Say what you want to say about Tom Cruise’s personal life, the man is 56 years old and is without a doubt the best action movie star in Hollywood.
Cruise’s latest performance as IMF agent Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible Fallout epitomizes why this 22-year spy-action franchise is better than Bond.
The reason, it starts with Cruise himself as the actor living his characters lifestyle. Fallout is the seventh movie of the Mission franchise where Cruise performs one death-defying stunt after another. That is the biggest sell, the practicality of stunts being real enough for audiences to believe.
Although it takes more than just stunts to draw audiences, what I found lacking with each Bond installment was an anti-hero fighting to remain relevant and current. Daniel Craig’s Bond simply has no more tricks up his sleeve.
Excluding Casino Royale, the Bond narrative has made no attempts to reinvent itself. It is an iconic classic, that is the label. From the villains and femme fatales being filtered, the story ends up feeling cliché and mundane. Once marquee elements, are now ultimately hurting the Bond narrative.
Meanwhile, with Mission Impossible you have characters that heighten the Ethan Hunt narrative. MI:III gave us Philip Seymour Hoffman’s character rattling Hunt’s poise as the best villain to date. Rogue Nation brought Hunt to meet his match with Rebecca Ferguson’s Ilsa Faust.
Today, Fallout gives us an alluring Henry Cavill character, August Walker, a Bane type to Cruise’s character. Fallout is the best Mission movie to date. It is surprisingly balanced, the heavily marketed stunts complement a great storyline. This is due to the return of director Christopher McQuarrie.
McQuarrie directed the last movie, Rogue Nation, only to return with more unforgettable action sequences, cinematography, and plot twists that will simply keep you hooked. From the Halo Jump, the crazy bathroom fight scene, motorcycle and car chase across Paris, to the penultimate finale.
They all served a purpose, they fit into the storyline instead of being an extension. Another element Mission Impossible gets right is avoiding one of the biggest Hollywood tropes Bond films make with their leading lady.
Once again, Rebecca Ferguson stole the show with her kick-ass character, Ilsa Faust, who provides this genre with strength and mystery. She is an equal compliment to Cruise’s Hunt, something we won’t see in Bond.
Although Cruise may get the well-deserved acclaim for elevating Hunt into a mortal superhero, Fallout concludes with this absurd notion that the franchise is not slowing down.
With a seventh installment already in the works, you rarely cannot find a movie franchise today that has consistently surprised and captured audience’s attention without any reboots or re-casting. Because let’s face it, Tom Cruise is no James Bond or Jason Bourne, he is Ethan Hunt.
Fan or not, you just need to watch Mission Impossible Fallout to see how this franchise has aged like fine wine.
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