3:49pm PT by Omar Sanchez
'Mission: Impossible — Fallout': What the Critics Are Saying
The reviews for Mission Impossible: Fallout are in.
The sixth installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise sees Tom Cruise reprise his role of IMF agent Ethan Hunt as he travels across Paris and London chasing down — and being chased by — a terrorist organization called The Syndicate. The film brings back director Christopher McQuarrie for his second Mission: Impossible outing after the box-office and critical success of 2015’s Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation. Fallout also stars Rebecca Ferguson, Henry Cavill and Vanessa Kirby.
So far, critics are saying the mission is a success. While The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy found the film’s plot to be “indecipherable,” he writes that the action alone made the film a “fast-moving spectacle” that unfolds "in an extraordinary fashion.”
“Probably never has Paris availed itself so extensively as the setting for such spectacular action, which encompasses not one but two breathless motorized chases, one involving cars and a second that has a helmet-free Cruise zooming through congested streets and, in the most amazing interlude, speeding against traffic in the busy circle around the Arc de Triomphe,” McCarthey writes. “In scenes like this, any sense of dramatic necessity or real purpose is obliterated by the sheer sensation of it, which is significantly enhanced in the Imax format. Lorne Balfe's sharp re-orchestrations of Lalo Schifrin's original themes nicely further the cause throughout.”
Entertainment Weekly’s Chris Nashawaty views Mission: Impossible — Fallout as proof that the franchise is enduring, like its seemingly ageless lead star.
But unlike McCarthy, Nashawaty praises the film’s plot, saying it is “as narratively ambitious and clever as Cruise’s death-defying stunts.”
Adds Nashawaty: “Twenty-two years after he first reinvigorated the hokey TV espionage series, these movies still fit the actor like a glove, defining him in a way that the Jack Reacher ones can’t and the Top Gun ones probably won’t. It’s time to at least start the conversation whether the M:I films have now eclipsed the Bond movies. It’s not as heretical an idea as it may seem.”
Other outlets like Forbes also view the newest movie as the icing on the cake on what may be the best action film franchise in recent history. Forbes critic Scott Mendelson writes: “Mission: Impossible — Fallout has the relentless pacing of Mad Max: Fury Road, an occasional hair-trigger intensity (and Imax-enhanced scale) that will remind you of The Dark Knight and plenty of the unique flavoring that has turned this franchise from “Tom Cruise: Generic Action Man” into the most exciting, inventive and just-plain greatest action franchise around.”
Although it has been getting high praise, Uproxx’s Mike Ryan warns in his review that this may be one of the few Mission: Impossible films that requires seeing some of the previous films in order to appreciate what's going on.
“This is the Skyfall of Mission: Impossible movies,” Ryan writes, referencing the 2012 James Bond film that drew upon Bond's past.
McQuarrie is not left out of the film’s praise. Slate’s Sam Adams writes that the director was able to use conflicts and storylines from the franchise’s past to his advantage.
“Perhaps there are people carrying around residual feelings for these characters beyond how fetching they look aiming sniper rifles and dangling over cliffs, and perhaps they’ll derive some pleasure from Fallout’s tangled middle section, a knot of misdirections and double crosses that eventually deposits us exactly where we thought we’d end up,” Adams writes.
Despite a majority of critics lauding the film's action sequences, Slant Magazine's Keith Uhlich argues that all the spectacle mixed in with the plot may be a bit much for audiences to stay afloat throughout the viewing.
"There's barely a second to breathe in between the Halo jumping, the motorcycle crashing, the helicopter ramming, and, in the tedious countdown-clock climax, the frenetic frame-toggling between widescreen 2.39 and Imax 1.90 aspect ratios. (What Christopher Nolan hath wrought.)," he writes.
Audiences can choose to accept Mission: Impossible — Fallout when it opens July 27.