ROGER THOMAS REVIEW: ‘Mission Impossible – Fallout’: It is possible this series will never end?

Published 4:36 pm Thursday, August 9, 2018

I have written before about watching the television series of “Mission: Impossible” when I was young. I did not understand much of the show, but I did like to watch the tape recorder when it self-destructed. It was a simpler time.

Roger Thomas

In 1996, years after the series had been cancelled and revived, someone had a bright idea to make the series into a movie franchise. And now we have six films, all of them starring Tom Cruise. By the way, Tom Cruise is a year older than me and I am 55. I am not saying Tom’s character, Ethan Hunt, should retire; I am just thinking maybe it is time for him to take a desk job.

However, we are here to review the film.

My first thought is the film looks good. The cinematography and set designs are stunning in many moments. There are lots of action sequences in foreign places, as we have seen before, but many of these in this chapter seem especially appealing.

The cast, especially those who have been in some of the previous films, have fun personalities and do not deviate from them. The characters also have many fun gadgets including those masks that the heroes use to surprise their enemies. All of this is fun, and I will not deny that I had a good time throughout most of the film.

On the other hand, I felt that explanations were needed in some of the scenes. A lot of information was distributed between the heroes, and I did not always keep up. I wanted to say, “Wait, say that again! Slower!”

But, of course, in a crowded theatre, I was not going to say out loud what I was thinking.

Another weakness of the film is the length of the movie. Throughout I felt that some of the action sequences went on too long. I like a good car chase scene or fight as much as anyone, but at 2 hours and 27 minutes, something could have been reduced. No one would have missed what ended up on the editor’s floor.

But overall, not everything is a loss. The ending saved it for me.

I will not share anything of the plot in the final act of the story, but I will say, the last 45 minutes or so are better than any scene that has come before. As I watched the last third of the film, I kept thinking, “Wow! I wish the whole film had been this good. I am loving this!”

I think the ending was so good because it was so much fun. That is not to say that the first two-thirds had no fun, but it was busy with information, ideas, introductions of new characters and maintenance issues. There was a lot to digest, as I alluded earlier. But the end, those moments were crystal clear. They were great.

On the opening weekend, this sixth film of the “Mission: Impossible” series out-grossed the openings of the two most recent films in the series: “Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol” and Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation.”

After six films, there is still interest.

And why not? The films are fun. They have many exciting moments. They are crowd pleasers.

Again, I was not totally impressed. I would have cut some of the early scenes. But in the end, those last 45 minutes or so won me over.

I, like many others, will be ready when the seventh adventure of Ethan Hunt and company projects on the screen.

At the end of my review for “Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation” I wrote these words: “Rogue Nation is an incredible fun time at the movies. And as I have said often this summer, this is the season for ‘fun’ at the cinema.”

I was right then, and I am right now when I write, “The last third of ‘Fallout’ is a very fun ride!”

Roger W. Thomas of Albemarle reviews films for The Stanly News & Press.