Wed | Nov 14, 2018

'Mission: Impossible - Fallout', above and beyond the call of duty

Published:Monday | July 30, 2018 | 12:00 AMDamian Levy/Gleaner Writer
This image released by Paramount Pictures shows, from left, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Tom Cruise and Ving Rhames in a scene from 'Mission Impossible - Fallout'.
Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in a scene from Mission Impossible-Fallout.
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In the annals of cinema, there have been a few films that not only define the genre, but aggressively elevate it.

Audiences accept a certain standard. A level that films just aren't able to pass. Perhaps it's because of the technology of the time, or just the laws of physics. Regardless, some films take that level, kick it in the teeth, and do what was thought to be impossible. It happens once every decade or so. Then you have the Mission: Impossible films which have done that with every iteration for the past seven years.

There's no getting around it, Mission: Impossible - Fallout is a technical marvel. It has multiple scenes that any other action film would be lauded for having just one of. It's an embarrassment of riches for a movie fan to have so many action scenes like this. Gripping, and satisfying. Unreal, yet realistic. The film is escapism at its finest.

The film sucks you in and doesn't let go. It's so good at monopolising your attention, that it's a shame whenever it breaks the illusions. Little moments that feel like shortcuts that break the logic the film sets up for itself, are distractions that keep the film from being perfect, but are easily overlooked when you get right down to it. Considering that most films have moments like these in spades, the handful in Mission: Impossible - Fallout is a small price to pay.

I will say that, initially, the film did have a bit of a pacing issue. For the first 15 to 20 minutes, I struggled to care about Ethan Hunt, his team, and this massively convoluted plot. The dialogue was very broad, and not nearly as engaging as the film's visuals. Eventually, though, I was taken with the film, and was excited to watch it unfold.

I think what the film does incredibly well, is how much it reveres and yet also ridicules the 'Mission Impossible' series. It's just the right balance of self awareness and genuine authenticity that makes for a thrilling entry in the franchise. It's fun, it's exciting, it's smart, even if it has a few not-so-smart moments. It's not perfect, but it sure does feel like it sometimes. It's definitely a film that begs to be seen on the big screen.

Rating: BIG Big-Screen Watch