First Hit: Holds tension and action throughout, however it is long and we all know the ending.
I’ve said this many a time, what I like about Tom Cruise (here as IMF Agent Ethan Hunt) is that he’s always all in for the characters he chooses. As Ethan Hunt he’s one with the role. What is always disappointing is that we always know how the film is going to end. For instance, my previous review of the film Blindspotting, I had no idea how the movie would end, that’s what partly made it great. Watching Mission, I know that Hunt is going to save the day in the nick of time and he doesn't fail.
Despite that, this film is action packed from the very beginning and creates tension by delivering on some hair-raising predicaments and stunts. One of the nice touches was how the film began. Playing the Mission: Impossible theme music, it showed brief pictures of was to come, just like the television show use to do. The cast is solid, especially Hunts team of Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) and Benjamin “Benji” Dunn (Simon Pegg). Their chemistry of working together on previous Mission films makes the impossible missions more possible and believable to the audience – they are pros.
The plot has Hunt attempting to obtain three plutonium devices that are on the black market. The US Government want to keep them out of the hands of terrorists. Hunt makes the choice to save the life of Luther over obtaining the devices.
Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), who Hunt previously captured and put into prison, is attempting to obtain the devices through surrogates. He wants to use the devices to make a point that the world must suffer greatly if it is to get better. His former organization, The Apostles, want the weapons as well.
One of the plot devices is to have CIA agent August Walker (Henry Cavill) join the team to protect the CIA’s interest in IMF’s plot to re-obtain the devices. Walker is directly under CIA Director Erica Stone (Angela Bassett). The twist is that Walker is also playing John Lark who is an enemy of the CIA and IMF.
Hunt and his team are under the direction of former CIA Director Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) who now leads the IMF task force. The film shows the tension between the CIA and IMF because the CIA doubts that the IMF can get the job done.
Another twist to this plot is the MI6 agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) who has to redeem herself to her organization, therefore she must also obtain the plutonium devices.
Lastly, trying to broker a sale of the devices the story has the White Widow (Vanessa Kirby). I'm not totally sure why this part was needed but it worked.
What the film has is a number of different groups trying to get control of; the plutonium, a captured prisoner, or Hunt.
There are plenty of gun battle scenes, lots of chases (cars, motorcycles, running, and helicopter), and plenty of costume changes that the Mission: Impossible team is noted for. Everything is done very well, and the cliff hanging scene is simply a great cliffhanger. Lastly, one of the highlights for me was the different ways the theme song was used throughout the film.
Cruise always puts everything into his action roles. He can be funny, self-effacing, and believable all at the same time. Cavill is good as the agent with dual identity. Rhames is fantastic as part of the IMF team. He shows smarts, affability, and is fully believable in his role. Pegg is spot on as the one always questioning whether a plan Hunt has devised will work or not. In the end, he does his part and is often the one who figures things out. Ferguson is excellent as one of two women Hunt admires and loves. As an agent of MI6 she’s excellent. Harris is good as the slightly off-base mastermind who wants to teach the world a lesson or two. Bassett is good as the CIA Director that is elusive about her commitment to the IMF team. Baldwin was very good as Hunt’s immediate boss. Kirby was good as the White Widow, but I found it difficult to buy into why she held so much sway. Michelle Monaghan was excellent as Hunt’s former wife who is in jeopardy at the end of the film. Christopher McQuarrie wrote and directed this adventure with complete idea of what he wanted and with a knowing how to build tension to the end.
Overall: This was a fun filled film although it was a bit long.