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Mission: Impossible – Fallout movie review: Respect the cockpit

Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Most people ride helicopters on the inside.

The Mission: Impossible movies have been on a steady rise since at least the third movie. Just when you think Rogue Nation may have been too tough an act to follow, Fallout takes it to yet another level.

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise)’s latest mission is to retrieve enough plutonium to make three nuclear bombs. The CIA saddles him with babysitter Agent Walker (Henry Cavill), and his rendezvous with the White Widow (Vanessa Kirby) reveals a plan involving Rogue Nation femme fatale Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson) and villain Solomon Lane (Sean Harris).

Rebecca Ferguson and Tom Cruise
They meet again

By six movies in, it must be hard to find impossible things to challenge Ethan Hunt. So it’s rather clever to give him a fire he has to put out in Walker.

Ethan would have the perfect solution to this plan, but Walker sabotages it by trying to help. He doesn’t even get it when Ethan saves him.

Henry Cavill and Angela Bassett
We’ve all had colleagues like Walker (Henry Cavill, with Angela Bassett).

Another great new motivation for Ethan the sixth time out is that situations continue to force him to choose between lives. Ethan can’t bear to sacrifice any innocent lives to stop the villains.

So he finds new ways to save them all. It’s a profound philosophical take in a genre that could easily be shoot ‘em up carnage. Those are fun too, but Mission: Impossible – Fallout shows that you can achieve greater good if you work as hard at it as Ethan Hunt.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Don’t give Ethan Hunt a choice unless you want him to do both things.

Ethan agrees to these Sophie’s Choice missions before he even has a plan, because he knows he’ll figure it out. And that’s really philosophically how it works. Decide you’re going to save everybody, then the solution presents itself. Doubt yourself and it won’t.

The action remains incredible. There’s a bathroom fight that tops the one in True Lies, and that’s an extremely high compliment.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout
This is the calmest moment from that chase scene.

There are two Paris street chases, with stunt drivers timed impeccably for Cruise to narrowly weave through them.

But man oh man, when Ethan starts running, that’s just the YAS moment. Everybody loves to watch Tom Cruise run, so they make it an enormous rooftop chase over London.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout
One of these pilots is the top gun.

The climax is a helicopter chase like I’ve never seen before. It really builds the tension so that just when you think it’s reached the tautest, they pull the rug out a little more.

The final chase begins with Cruise climbing a rope dangling from a helicopter. I’m impressed by anybody who can climb a rope on land, let alone in mid-air. It only gets crazier from there.

Rebecca Ferguson
Rebecca Ferguson returns as Ilsa.

The helicopter portion fills the full IMAX frame, including shots from inside the helicopter as they’re flipping around and around. It’s hard to film with IMAX cameras outside. How did they get them IN the helicopters???

Without spoiling the twists and turns of the plot, I hope the above makes a strong case for seeing Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Just imagine, there’s all that and a rousing caper with Benji (Simon Pegg) and Luther (Ving Rhames) too!

Mission: Impossible – Fallout opens July 27.

Fred Topel has been a journalist since 1999. Over the decades he’s written for About.com, Hollywood.com, CraveOnline, Rotten Tomatoes and Slashfilm. Fred brings Monsters and... read more

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