Release year: 2018
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Starring: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Fergusion, Sean Harris
Genre: Action and Adventure, Drama, Mystery and Suspense
“How many times has Hunt’s government betrayed him, disavowed him, cast him aside? How long before a man like that has had enough?” CIA agent August Walker
Tom Cruise not only saves the world, but the summer box office as well. And it’s hard to tell which seems the greater feat.
The star earns unexpected praise from all fronts in this film, and much comes from a lingering respect that the 56-year-old actor still does his own stunts.
David Ehrlich of IndieWire called it one of the best action films ever:
"He's only Tom Cruise because nobody else is willing to be — or maybe he's only Tom Cruise so that nobody else has to be. Either way, Fallout is the film he's always promised us, and it is worth the wait." – David Ehrlich
From across the pond, The Guardian’s Catherine Shoard, whose paper is usually a bit uppity and anti American, is clearly infatuated with our bold Yank, too, even throwing her own country’s super spy under the bus as she raves about one of the last American movie stars:
"For Fallout, Cruise leapt out of a plane at 25,000 feet 106 times. He piloted a helicopter through a tight mountain range. He crashed a motorbike at high speed without a helmet. He leapt between London rooftops, breaking his ankle, yet still hauling himself to the roof. It out-Bonds James Bond." – Catherine Shoard of The Guardian
Yes, Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt does “out Bond James Bond” himself, at least the now anemic Daniel Craig, who seems more interested in neurotic belly gazing and starring in his own psychodrama than saving the world.
But during the Mission Impossible: Fallout scene at the Grand Palais in Paris we have a nod to Daniel Craig’s first outing as Bond in Casino Royale, where both he and the script were in top form. It’s an epic bathroom battle featuring Ethan Hunt and CIA assassin August Walker in a tag team against John Lark, one of many bad boys in this film.
Different Drummer especially liked another nod – this to the 60s television series that inspired the films. Fallout actually replicates the old self-destructing tape that starts with, “This mission, if you choose to accept it.” And that reference is echoed by super villain Solomon Lane as he taunts the upright Ethan Hunt.
"Your mission, should you *choose* to accept it." I wonder, did you ever choose not to?"
Finally, there is a ruse that is almost identical to one from the TV series, which did a lot more with psychological mind games than the high stakes action the film franchise now favors. Probably a decision from Christopher McQuarrie, who not only directed but also wrote and co produced the film. As we all remember from the 1995 classic The Usual Suspects that McQuarrie penned when he was only 27 years old, he also likes mind games.
Almost all the supporting actors are terrific. I especially liked newcomer Vanessa Kirby as the White Widow – stylish, vulnerable, coldly lethal, and manipulative all at once. An only slightly softer version of Charlize Theron’s ruthless Atomic Blond.
Alec Baldwin, despite his escapades off camera, has always been a sound actor. Here he rekindles the cinematic patriotism he first showed us as a very young Jack Ryan in 1990’s Clancy classic, The Hunt for Red October.
And what’s not to love about the avuncular Luther (Ving Rhames), the only cast member except for Cruise who has been in all 6 of the Mission Impossible franchise?
The only cast member who isn’t quite up to par for me is Henry Cavill as CIA operative and assassin August Walker. He seems to be phoning his lines in. But maybe he was just exhausted and shaken from all the stunt work he did for the film. In an interview with UK’s Express, an animated Cavill shows a light touch in response to Cruise’s description of the helicopter chase:
“We were flying very low near rock faces and I was literally on Henry’s tail. It was incredibly exhilarating and dangerous.” (Tom Cruise)
Cavill added: “I thought at one point, ‘Ah, this is how I go but at least I will have been killed by Tom Cruise and it will definitely make the papers!’”
If you have more or less boycotted the theaters this summer because of the general low quality of the films out there, it’s time to return to their air-conditioned comfort and cheer on this “one-man supernova” as Tom Cruise saves the world once again.
Not to miss.
* * * *
“Paris is scandalously sexy, and a few sips on a French Martini is sure to get you feeling that way, too. A sumptuous purple colour issuing from the famous Chambord, it gives a nod to its heritage—it’s Louis XIV himself who is said to be the first to have sampled the liqueur.
It’s an elegant love potion made in the City of Love itself. And well, if it was good enough for The King, surely it’s great for anyone, don’t you think?" Frederic of talkinfrench.com
But Ethan Hunt is no Bond; he is not into bed hopping or swilling down martinis. Instead, it is the enigmatic arms broker, The White Widow (Vanessa Kirby), who is best suited this exquisite cocktail.
Go ahead and taste it. You know you want to.
The French Martini
· 1 1/2 oz Chambord flavoured Vodka
· 1/2 oz Chambord liqueur
· 2 oz Pineapple Juice
· Fresh Raspberries to garnish
Add Ingredients to a mixer filled with ice, shake, then strain over a Martini glass. Garnish with raspberries to serve, et voilà!