These movies are, like Bourne, entering Bond canon areas. They are all slick, competent story telling at peak performance levels. It is just about a matter of the guest writers, directors, and stars. I’m a big fan of the John Woo entry, arguably the Goldfinger of this series. I do digress.
Ethan Hunt is up to Ethan Hunt antics - as Bond was more Caribbean offset with winter skiing, Hunt is more getting screwed in the midst of each mission for the last three or four. He’s hard on the equipment, senior staff do get killed around him; but he sure saves the day some times, doesn’t he? Whether or not it is rogue nation or ghost protocol time; it doesn’t really matter. Mission Impossible: Dark/Undercover/The Tall Corn can’t be far behind.
Is this the best film? Perhaps. Does it mean anything? Not particularly. Again, these are top level performances from people being paid to do so. Henry Cavill’s arc is oh so similar to his character work in Man from UNCLE, here channeling some Franco Nero and Force 10 from Navarone certainly.
Here, camera-work gives away plot points, that while simple and easy, are not revealed until useless focus pulls and a few other tips that do nothing but take viewers out of these flicks. They do allow for the truly slow to yell out in the theatre like they’ve solved the mystery despite being told by the cinematographer.
Fallout does suffer from some of the same shenanigans that Bond and Bourne have failed victim to; that producers feel the need to Marvel-like connect the entire series plot wise, instead of letting Hunt jump from adventure to adventure. The same malaise that took down Dr. Henry Jones Jr. back ten years ago as well during his discovery of aliens and the crystal skull; trying to tie the new movie to the previous entries. Works for Rocky. That’s about it.
Hunt also does slightly tend to suffer from what Navy chef Casey Ryback suffered from during his Under Siege conquests; he is almost never hurt. Ever. Here the first true sequence does put Hunt through the ringer - and Fallout does make an attempt to bring Hunt out of his element at times - but in the end, the adventure is as easy as the writing is glossed over.
“And then he can do THIS. And then? THIS. WHOA!”
The acting is fine. Cruise is in old territory here. Also, Ethan Hunt and Jack Reacher should team up. The film? Mission Impossible: Jack Reacher. or Jack Reacher: Impossible Mission. Either way, sign me up for a draft of it, Skydance.
Mission Impossible: Electric Boogaloo runs all this week in Dawson Creek.