Dearest Blog: Yesterday it was off to Marquee Cinemas for Mission Impossible: Fallout.
Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers.
The past comes after Ethan Hunt and his team with a vengeance.
Mission Impossible: Fallout has been called the best film in its lengthy franchise, and that's probably a fair, if arguable, assessment. Ridiculously high stakes and and insane stunts make the Fast & Furious movies look like gritty realism by comparison. Fight and chase scenes are expertly choreographed and never dull or repetitive, even if they go on a bit. Tom Cruise--who, as Facebook has pointed out multiple times this week, is older in this MI installment than Wilford Brimley was in Cocoon (!!)--is in top action-hero form, performing his own stunts whenever the insurance allows and carrying the franchise on his back as if he has no other option. The cast is fleshed out with the usual array of familiar and (generally) likable faces: Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Henry Cavill's moustache, Angela Bassett, Michelle Monaghan, and Simon Pegg, who is always best thing about any film lucky enough to have him. The brilliant Sean Harris also makes a welcome return as baddie Solomon Lane. Now I shall (reluctantly) mention just a few negatives: While MI: Fallout has a LOT of moving parts, the twists aren't all that clever. They're enjoyable and satisfying, but I made a game of guessing "surprises" before they happened, and I didn't miss the mark even once. There are too many impossibly lucky turns among the chase scenes (a little of that goes a long way), and some "thinking out loud" dialogue that is too silly even for a movie as over-the-top as this. Henry Cavill's wooden delivery, while perfect for a goody-two-shoes like Clark Kent, is jarringly bad for a character that should be at least a little hard to figure out. Finally, even though it doesn't lag, Fallout would have been well served by at least a small trim of its excessive runtime. Not one of those things makes MI: Fallout less than a great movie, but, in the interest of full and fair disclosure, these are what I see as its flaws. Also, since several people have asked, no, you won't be lost if you haven't seen the previous installment (or any previous installments) in the series. The film explains itself more than well enough for even the most casual fan to keep up.
Mission Impossible: Fallout clocks in at a whopping 147 minutes and is rated PG13 for "violence and intense sequences of action, and for brief strong language."
Easily the most exciting offering of the season, Mission Impossible: Fallout is that rare commodity: a fun summer blockbuster that's also a genuinely fantastic movie.
Of a possible nine Weasleys, Mission Impossible: Fallout gets eight.
Until next time...