New Review: 'Mission: Impossible: Fallout' (2018)

Updated on September 8, 2018

Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Cast: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Alec Baldwin, Angela Bassett, Sean Harris, Michelle Monaghan, Vanessa Kirby, Wes Bentley

Now this is how you do it! Mission: Impossible: Fallout is action film-making in its purest form. Every single shot made by cinematographer Rob Hardy is a thing of breathtaking beauty, and every edit by Eddie Hamilton is done with a surgeon’s precision. In a time when too many filmmakers shake their cameras during moments of excitement, here comes filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie to slap those other filmmakers across the face with a single message: This is how you’re supposed to do it. The man is slowly becoming one of this generation’s best action directors.

One of his signature visual touches during the action scenes, chase scenes in particular, is a wide angle shot where the subject of the shot is kept on one side of the frame, leaving a lot of wide open space on the other side. He used it in the last Mission: Impossible when Tom Cruise was hanging on the outside of the plane just as it took off, and he used it in the 2012 thriller Jack Reacher during the night time car chase (easily that film’s best scene). It’s a simple technique, but it does wonders in immersing the audience in the action. I was not one of the biggest fans of Jack Reacher, but even I’ll admit that car chase was a masterclass in film-making.

He uses that same technique again in Mission: Impossible: Fallout, in one of the most heart-stopping and exhilarating action scenes that I’ve ever seen. IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has tracked a shady figure to a medical camp in Kashmir. The villain takes off in one helicopter, and Hunt grabs hold of a load of cargo being carried by another chopper. Hunt eventually takes over the chopper and chases down the villain, and if you can not detect any green screen effects or CGI, it’s because there isn’t any.

Yikes! D8
Yikes! D8

I’ve done my research, and discovered that Tom Cruise prepared for a whole year to learn how to fly a helicopter for that one scene. I’ve seen behind the scenes footage of Tom Cruise piloting a helicopter through dangerous terrain, where if he made a single mistake, the results would be beyond catastrophic. No matter what your thoughts are on the man in real life, there’s no denying that he puts a lot on the line to entertain the movie goers, and more often than not, the results are nothing short of spectacular. Many filmmakers and actors would have played it safe and used stunt doubles and CGI to pull off that scene. Cruise and McQuarrie go for broke, and if the shot of Cruise struggling to get into the helicopter, losing his grip, and falling to the cargo load below doesn’t stop your heart, then I honestly don’t know what will.

The movie is filled to the brim with many extravagant set-pieces. One scene finds Hunt and a mysterious CIA agent named Walker (Henry Cavill) parachuting through a lightning storm above Paris, and the shot of Ethan looking down on the storm clouds from the cargo door of the plane is positively spellbinding. What follows soon after is a sublimely choreographed fist fight inside the men’s room at a nightclub. The production design in this scene is terrific (the men’s room is pale white from top to bottom), the punches are raw and brutal, and adding to the scene is the fact that McQuarrie uses no musical score at all. It’s a fantastic scene. Sometimes, less is more.

I’m six paragraphs in, and so far there’s no mention of the plot. That’s because the plot is exactly what you’d expect from a Mission:Impossible movie. After a botched mission in Berlin, Ethan and his team (Ving Rhames’ computer hacker Luther, Simon Pegg’s wise cracking Benji, and Rebecca Furguson’s elusive British agent Ilsa Faust) are sent after a terrorist organization known as the Apostles and retrieve three plutonium cores before the terrorists can get their hands on it. Alec Baldwin returns as former CIA Director Hunley, although he’s more supportive of Hunt here than he was in the last movie. Angela Bassett also co-stars as the new CIA Director Erica Sloane, and she’s not at all as supportive of Hunt as Hunley is.

"Tell me I was bad as Superman again! Go on! I DARE YOU!!!!!"
"Tell me I was bad as Superman again! Go on! I DARE YOU!!!!!"

It is basically what you would expect from a Mission: Impossible story, although McQuarrie’s screenplay is so tightly structured that, in spite of its familiarity, the story holds you in a vice-like grip from beginning to end. And while he also finds the right balance of darkness and humor, the film’s most satisfying moments come when the IMF team pulls a fast one on the villains who believe that they have the upper hand. Again, we’ve seen this before in previous Mission: Impossible movies, but the villains here are so detestable and slimy that you can’t help but feel satisfaction when the rug gets pulled out from under them.

While Tom Cruise is the star and he turns in a very charismatic performance, what makes the Mission: Impossible movies so special is that these movies are all about the team effort. Every single member of the IMF team is just as important as Hunt (even though Cruise gets all the big stunts), and Rhames, Pegg, and Ferguson all turn in exceptional performances to help carry the movie. Cavill turns in his best performance as Walker, Baldwin and Bassett are commanding as Ethan’s superiors, and Sean Harris is so deliciously evil as Solomon Lane. He’s one of those bad guys that you just love to hate.

Adding considerable emotional weight to the proceedings is Michelle Monaghan as Ethan’s ex-wife Julia. There’s a real tenderness to their scenes, especially when Ethan wakes up in a hospital bed and apologizes to her for all the hell that he feels he’s put her through. I didn’t really buy into their relationship when it was introduced in Mission: Impossible III (aka the only film in this franchise that I don’t like); it felt underwritten and hollow. Here, Monaghan and Cruise really connect in a way that they didn’t really manage in the third movie, and as brief as their scenes are here, it really brings a note of warmth to the proceedings.

Sometimes, when a movie is this well made, there’s a real thrill in simply looking and listening to a movie. I can not remember the last time I felt such a thrill in seeing gorgeous images edited together seamlessly with a great score and sound design, but by the end of this movie (in spite of its competently told yet familiar story), I was ready to go back in line and see the movie again. Mission: Impossible: Fallout is the embodiment of everything one could hope for from a Summer blockbuster, the very definition of a “bad-ass” popcorn movie.

There is a reason why people go to action movies. They can take us one adventures to far away places and help us forget about our everyday troubles. When they’re done well, we get to have a fun time at the movies. When they’re done flawlessly, we get a movie like Mission: Impossible: Fallout.

Final Grade: **** (out of ****)
Rated PG-13 for lots of action and violence and brief strong language

What did you think of this movie? :D

5 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of Mission: Impossible: Fallout (2018)

Even the trailer is AWESOME!!!! 8D


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Abishek Soundararajan 

      8 days ago from India

      I loved this review, you get everything right on point.

    • priley84 profile imageAUTHOR


      22 months ago from Warner Robins, Ga

      Thank you for reading. I hope you do enjoy the film when you finally get the chance to see it! :D

    • Sam Shepards profile image

      Sam Shepards 

      22 months ago from Europe

      Tom Cruise action movies done well are a guilty pleasure for me. I really like mission impossible, the series developed well and I enjoy most of the later installments more than the first couple.

      I like you review, will probably check it out in the theatre, only watch 2-4 movies a year there.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)