Do Tom Cruise and his over-the-top stunts pay off in his sixth outing as super-spy Ethan Hunt?
Mission: Impossible - Fallout is the sixth installment of Cruise's long-running series, which started back in 1996 as a big-screen reboot of a CBS show from the 60s and 70s. Since then, the Mission: Impossible series has become known for its thrilling action sequences, thanks largely to the stuntwork Cruise performs himself. The question is, do the stunts match up to the movie on a whole?
The answer seems to be a resounding yes, as the early buzz on Twitter indicates. Along with Cruise's stunts, director Christopher McQuarrie, previously directed 2015's Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, is getting talked up for telling a story as compelling as the death-defying action sequences.
Variety says each Mission: Impossible movie has been bigger, better, and more ambitious than the previous one, and Fallout is no exception.
"Mission: Impossible - Fallout isn’t just another stunt-driven save-the-world bonanza. Of course, it is that, offering a whirlwind tour of Paris, London, and Kashmir this time around, but writer-director Christopher McQuarrie — on board for more, after making slick work of the previous movie, Rogue Nation — smartly ties this sixth installment back into what has come before."
While The Hollywood Reporter says the plot can get a bit hard to follow at times, but still praises the sheer spectacle of it all. "McQuarrie, the first director ever asked to return for seconds behind the camera on this franchise, succeeds in establishing and more or less maintaining the ideal tone, one that fuses sufficient self-aware humor with the ever-more-outlandish set-pieces so as to encourage the audience to enjoy them for what they are — some of the most extreme, sustained and dangerous-looking stunt-reliant action scenes ever assembled."
Entertainment Weekly calls it "a film with not just action, but stakes. Hunt’s rubber mask drops long enough to give us a glimpse of the humanity underneath."
They also note that McQuarrie's second Impossible movie has given him "an innate feel for the franchise and the character that matches Cruise’s while also tapping into the sort of Byzantine plot switchbacks he first showed off in The Usual Suspects at the dawn of his career."
The Guardian disagrees on the storytelling aspect, calling the movie "as silly and convoluted as any of the others," before adding that "the genre thrills are entertaining."
"There are colossal action scenes in Paris, London and finally a barking mad helicopter chase sequence in Kashmir, topped off with some outrageously vertiginous hanging-by-a-thread scenes which for me pleasingly brought back memories of Roger Moore-era Bond."
As of this writing, the movie's sitting at a 100 percent Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, who all say the film's breathtaking action sequences are not only enough to overcome some storytelling flaws, but stand out as some of the best ever put to film.
Mission: Impossible - Fallout, should you choose to accept it, will hit theaters on July 27th. From the sound of things, it will end a sequel-heavy summer at the box office with a bang.