Tom Cruise could do not wrong and is simply getting better with age.
Synopsis: Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, along with some familiar allies, race against time after a mission gone wrong. (Paramount Pictures)
Starring: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames
Writer: Christopher McQuarrie
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Rating: PG (Canada)/PG-13 (United States)
Running Time: 147mins
In an age where theaters are oversaturated with countless action film franchises, seeing the now sixth film of a 22-year-old action film franchise still innovate the genre while delivering its best installment so far speaks to the lasting power of the franchise and is simply a breath of fresh air. Four of the six films have been helmed by different directors and screenwriters but the constant has been Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt. Director/writer Christopher McQuarrie is back again for this film after helming the previous installment, Rogue Nation. What was the most impressive this time around was the sheer vision on display.
The story for this film involves Hunt and the IMF, Luther (Rhames) and Benji (Simon Pegg), who were forced to recover after a failed mission, losing possession of stolen uranium and leaving the fate of the world in the balance. So what’s new? This last failure caught the eye of the CIA and Erica Sloan (Angela Bassett) who installed a CIA assassin named August Walker (Cavill) onto their team. If there is one negative about the film, it would be its slightly convoluted story. In a nutshell, they did not only have to contend with a mysterious arms dealer named John Lark but also a group of equally mysterious terrorists who were working together to use said uranium to produce nuclear weapons.
There were plenty of twists and turns with some old characters such as Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) and Julia Meade (Michelle Monaghan) showing up along the way but the story was about getting the uranium back and saving the day. The story was thrilling to watch from beginning to end all while keeping you on the edge of your seat despite the convoluted and mostly predictable story while also featuring a surprising amount of humor. Though this film may be the longest of the series, clocking in at almost 2.5 hours, the fast pace with little downtime made the time fly by. The action scenes are what keep it so exciting to watch and they definitely did not disappoint. This was because of how real they felt and that was because the majority of them were real.
The increasingly crazy action set pieces where the best part of the film and what this film will surely be remembered by. As mentioned, a lot of what happened in this film was real and it was that dedication to realism that sets this film apart from most action films. This simply added another layer of immersion that created more stakes behind all the stunts. Some of the credit belongs to Cruise for his commitment to all the stunts but also the many advances in technology that allow filmmakers to take a more practical approach with the action. In some action films, the action is gratuitous and doesn’t fit within the story. This was not the case here as the action felt organic and necessary to the story. The action here was also plentiful and grand in scale thanks to some amazing cinematography that took full advantage of IMAX and an equally epic score that weaved in and out of the action.
What more can be said about Tom Cruise? His charisma and screen presence have single handedly carried the series and this was still the case here. He is so fun to watch and his age just makes all the things he got to do in the film even more impressive. He was fearless and always the consummate entertainer, literally putting his body on the line for our entertainment. Cavill, and his mustache, as Walker was a worthy addition for the franchise, was also impressive while getting to strut his stuff and held his own against Cruise.
Overall, this was an amazing action film and the best film of the Mission: Impossible franchise so far. Cruise is still worth the price of admission and there’s no reason why it should end as long as he continues to be willing to put his body on the line for us. The story here may be slightly convoluted for some but it was still thrilling to watch while keeping you on the edge of your seat for most of its 2.5 hour running time. Its insane action set pieces were all grand in scale and are some of the best in any action film and its amazing cinematography should be seen in IMAX if you can.