by Ian Morton

As a writer, the Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie has been rather hit and miss when it comes to Hollywood blockbusters. While his imdb page is plagued by features such as The Tourist and last years, The Mummy, its also glistening with little gems such as 1995’s The Usual Suspects and Edge of Tomorrow. At the helm of the SS Mission: Impossible however, he is a force to be reckoned with, as he slowly turns the Ethan Hunt sailboat saga into Bond-esque super-yacht franchise.

With a string of successful M:I entries to date, each film has benefited from the directors signature recipe; one part espionage thriller to two parts mind blowing action set pieces. None more so can this be felt in his latest foray, Fallout, as our intrepid hero, Ethan Hunt, is tasked with taking down a rogue operative group, birthed from the twisted mind of terrorist leader – and Rogue Nation villain – Solomon Lane.

Evolving the franchise is something that the veteran director seems adamant in achieving, as Fallout feels older and more refined than some of the previous efforts. RN certainly turned heads as it expertly balanced a more ‘adult’ theme with what the series was known for. Fallout however, takes this to the next level. Picking up where Nation left off, the plot gives credence to its title as it deals with the consequences of previous efforts while introducing the latest nuclear threat to great effect.

Easily one of the biggest pull factors of the franchise is Tom Cruise and his death defying stunt work. In Fallout, Cruise can be seen pummeling the streets of Paris on a motorcycle, leaping the London skyline and completing the harrowing Halo drop. While in its promotion it may seem a little OTT, the effect once wrapping around the intriguing plot, creates an intense, edge of your seat experience that few other action films manage to achieve. In this sense, it blows its CGI intrusive Bond counterpart out the water.

Supporting the same familiar faces, the rest of the cast are just as pivotal to the success of the latest adventure as each of the previous installments. Hunt is once again joined by Benji (Simon Pegg), Luthor (Ving Rhames) and British intelligence agent, Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) in a world that proves a one man army isn’t always the best approach. Reprising his widely acclaimed role as mega-criminal Solomon Lane, Sean Harris chews the scenery as he goes toe to toe with the IMF in an attempt to bring his own sense of peace to the world. In a shock twist, the most surprising turn comes from Henry Cavill as CIA super-spy, August Walker, in what could arguably be his best role in a feature film yet.

Building upon each of the previous efforts, Mission: Impossible Fallout is easily the best the franchise has to offer and certainly a jewel in the crown of Chris McQuarrie. Bringing together all the best elements of the franchise while telling an intriguing, edge of your seat action/thriller and the result is a film that will keep you wanting more from a series that – in my opinion – is starting to edge its way ahead of its British Secret Service equivalent.

Check out what we thought of last year with our top 10 of 2017:
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