There’s a moment in Fallout where Tom Cruise jumps from rooftop to rooftop and almost misses the landing. When he gets up, the same exact shot has him limping off screen. This was the infamous stunt in which Cruise broke two bones and the movie had to be shut down for nine weeks (why movies get insurance). While the scene plays brilliantly, it shows the commitment that Cruise has to the role, and to the biggest franchise of his career.
Prefacing my spoiler-free review, you as an audience member will be better served if you have seen Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and especially Mission Impossible: Ghost Nation, as Cruise and director Chris McQuarrie (Jack Reacher series, Rogue Nation) tie up loose ends and wrap up the current storylines throughout.
Ethan Hunt (Cruise) as always is on a secret IMF mission with only Luther (Ving Rhames) and Benji (Simon Pegg), his trusted companions, in which he has to buy plutonium undercover as a black market buyer. Things go wrong and Cruise’s past comes back to haunt him, as previous villain Solomon Lane (Jared Harris) comes into play as well as a mysterious figure from his past, disgraced MI6 agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson).
Needless to say the plutonium gets into the wrong hands and Hunt and his team need to retrieve it. The IMF has been under intense scrutiny in recent years due to Hunt’s actions, and are currently being overmatched by the CIA and its director, Erica Sloane (Angela Bassett, dominating the screen). Despite the current IMF chief Alan Hunley’s (Alec Baldwin) protest, Sloane has assigned August Walker (Henry Cavill) to watch over Hunt and assist in the operation to get the plutonium back safely.
While Cruise is undoubtedly the star of every film in the series, and even still so in this one, Cavill matches Cruise beat for beat and provides the best antagonist and foil for Cruise in the entire series. (For the record, Chris McQuarrie should be directing Man of Steel 2!!!). Another newcomer to the series is the mysterious White Widow (Vanessa Kirby from Netflix’s The Crown), who has a deeper connection to the previous films with some deeper research.
While the plot moves forward at times at a slower pace, it’s mostly to let audiences catch their breath between the show stopping action sequences. That’s not to say anything disparaging about the plot, it’s McQuarrie’s linear and in depth storyline which will keep audiences emotionally involved. Hunt’s journey to try and retrieve the plutonium takes him globe-trotting to Paris, Norway, and Belfast, encountering old characters and revisiting plotlines.
While the franchise may be winding down (Cruise is 56), there is clearly a passion for the films and careful care about what the franchise means. This film is highly recommended, and in what appears to be at times another summer full of generic storylines, the series continues to shine a light on what all action franchises should aspire to be.