It was 1996 and I was 12 years old. Summer holidays were passing by in the usual way. Playing cricket, watching cartoons, reading comics and trading Big-Fun and Centre Fresh cards. But there was one odd thing. Kids were going on and on about some guy called Tom Cruise and a scene where he suspends himself from the roof, hovering inches above the ground. Kids did their best to describe the scene to each other but you had to see it for yourself. Even today, it is one of the most iconic scenes of all time and Tom Cruise continues to be relentless. He has given us many entertaining action films from Minority Report to Edge of Tomorrow but Mission Impossible will always be special. It has played a huge part in inspiring a generation of action films and will be remembered as one of the first films to dare. Now comes Mission Impossible Fallout, which is the 6th film in the franchise.
"This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds", Tom Cruise throws off his sunglasses and they explode with the iconic background score blazing in the background
There have been so many iconic moments over the course of 20 odd years and 6 films. Ranging from bike chase sequence/head-on clash in MI2 and underwater chip exchange in MI Rogue Nation to Automated parking fight scene and Burj Khalifa jump (the best) in MI Ghost Protocol. Mission Impossible Fallout continues this trend.
In Mission Impossible Fallout, Tom Cruise reprises his role as Ethan Hunt and since this is an MI film, things are bound to go wrong. So lunatics are just around the corner, waiting to kill millions to prove a point or two. Honestly, I am oversimplifying, because the story and screenplay of this films have been written rather well. The writing is tight and gripping and the screenplay is edgy. The only complaint I have is with the editing which is vicious and crass. A small blip in an otherwise good film.
Actors Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg reprise their roles as well, playing Ethan Hunt's long-standing team-mates and friends, Luther and Benji. Rebecca Ferguson plays Ilsa Faust for the second consecutive time and once again brings an additional dimension to the story. I enjoyed seeing her here just as I did in Rogue Nation. The debutant in the series is Henry Cavill, better known as Superman in DC comics' live-action films. His portrayal of August Walkers showed us that he can be much more than Superman. Overall, the ensemble cast does a great job and put in a solid performance, even if people were not there for that.
I confess I don't watch the Mission Impossible films for the performances, who does? I watch them for the pulsating action set-pieces, the nerve-wracking chase sequences, and Tom Cruise's death-defying stunts coupled with one of the best background scores in action films.
Thankfully, Mission Impossible Fallout did not disappoint, not even a little bit. In the past, every MI film has had at least one huge set-piece which becomes truly memorable. In this film, I can count at least 3 such scenes. The car and bike chase sequence in Paris, the helicopter chase (Yes, you read it right) followed by a fight sequence on a cliff in Kashmir and the bathroom brawl (my favourite). The direction is spectacular here and Christopher McQuarrie deserves a lot of credit for creating rather absurd situations in the most convincing fashion. Though, what really convinces the audiences is Cruise's conviction and commitment which comes through in every scene. He makes you believe it as if it is actually happening. That is because it is happening, to him at least. For all the people who do not know, Tom Cruise does all his stunts on his own, no stunt doubles. And he is 56 years old.
Mission Impossible Fallout is an extremely entertaining film and one of the best films in the series. Watch it for the breathtaking, heart-wracking, jaw-dropping action scenes but also watch it for Tom Cruise. His crazy death-defying stunts, his love and passion for the craft, and ..well..he is Tom Cruise (read: charming, stunning), so just watch him.
p.s. For all those who do not believe that Tom Cruise does his own stunts or who don't think it is a big deal or even those who don't care, watch the video below