by Hunter Johnson
Mission: Impossible is one of the most fascinating modern film series for one specific reason: each of its first five films were directed by a different director. Each movie had its own unique tone and style to it, so each one always felt new and fresh. Really, the only common through line of every film being Tom Cruise’s presence.
That was true until this year, when Christopher McQuarrie, the director of “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” was asked to return to direct the next film in the series, “Mission: Impossible – Fallout.”
Now, for the first time in this series, the audience is asked to have prerequisite knowledge of previous films to understand the plot and story in this film. And it works.
“Mission: Impossible – Fallout” is one of the greatest action films of the twenty-first century. Its action sequences are beyond amazing, its star-studded cast is brilliantly utilized, and Christopher McQuarrie is quite possibly the greatest director of a Mission: Impossible film yet.
When looking back at all these films, the one thing that has made the series consistently watchable is Tom Cruise as the lead role of Ethan Hunt and his dedication to the craft of film and stunt work. He is notably famous for doing all of his own stunts in his films, and this one is no different. The film has a variety of sequences that are unbelievable to watch specifically because Cruise actually did them in real life.
For example, there is a specific sequence in which Cruise does a HALO skydiving jump from 25,000 feet in the air. The crew ended up doing that jump 106 times just so they could get the perfect shots they needed for the film. That is just one of at least four major sequences done by Tom Cruise in this film, and it displays how devoted he is to making the perfect action film.
Other returning cast members include Ving Rhames—the only other actor to appear in all six films—as Luther, Hunt’s best friend, and Simon Pegg, making his fourth appearance as Benji, one of Hunt’s closest associates. Both are fantastic supporting characters and are consistently terrific in this series.
Rebecca Ferguson also returns after her appearance in the last film as Ilsa Faust, continuing to do outstanding work as a spy trying to find her way in the world.
Henry Cavill plays a new character in the series as August Walker, a CIA operative who works alongside Hunt on an important mission. Cavill is absolutely outstanding in this film, especially considering that up until this point, the world has only known him as a dour and slightly uninteresting Superman in the most recent DC superhero movies.
Another important aspect of this film and the previous films in the series is the music. Mission: Impossible has a very well-known theme song from the 1960s tv show that has been incorporated into every film so far. In this film, Lorne Balfe wrote the score, and he has done a masterful job. Balfe came up with new themes that help shock and awe the audiences in the best ways possible.
McQuarrie wrote the story, and he did a fantastic job in juggling the need for both set pieces and story. It can’t be a film solely about cool action sequences, but also needs to be a story that allows those sequences to take place, which the film does beautifully.
Overall, this film may end up becoming an action masterpiece. It’s easily the best Mission: Impossible film and it may possibly end up becoming a film classic, and that’s not an overstatement. The things McQuarrie pulls off in this film are simply astounding, from the action sequences, to Cruise’s unrelenting devotion to realism, to some of the most memorable and thrilling scenes to come out of any modern movie ever. Hopefully, Cruise and McQuarrie will return with another film that can somehow do it even better.
Hunter Johnson is a sophomore theatre major and an arts and entertainment writer for Cedars. He spends his time acting on stage, reading and watching Star Wars, and occasionally doing homework.