as Hunt is physically capable, he is going to be saving the world and time with a long-term serious lady is going to put that at risk.

    If they do a big bang up finale, though, I am with Vern on this one…bring back the other ladies (and dudes) from the other movies. Get the whole IMFamily reunion going.

  28. Honestly, I think the whole “started without a script” thing was a bit of a weakness for this one, the more I think about it. Like the weird shift in motivation for Lane between movies, or the fact that the end of the movie leaves the whole Apostles plot line kind of dangling in the wind. Like I said, not enough to sink the movie for me (not nearly!) but enough to keep it from being my favorite-ever M:I flick.

  29. I’ve been coming to these movies with the same mindset as Borg9, being old enough to have enjoyed the original tv series and feeling some regret that the movies departed in a lot of ways from how the IMF used to operate. But I have to admit that the action is always well-done, and this latest M:I movie is probably the pinnacle of the series in that regard. I was on the edge of my seat for the majority of the running time, and I liked seeing the movie roll seamlessly from one setpiece to the next.

    There is one thing that kind of bothers me about this series though, and I hope it’s something they’ll address from here on in. So far there’s been 6 M:I movies, and I’ve seen 4 of them. (1996 M:I, M:I-2, M:I-3, and Fallout.) I can’t speak to the two I haven’t seen, but in these 4 films, there’s a mole or traitor in the IMF working against them from the inside, not to mention the large file of disavowed IMF agents Ethan Hunt recruits from in the first movie. It seems odd to me that the IMF has such a hard time keeping itself from being penetrated almost at will, or keeping rotten people out of its ranks. When Henry Cavill’s character dismisses the IMF as people ‘playing with Halloween masks’, I felt he’d have been better off to have rattled off the names of people who’d betrayed or sold out the IMF in past movies as the reason he thought the group was unreliable, and he’d not only have had a good point, it would have fit in better in story terms with what he’d wanted to do later on. Hopefully they can address this in future movies.

  30. As a former Cruise hater who used the MI and Jack Reacher series to get over that, I must say that something happened after III that “saved” the franchise. Some would say that the action improved and others that the villains got better. My pet theory is that Cruise himself changed his style after meeting McQuarrie on the set of JACK REACHER. Everything Cruise has done after that movie is better than anything he’s done before 2012.

  31. Wait, isn’t there a moment after the Paris chase where the white widdow says that since 4 of her men were killed in the robbery that the price for the plutonium just went up and now Hunt has to deliver Faust to the Widdow as well as Lane?

    What happened with that? Why was that never mentioned again? It’s set up like an “oh no! Now Hunt has to double cross this woman he may and/or kidnap her” and then they just cut to England.

    and I guess, yeah, she is there in England, but I don’t think she’s on Hunts side at that time. Or that he tricked her into coming.

    Can anyone explain that part?

  32. This movie was friggin’ great and I loved it. Not sure any of the sequels will edge out being my favorite over the first one, but this and ROUGE NATION come close. I think I liked this one more than NATION even.

    As for the show, I watched re-runs and enjoyed it but I can definitely imagine making Phelps the bad guy being a huge slap in the face if the show meant something more to me than just ‘something I watched and enjoyed.’ I even explained it to my nephew as ‘Imagine they made a STAR TREK (another Desilou production even) movie and the twist at the end was that Captain Kirk and/or Mr. Spock were the villains all along.

    pegs: Well then explain LEGEND then? Check.and.mate! Other than that I will say I agree with you. I wasn’t a Cruise fan until after M:i-GHOST PROTOCOL. After that I re-evaluated his movies and have come to enjoy his work. Now I get the honor of having to state my opinion of Scientology and my stance on separating the art from the artist whenever that comes up now.

    Tawdy: Didn’t Alec Baldwin go over that when he met back up with them in London when he relieves the White Widow is working for them?


    Superman killed The Shadow!! And the guy who was almost Iron Man avenged The Shadow’s death!


  33. Also why is it the M:i series keeps getting better but we can’t seem to get one watchable or even half-decent James Bond movie?

  34. geoffreyjar: Why? I think Bond is a studio/producer led franchise without a solid vision. MI is Cruise as producer/star who decides.the director, writer and direction of the franchise.

  35. Well it was a ‘rhetorical’ “Why”… But yes you are spot-on.

  36. If anyone remembers LEGEND at all, they remember Rob Bottin’s makeup and Tim Curry’s acting, and maybe after that the overall production design. No one is remembering that this is a great Tom Cruise movie. What’s his character even called?

    LEGEND is the last movie Cruise made before hitting big with TOP GUN, and quite possibly the last time we were able to see the character for the Cruiser.

    So sign me on for Team Pegsman. As someone who argued for years that Cruise’s best movies were TAPS, where he plays the borderline psycho who goes too far, and RISKY BUSINESS, where he plays the cocky guy who uses people to get what he wants, I have to agree that things have changed for the better in recent years. That change comes, for me, with GHOST PROTOCOL, which McQuarrie did an uncredited rewrite for. So Pegsman’s diagnosis looks sound to me. Although I’m guessing the relationship goes back to VALKYRIE, at least.

  37. Also re: rhetorical Why this is how I worded it on Letterboxd: “I hope the guys at EON watches these and then curl into a ball and sob as they realize they can’t make one watchable or even half-decent James Bond movie but this series hits it out the park every time.”

    Borg9: As stated GHOST PROTOCOL was the one that did it for me as well. Also according to IMDB his character’s name in LEGEND was Jack. You’d think that would be easy to remember but I even like that movie and couldn’t tell you a damned thing about his character other than he looked like a dear in the headlights throughout the whole thing.

    RE: VALKYRIE, I always liked that one and felt it doesn’t get enough credit. Weird how much people shit on Singer now but even if his movies aren’t great or even good he has lead to some great things: McQuarrie’s career, getting McQuarrie and Cruise together, X-MEN not entirely shitting the bed and leading to the superhero movies we get today (I still enjoy his first two X-pictures btw).

  38. To be fair, off the top of my head I couldn’t remember his character was called Joel in RISKY BUSINESS. But hey, we all remember he played Cole Trickle in DAYS OF THUNDER.

    Also to be fair, by no. 6 in the series the Bond films were giving us ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE, which I own on DVD and is a high point in Bond’s career. But otherwise yeah, what you said.

    My son asked me this morning if I was excited at the prospect of a Danny Boyle-led Bond film, and I basically said only if he gets to go full SUNSHINE (which he won’t).

  39. Someone has taught Cruise to stick to what he’s good at. Keep it simple and do stunts. Enough with the facial expressions that doesn’t back up the feelings the character’s supposed to have. Much like they did with Moore in THE SPY WHO LOVED ME. And Lazenby.

  40. BTW, here is something for you fans of German titles: The movies are named MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE here too (even in English), however the TV show (the original as well as the 80s revival) was known as KOBRA, ÜBERNEHMEN SIE (Cobra, take over).

    Apparently in the German dub, Jim Phelps’ codename was Cobra, but as far as I remember, it was only used at the end of his mission briefings, when the voice on the tapes said “This tape will self destruct in five seconds. Cobra, take over.”

  41. And Cobra spelt with a K. A tribute to Peter Graves’ Norwegian background, perhaps?

  42. Borg9: Don’t want this to become a Bond thread so I’ll just keep it simple and say I was referring exclusively to the Daniel Craig run (HER MAJESTY’S is indeed a high point and my second or third favorite of the series) and that I agree re: Boyle. People I know thought I’d be ecstatic as I generally like Boyle and have been faithful to him since TRAINSPOTTING but this current Craig series has burnt me out too much. CASINO ROYALE I really liked (the Craig one not the David Niven one though it does have it’s moments) and I’m way nicer to QUANTUM than most but I thought the fan-favorite SKYFALL was both artistically and morally bankrupt and it still blows my mind that after decades and millions of dollars that’s the route they decided to go with for Blofeld and Spectre in SPECTRE (also even taking that out of the equation it was absolutely terrible).

    Back to M:i and Cruise, wasn’t his name John Thunder in DAYS OF THUNDER? I know for a fact his name was John Gun in TOP GUN.

  43. “Cobra, take over.” Aw man please tell me in the German dub of the first one, Ethan Hunt says that when he dispatches him at the end!

  44. I, for one, thought Cruise’s performance as John Eyeswideshut was electric.

  45. Nah, unfortunately no Kobra (spelled with a K because that’s how we spell it in German too) references in any movies.

  46. Now you’re just being silly. His name was John Eyes.

  47. Two things:

    Until 5 minurtes ago I honestly thought his character in KNIGHT AND DAY was called John Knight, or some such variation on Mr Knight.

    And DAYS OF THUNDER would’ve been more fun if they’d called it DAYS OF TRICKLE.

  48. Re: GeoffreyJar

    I know Baldwin revealed the true nature of Widow in the London scene… but why did the previous scene exist. It’s never remarked upon again by any character and Widow’s bosses had no reason to want Faust.

    In terms of the plot, the team was walking into the trade-off without Faust or any plan on how to replace Faust. If they weren’t double crossed at that moment, they would have been totally fucked.

    Or am I missing something still?

  49. geoffreyjar, LEGEND is best explained through the medium of dance…No, but as we’ve touched upon, that was before Tony Scott got hold of him. Ridley seemed to get something out of him that Tony didn’t.

    CJ, I knew that. Peter Graves was never as bothered with his roots as his brother James Arness, anyway. And in this latest MI they’ve gone and placed the mountain climbing scenes filmed here i Norway in India, for some reason. But our Kristoffer Joner’s in there somewhere. Nice touch after having three Swedish bad guys in the last two movies.

  50. Saw it last night and definitely dug it. I like the whole series (I even prefer 2 to 3, Hoffman villain aside) so its silly to rank my preference, but it continues the tradition of just entertaining the hell out of me for 2+ hours.

    Keeping in mind that I truly liked the film, my only quibbles are thus:
    1) Would’ve liked an elaborate heist. I like the action scenes a lot, but there were a lot of chases (that to be fair ruled). Heists are part of the tapestry, and while you could consider the Lane breakout in that vein, it wasnt up to par as the predecessors.

    2) The ticking clock at the end of the film is pretty ridiculous given the amount of items accomplished in the amount of time. Just add 5-10 more minutes to the countdown and I’m fine. I’m not crying for realism in these films, but this time it felt a little silly. Like Michael Bay silly.

    3) That dude that plays White Widow’s brother isn’t quite Tom Hardy, and isn’t quite Adam Driver, and it disturbed me.

    4) Random thought, but it seems like Hunt and his team the only agents of IMF.

    5) This is a result of just my profession and things that I’m exposed to, (and I realize its an audience conceit that cones with the territory) but that opening debriefing included a whole lot of graphics work. And it just had me thinking of the poor guy at IMF who has to spend so much time making motion graphics to accompany the briefing before its ready to go out to agents. Does Alec Baldwin have to approve them before being sent out? Are there revision rounds? Wouldn’t it be a hindrance to make these given the time sensitive nature of the impossible missions?

    Luckily the HALO jump took my mind off that.

  51. 4) Random thought, but it seems like Hunt and his team the only agents of IMF.

    I can speak to that bit. In the original tv series, there were only 5 or 6 full-time agents in the IMF. Every once in awhile, especially in the first season, they’d recruit some outside specialist for a mission that required a skillset that the team couldn’t provide. That’s how you’d get an extra guest star on the team like Wally Cox as a safecracker, or George Takei as a biowarfare chemist.

  52. *SPOILER* I’m not sure I’ve wanted two movie characters to kiss more than Ethan Hunt and Ilsa Faust. And for the second movie in a row we didn’t get it! What the hell?! Their chemistry is just too good, their nonverbal shorthand communication all throughout Rogue Nation is brilliant. I mean, I know his wife just left the room but c’mon, show them kiss during the flash forward in London, problem solved.

    That huge letdown aside, this is a knockout summer movie – fun, exciting, perfectly acted. For every nitpick like the ridiculously long bomb timer at the end, there’s dozens of pleasures to be had. The halo jump. The bathroom fight. The incredible motorcycle action. Baldwin getting a surprise action beat. The long unbroken shot of Cruise climbing up the helicopter. Benji getting pwned by Lane in their hand to hand fight (the epitome of character development through action). Ilsa busting out her special move I completely forgot about. I think there’s a reason everyone keeps comparing this to Fury Road – it’s a big, expensive Hollywood summer blockbuster that not only basks in its lengthy setpieces and lets its action beats linger and breathe – it also does so without sacrificing intelligently written characters that we enjoy watching. McQuarrie and Cruise need to finish their M:I trilogy ASAP before Cruise’s age finally catches up with him (as I’m sure has been pointed out, he’s about the same age as Jon Voight was in M:I, and he is five years older than Wilford Brimley in Cocoon).

  53. Agreed, the movie is great.

    Interesting to note that Vern still likes the first MI the best. I always thought that MI:1 was good-ish but with some clunky flaws that held it back. I actually disliked MI:2. I think the series really started to take off with the third one, and each movie since then has topped its predecessor (except that I think Fallout and Rogue Nation are basically tied for best in series).

    Keep them coming, as far as I’m concerned. And put Rebecca Ferguson in as many of them as she’ll allow.

  54. This franchise has had enough Swedes in it!

  55. Not that anyone actually cares, but I rewatched ROGUE NATION last night and have to rescind my complaint about Lane’s motivation seemingly changing between films. In RN they do in fact talk about how he wants to destroy the institutions of the world or whatever, it’s just not quite as our-in-the-open as in FALLOUT. I think maybe Lane’s crazy new unibomber beard made me focus more on it this time.

  56. Oh and also it was really surprising to see just how hard age has hit Cruise, Pegg, and Rhames in the three years between RN and FALLOUT. They look like they came out in different decades.

  57. I’ve previously complained about these films. My chief complaint was that Ethan Hunt is a complete nobody cypher of a character and is basically the essence of Tom Cruise’s handsome, energetic empty vessel persona in movie character form. I stand behind that assessment of the Ethan Hunt character, but I watched parts 4 and 5 with my older kids six weeks ago, and they were a great deal of fun that time around, and I was always a fan of part 3 on-account-of Philip Seymour Hoffman being awesome.

    I enjoyed this one a great deal, as well. Missed the Jeremy Renner character, enjoyed all those that were present and accounted for, and the action was great. Henry Cavill was super-wooden in voice and gait, but I guess that was part of the idea, so I’ll allow it. I enjoyed his character, and the climactic helicopter hi-jinks were thrilling. Great summer entertainment. Keep ’em coming, I say.

  58. Cruise looks much better than he did in JACK REACHER 2. Seems like he finally got his botox situation figured out, as he was look pretty pufftastic in JR2. Dude’s pushing 60, I think he’s doing all right.

  59. My family has been in town, visiting and I kept trying to get them to go see this. My 17 year old niece was resistant because she thought it was just “that guy showing off”. To which I would reply, “And what’s wrong with that?” She had to get back for band camp and I was able to convince everyone else. I loved it and I think they all enjoyed it even if most of them hasn’t seen the earlier ones.

  60. Saw it yesterday. And it was just as good as I had hoped for. A couple of my sons liked number 4 better, but…

    Nice touch having a Norwegian (Kristoffer Joner as Nils Debruuk) and a Danish (Caspar Phillipson as The European) actor levelling out the Swedish invasion we’ve had in this franchise.

  61. The Undefeated Gaul

    August 10th, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Just got back from seeing this and loved it as well. Now THIS is a Mission: Impossible film you’d expect to be directed by Christopher McQuarrie. I’m glad he decided to come back and make amends for the vapid useless mess that was ROGUE NATION.

  62. For several acts, those are amazing. Others, such dialog, means a lot of secret agent humanized protocols. Overall, this movie is still tempting to watch even-ever sequels.

  63. Kurgan, I agree with you on how much Pegg and Rhames have aged, but still think Cruise looks pretty damn good considering his 57 years. He looks like he’s taking stem cell baths every day while Pegg & Rhames look like they drank from the wrong holy grail. And did anyone else notice how Cruise was constantly referring to Alec Baldwin as “sir”? I get that he’s his superior but it almost seemed like another subliminal way of making Cruise read younger than he is.

  64. One and only contrarian voice apparently

    August 29th, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    Sorry, I have no idea what you people enjoyed about this. Clichéd to the point of satire, overlong, by the numbers sequel with characters straight out of an a-team episode. Cavill literally mustache twirling. The white widow character, apparently the head of a crime syndicate a complete miscast, she looks like she’s 18. Baldwin acting like he’s in a comedy, his cringey #1 dad lines not helping.

    Idiotic moments like monaghan asking rhames how her ex is doing while disarming a hydrogen bomb. Disarming done by cutting the green wire. Oops the remote control that blows up the nuke is rolling away, I wonder if it will come to a halt on the edge just shy of the abyss. Not a single beat you haven’t seen before somewhere.

    To even mention the action scenes here in the same breath as fury road! A few good shots in the car chase, obviously digital, some good moments in the helicopter chase, that’s it. In an age where when you see cruise dangle somewhere you don’t wonder how dangerous it was but instead how much safety equipment they digitally erased the distinction “he does his own stunts” is a pretty pointless marketing ploy. Maneuvering a motorcycle through a barrage of digitally created cars is hardly heroic.

    And don’t get me started on having a movie called fallout with 3 nuclear bombs in it and the only one that explodes is in a dream sequence! ?

    If you liked this, you may have been either very high, 8 years old or bought by the marketing department, I can see no other explanation

  65. Wow, that last review was the epitome of pedantry. Bravo, well done.

  66. Can anybody explain to me why the big media blitz action sequence for this one was Tom Cruise jumping out of an airplane at a slightly higher altitude than he had previously jumped out of an airplane (and then they CGI all over the footage anyway so it doesn’t even look that real) when it’s far, FAR more impressive that this crazy motherfucker actually learned fucking helicopter aerobatics to be able to fly the goddamn chopper himself for the entire final sequence? I mean, I’ve seen actors jump out of airplanes before. It’s always welcome and I’m sure it was a massive pain in the ass but it’s just a variation on something we’ve seen before. I’ve never seen an actor become a fucking stunt pilot just for one sequence. Even other famous actor pilots don’t do their own stunt flying on film. They stuck Harrison Ford on a green screen stage in EXPENDABLES 3. But Tom Cruise logs 1500 flight hours over the course of two years so he can perform his own downward corkscrew spiral in a fucking mountain canyon and nobody says shit? Man, we are really taking this incredible lunatic for granted. Leonardo “I ate a liver once, where is my Oscar?” DiCaprio does that and it’s all anybody would talk about. Cruise does it and we’re like “Well, duh.”

  67. I think it’s we take him for granted. Just last week I ran into a guy who hated FALLOUT and insisted it was run-of-the-mill and the action sucked. To each his own but I did disagree* with him on complaining about Cruise. I pointed out how actually it IS super impressive he’s giving himself 100+% to do these stunts himself. He disagreed and said none of what he’s done in his action movies is impressive because ‘we already KNOW he can do that’ and then he started going on about how he needs to push himself as AN ACTOR and not a stuntman (yawn sound effect implied).

    I guess over here we approach this stuff differently…

    *Yeah I know better than to get into an Internet disagreement but I *thought* I was cool with the guy. Don’t worry I embarrassed myself more a few days later when I came across another guy I *thought* I was cool with when he argued Shane Black having a specific style makes him a bad writer.

  68. Know who else had a specific writing style? Shakespeare. That guy was a fucking hack.

  69. Teaser for the new Mission Impossible looks incredible

    Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One | Official Teaser Trailer (2023 Movie) - Tom Cruise

    It is time to pick a side. Watch the official teaser trailer for #MissionImpossible – Dead Reckoning Part One starring Tom Cruise. Coming to theatres 2023.Co...

  70. I just with it wouldn’t be “part one”. Hollywood really tries to normalize half movies really hard. I tell ya, 10 years from now you will have to pay for every movie twice, if you wanna know how the story ends! God bless James Cameron for announcing that all of the AVATAR sequels are gonna be standalone stories.

  71. Oh I didn’t hear that about Avatar but that’s awesome news. Re: M:I:7 – I’m just glad they don’t appear to be fridging Rebecca Ferguson in the first 10 minutes to make room for Hayley Atwell. Atwell’s fine and all, but there’s so much goodwill behind Ferguson and the Ilsa character over the last two movies that I’m still scratching my head why Atwell’s even in this thing.

  72. MI has built up so much goodwill in me I am willing to let them hoist a 2-parter on us.

    As for Avatar, I’d take Cameron’s words with a pinch of salt. There’s definitely going to be some connective tissue between the films (especially if rumors of Quaritch coming back are true)

    Besides, ole’ Jim’s pronouncements ceased becoming gospel to me the day he lauded TERMINATOR: GENISYS as being one of the best one yet

  73. The AVATAR sequels are sequels after all. There will be SOME connections to the previous ones. It’s not like he gonna turn it into a LIFE ON PANDORA anthology, where every part will center on a brand new set of characters. But when he says that every movie will have an actual ending and not a cliffhanger, I believe him.

  74. Pretty sure Cameron only said\implied GENYSIS was better than RISE OF THE MACHINES and SALVATION, not the best of the entire series, so just a misdemeanor rather than a major crime.

  75. And even if he said it, since when is it such a crime if a producer hypes his newest movie up before its release?

  76. It wouldn’t, but he wasn’t actually involved with the production of GENYSIS (at least not formally), I believe DARK FATE was the first TERMINATOR thing he was directly involved with since BATTLE ACROSS TIME.

    Here (hopefully!) are his comments on GENYSIS for reference;


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  77. Not a crime, but you come down a few notches in my cool book. There’s hype and there’s bullshit.

    Cameron could have said, “I really think GENISYS has taken the story in some very interesting direction” or some shit like that. Yeah it’s hype and I can smell the faint whiff of bovine excrement but…fine, you can always say he was just being diplomatic.

    Instead he says, “I start to see things I recognize. It’s being very respectful of first two films. Then all of the sudden, it just swerves. And now I’m going on a journey. I feel like the franchise has been reinvigorated, like this is a renaissance.”- Yeah…the bull outright shat on my shoes and his ass is still pointed at my fucking face. Pull the other one James. I read shit like this and I actually long for the arrogant Cameron. The hard-as-nails taskmaster who’s a terror on set, the guy at the podium yelling “I’m King Of The World”, and even the guy who was critical of the superior (in my humble and unpopular opinion) SALVATION, singling out only Sam Worthington’s performance as a plus (he’s right Sam was excellent but I also understand you don’t exactly want to dump on the rising star of your next blockbuster even if he wasn’t).

    Instead I can’t believe he sat through GENISYS, saw Arnold jump out of one of the worst CGI-ed helicopters I’ve seen on screen, most likely thought “fuck me, I spent 2 weeks filming an ACTUAL Helicopter chase an ACTUAL Truck and these guys just farmed that out to Tech #2 over at Workstation#9” and reckons that’s a “reinvigoration” of the franchise.

    It’s one thing for uber-producers like Joel Silver and Jerry Bruckheimer to fart on their hands, sniff it and convince you it’s Chanel No 5, quite another for the man who made the 2 BEST, UNPARALELLED entries in a now-flogged-to-death franchise to hype up a sub-standard rip off of his own creation.

    It causes my milk of human kindness to curdle.

  78. I just realized that we are talking about GYNSYNSYI, which I think wasn’t produced by Cameron. Totally forgot which one the name of the lst one was. There are just too many damn TERMINATOR movies at this point.

  79. Just checked IMDB, Cameron was a producer on DARK FATE but not GENISYS which makes his fanboying over the latter even more of a head-scratcher.

    It’s like if Paul Verhoeven gushed over ROBOCOP 3

  80. However the point is: Yay for standalone sequels! That’s for me the equivalent of a gaming company announcing that their newest one will have an offline single player mode.

  81. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: SEVENTH ONE THAT’S ONLY PART 1 of 2 is (near) Blockbuster Perfection!

    (Why near? I’ll reserve my minor quibbles once Vern reviews this)

    With McQuarrie returning to direct for the 3rd time, it forms a kinda sorta unofficial trilogy with ROGUE NATION & FALLOUT, and is as deliriously entertaining as the previous 2, once again a melding of a twisty plot full of shifting allegiances and double crosses within the Shadowy Intelligence World with some pulse pounding action set pieces all driven as usual by some MacGuffin (McMuffin??) Thingamajig upon which the fate of the world rests…you know the drill.

    As the second long running, globe trotting action franchise this summer featuring gargantuan and outlandish set pieces which also, incidentally, spectacularly destroys the city of Rome and is the first of a two-parter, I know which one I’m gonna re-watch more.

    I predicted that only 2 movies this year would transport me to the Hallowed Halls of Action Nirvana, John Wick 4 and MI7. It’s nice to be proven right!

    See it on IMAX or the biggest goddamned screen near you.

    It’s worth it.

  82. Stray thought: I like that across 7 movies, they’ve steadily built up the narrative that Ethan Hunt’s Achilles Heel is an inordinate fondness for flighty women with a past and shifting allegiances. So it’s no surprise Girl Next Door and All Round Nice Uncomplicated Gal Michelle Monaghan simply didn’t do it for him.

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