Mission Impossible: Fallout Review

It’s hard to believe we’re six films in and Tom Cruise is still going strong with his Mission Impossible series. In fact, I’d say his performance in Mission Impossible: Fallout is quite impressive, which I find to be rather abnormal for an actor this deep into a franchise. I’d have thought he’d lighten up, get lazy, or lose his passion for acting the part. But no. Not Tom Cruise.

We once again see international bad ass Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise), along with his friends from the Impossible Missions Force (IMF), attempt to stop a global disaster. Solomon Lane (you may know him as the bad guy from Rogue Nation) and his fellow anarchists plan to use stolen plutonium to simultaneously detonate three Holy sites. This is of course where Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, and Ving Rhames step in to carry out a death-defying, heroic mission that some might call… impossible.

Mission Impossible: Fallout plays like an intense, action-packed video game. There’s a continuous cycle of debriefings, top secret missions, and exciting chase sequences that put the audience at the forefront of the thrilling entertainment. It’s a total action movie fan’s action movie.

With a lot of action movies nowadays I’ll catch myself dozing off, not really getting into the action or even paying attention to the details. With Fallout, there’s hardly a dull moment.

Scattered throughout the film are several chase scenes (along with plenty of hand-to-hand combat scenes), which can last up to fifteen minutes at a time. Every second of it’s rewarding though, with some moments flying by so fast I wish I could’ve slowed them down. Or even just rewind and watch again.

It’s well known that Tom Cruise prefers to do his own stunts, which are notoriously so over the top and dangerous that some might call it insane. I’d consider this aspect to be one of the key appeals to the Mission Impossible series. The dramatic stunt work gives an organic, practical feel to the Mission Impossible films; and coupled with the strong camera work and editing kept things interesting for the viewer.

Shots of Tom Cruise clinging to a helicopter as it takes off, parkouring across rooftops, and skydiving from a plane are as realistic as a film could possibly get, and that’s exactly how I like it.

Mission Impossible: Fallout is a rush of adrenaline more action movies should strive towards, and it’s backed by a cast of solid, witty actors dedicated to keeping this franchise moving in positive directions.

The Verdict: B+

-Zachary Flint

 

The Mummy Review

The Mummy is a shockingly lousy attempt by Universal to copy the Marvel Cinematic Universe format. As the first installment of the lamely titled Dark Universe series, The Mummy is a bloated mess, with poorly written characters, easily predictable dialogue, and a very lame premise.

The film follows an antique thief named Nick Morton (played by Tom Cruise), who accidentally unearths an ancient mummy princess named Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella). With magical, evil powers unlike anything Earth has seen before, princess Ahmanet unleashes that power upon the city of London. It is now up to Nick, his archaeologist friend Jennifer, and Dr. Jekyl (who runs an organization that locates and kills monsters) to stop Ahmanet.

Instead of sticking to the horror genre like the 1932 version, The Mummy goes full summer blockbuster on us, substituting slow building terror for big dumb action movie. The whole film feels like it was artificially birthed in a test tube, with zero passion and little creativity involved in the project. Existing solely to make money.

Most of the actors, like Russell Crowe (as Dr. Jekyl) and Annabelle Wallis (as Jennifer Halsey), were unfortunately pretty terrible. Both Crowe and Wallis (and Cruise, for that matter) have almost no character or solid personality. Crowe is just an uptight businessman with no emotion, and doesn’t serve the conflicted character of Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde any justice. Cruise and Wallis have this awkward relationship that is quite confusing to follow, and never really goes anywhere.

Tom Cruise’s character, for some odd reason, remained utterly confused the entire runtime. He incessantly repeated questions like “What?”, “What’s going on here?”, “Who is that?”, “Why would you say that?”. Cruise was extremely obnoxious, and often times was a jerk. Not the kind of character I want at the forefront of many movies to come.

The only slightly interesting character in the entire film was Sofia Boutella, who played the mummy. Her performance was the closest thing to having fun while watching The Mummy, as Boutella was the only one who was able to show emotion in her acting.

The film made occasional attempts to be humorous, but the jokes always fell flat. Not a single person in the audience ever laughed, or even chuckled. The film even left long pauses in-between jokes for the audience to roar with laughter, but all The Mummy got was dead silence.

The climax of the film so unnecessarily elongated, that even the small amount of excitement built-up is squandered. By the time the filmmakers stopped beating around the bush and rolled the credits, I was completely out of patience. We the audience are left with no lasting impressions, no sense of resolution, and no interest in seeing where any of this is going to go in the future.

Other than the occasional good camera shot (like when the sarcophagus is first pulled from the tomb) and the excellent performance of Sofia Boutella, The Mummy has very little to offer. With multiple great interpretations of The Mummy already existing, there is no reason for anyone to see this disappointing flick. I’m not sure exactly what the Dark Universe has in store for the future, but if The Mummy serves as some sort of foreshadowing, we’re in for a snoozefest.

The Verdict: D-

-Zachary Flint