2 January 2020

Mission: Impossible – Fallout; a mission too far

Christmas time means watching a lot of films and I caught Mission: Impossible – Fallout almost by accident, I saw it on the TV schedule after it had started and watched from the beginning on my iPad using the All4 app.

I wish I had not bothered.

The film has had consistently good, or even great, reviews Wikipedia tells me but I felt it moved too far from Mission Impossible towards Mission Dynamic. It was more like a poor Bond film with Ethan Hunt very much front and centre and with the usual action movie scenes of car chases, shoot-outs and running across rooftops.

Too often Hunt admitted to not having a plan when having a cunning plan is the whole point of the franchise.

Presumably somebody in the script team had seen 1993's Cliffhanger, with Sylvester Stallone playing the action lead, and thought that they would just steal a scene from that without anyone noticing. Well I noticed and Cliffhanger is a much better film.

How I mention it, Cliffhanger also does big locations better and the dramatic mountain scenery is a key part of the film. Early MI films had given us locations like Prague, Sydney Harbour and the tallest building in the world whereas Fallout seemed to spend most of its time in underground car parks.

The film also felt as though the producers realised that it was not working and so they pumped it full of unnecessary and distracting music to fill the space where the story should have been.

There were a couple of clever rubber-faced screens but these were too short and both too obvious and they had nothing like the impact that they did in, say, MI2.

Apparently there are two more MI films in the works. I'll be watching those too so I hope they are better than this one. I can forgive one dud in a good series.

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