Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Mission: Impossible - Fallout

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

Mission: Impossible – Fallout, will remind you how great pre-superhero/graphics induced, simple yet hardcore action movies used to be. It’s thrilling, engaging, funny and visually stunning all at the same time. All the elements flow naturally and are very balanced, humor doesn’t feel forced, action is raw/appropriately placed and storyline, even though obvious, still manages to engage the audience till very last minute.

Screenplay is simple yet effective. Spy action films tend to rely on plot twists and unexpected turns to engage the audience but this one keeps it simple and leave the engagement to the treatment of the screenplay. Another genius aspect about the screenplay is that things are made obvious to the audience in advance, so audience knows from the beginning who the real culprit is, and the excitement is built from the perspective of how our protagonist will find that out. It’s like our hero is making a plan with the culprit thinking he is on his side and as an audience you are just excited to see how this guy will react and actively wait for the moment of betrayal. Contrary to usual pattern where everything is revealed in the end and audience is the last one to know, that is also exciting but just for a moment compared to the whole episode where you know and involved from beginning.

This is one of that kind of screenplay where director has more responsibility, for example there are only couple of seconds given to figuring out the solution to problem and then good 20 minutes are allocated to actioning out the solution so if director doesn’t get that part right, end result could be very different. And Christopher McQuarrie gets that part amazingly right.
Christopher McQuarrie’s direction along with Rob Hardy’s cinematography is spot on and creates a very visually appealing experience, something which is very rare these days in action films.

As far as performances are concerned there is no doubt that this is a Tom Cruise spectacular, but every other character gets their screen time and moment to shine as well. Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt has his usual charm. He has done all his stunts himself and that’s why he got injured during the shoot as well. To be able to do such stunts with conviction at the age of 56 is a marvel and needs to be appreciated. Henry Cavill as August Walker (a CIA assassin) has this towering raw screen presence which made me wonder why I never felt the same screen presence when he is playing DC’s Man of Steel. I guess dark grim setup with bad CGIs takes it away from him, so my suggestion to DC to analyze this film and understand how to make Superman appear Super on screen as well, because the man has it. Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson and Alec Baldwin all get their own moments to be visible on screen in the brightest manner possible, which is also appreciable as such movies tends to use such characters in a very disposable manner possible.

I am trying my best to not give out spoilers, as when movie is good you really like to discuss your favorite moments from it. All the action sequences are amazing, there is a fist fight sequence where we have Henry Cavill and Tom cruise fighting with one guy in the toilet and it’s one of the best action sequences I have seen as far as I can remember. There are many stunts where you just gasp with sheer amazement and knowing that they are done by Tom Cruise himself adds another level of genuineness to them. Especially the end sequence is so successful in creating the tension that even though I knew Ethan Hunt will fix everything in the end but still as an audience I was having small panic attacks throughout.

Overall a very well-directed, performed, executed and visually stunning action film with an old school charm, which was being missed in this crowd of CGI and Superhero movies today. I go with 4.5 stars.
I would like to Thank Novo Cinemas for the premiere invites and making this review possible.

Self Promotion : Me at Novo Cinemas Premiere of MI6

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