Blu-ray Review: Mission: Impossible Fallout

For over two decades Tom Cruise has continued to make the Mission: Impossible franchise arguably the best action franchise of all time. Usually by the time the sixth installment of a series comes around the actors are just going through the motions to grab a paycheque while audiences get more of the same; yet that’s the exact opposite of how Cruise handles the M:I films, always aiming to one up the last one in story, stunts and all around action – and he’s more than succeeded at that mission with the latest installment.

Mission: Impossible Fallout breaks new ground for the series, as it marks the first time a director has returned behind the camera for a second time. Cruise always wanted each film to have its own distinct feel, and by choosing a different director with a fresh vision for each movie it helped keep things fresh and unpredictable for audiences over the past 22 years – that is until Christopher McQuarrie came around. This pair has hit it off and delivered incredibly successful – and downright awesome films – in recent years, so it’s not surprising that Cruise would bend the rules in this case.

In Fallout, McQuarrie continues his story about the Syndicate, its captured leader Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), and how both continue to haunt Hunt. The last mission, Rogue Nation, was a darker tone, especially after Tom Cruise’s daredevil theatrics on the Burj Khalifa in the vibrant thrill-ride that was Ghost Protocol. With the latest Mission, McQuarrie balances the dramatic weight and the story by upping almost every action sequence to blockbuster-level proportions, constantly raising the stakes and never slowing down the pacing to allow audiences to catch their breath. Truly his best work as a director, particularly a car/motorcycle chase through the streets of Paris that’s one of the best chases I’ve ever seen. The fight choreography is flawless, the camerawork is fluid and up close and personal.

With the Syndicate scattered after the capture of their leader during the events of Rogue Nation, Fallout also marks the first time that a villain has antagonized our hero across the span of two films as well. Yes, the notorious Solomon Lane returns once again as the bane to Hunt’s existence. This time out a splinter cell of the Syndicate has formed called The Apostles and they’ll stop at nothing to bring the world to its knees while restoring the order they see fit once and for all.

Fallout is absolutely packed full of so much entertainment to the point where you may have a hard time finding a Blu-ray that’s still properly sealed in its wrapping. Okay, that was cheesy, but the point still stands! There’s just so much to love about this movie that it’s hard to put it into words without spoiling anything. The missions are an absolute blast, the stunts are jaw-dropping, the suspense is masterful and the throwbacks to previous films are spectacularly handled for fans of the franchise who have been there since the start – or even those who came in late but know their M:I film history!

Now let me talk about Cruise briefly here, as he once again shows why he’s the best Hollywood has when it comes to giving action-craving audiences what they want. This is a guy who just turned 56 years old yet continues to do a large majority of his own stunts to the point of injury so that the cameras can get right in his face and audiences can get right in on the action alongside him. He actually broke his ankle while filming this movie in a scene where he’s jumping from one roof to another. If you look up the scene before seeing the movie, you’ll notice they actually use the shot of him running off screen after just breaking his ankle because that was the only take they had.

Yes, Cruise delivers on all cylinders once again as it seems like the older he gets, the more intense and wild the action scenes he takes part in become. But on top of that it’s also the acting chops he brings to the scene that truly set him a rung above the rest. There’s a lot of layers to Ethan Hunt, and Cruise knows just when to peel them away or wrap them back up whenever the moment calls for it. There have been a lot of extremely talented people involved in the Mission: Impossible franchise that have helped make it the powerhouse franchise it is today, but none more than Cruise himself, and he showcases that once again in here.

Mission: Impossible Fallout is hands down one of the can’t miss movies of 2018, and is a no-brainer purchase if you’re an action junkie looking to own one of the best movies of the year. That’s right, not just one of the best action movies of the year, but Fallout is one of the best movies of the year, period! While it remains unclear if McQuarrie will return for M:I 7 (Cruise has reportedly already approached him about it) to complete what could be seen as a potential trilogy, one thing is for certain, Mission: Impossible Fallout is about as good as it gets for Hollywood blockbusters and no matter who is at the helm of the next installment, we’re all in for quite the ride if they’re looking to top this one!

Like its predecessors, Mission: Impossible Fallout looks stunning on Blu-ray. This is the type of movie you buy a big screen television with surround sound and all the trimmings for, and the studio has delivered in making sure its audio and video mix delivers! The picture quality is top tier, delivering incredibly sharp images that stay true to the director’s vision, be it day or night, or inside a simply lit room or a crowded club with mirrors and lasers blasting all over. The sound is also perfection, with the sound effects taking the action to the next level, while never getting convoluted with the score or dialogue – both of which also blast out of the speakers as clean as one could hope for.

Special Features:

The Blu-ray disc itself has a few commentary tracks on it that give the viewer various views on the making of the movie from everyone that they’d likely want to hear from.

Audio Commentary – First up, there’s a track with McQuarrie and Cruise, which will likely be the go-to listen for those who only have time to pick one – or for those choosing an order to go in. I mean, saving it for last may be the way to go also, but I think hearing their views makes the most sense, and opens up the other commentaries for their more specific takes.

Audio Commentary – McQuarrie and editor Eddie Hamilton take over this track, which is another great listen.

Audio Commentary – Lastly, we have Composer Lorne Balfe, who has a unique track, and not really a side we often get to hear from on commentaries – especially for giant blockbusters.

Isolated Score Track – This is quite fun and will be for the music lovers, or those looking to watch a movie in a unique way, as this viewing of the film simply plays the film’s score without dialogue of sound effects!

Disc 2:

If you’re ever wondering what a fully-packed bonus feature set looks like, it’s pretty much all found here on this release. Not only is just about every angle covered on commentary, but there’s also a Behind the Scenes feature called Behind the Fallout which runs at almost an hour long and is broken down into seven features.

Light the Fuse – This feature Is just over 11-minutes long and gives a nice in-depth overview of the franchise so far, the story going into Fallout, as mentioned in my review above, just how dedicated Cruise is to the series and how he sustained a major injury while filming, plus so much more! A really fun watch, as is most of this…basically look to set aside an hour when you begin this mission!

Top of the World — This feature is just under 11-minutes in length and focuses on the HALO jump scene in the film! This was briefly showcased on Youtube leading into the film to highlight how it’s definitely Cruise leaping out of this plane over 100 times in order to make sure they get the proper shot! It’s an awesome feature to watch, and truly enjoyable to see how much Cruise wants to make sure the audience gets the action they pay to see.

The Big Swing: Deleted Scene Breakdown – This is one of the shorter featurettes, coming in at just under four-minutes, and it focuses on the filming in the Grand Palais in Paris!

Rendezvous in Paris – This feature delves deeper into filming in Paris – particularly the epic chase scene through the streets!

The Fall – This feature comes in at under six-minutes in length and focuses on one of the big stunts in the film that takes place during the climax. I’ll leave it at that for those who haven’t watched the movie yet (though I have to ask, what are you waiting for?!)

The Hunt Is On – This feature is also 11-minutes in length and focuses on the helicopter chase in the movie (yes, two epically amazing chase sequences in one flick!) that also showcases Cruise’s stunt work once again, as well as the work and extreme care and dangerous aspects of filming a sequence like this.

Cliffside Clash – This four minute featurette focuses on the showdown between Hunt and his nemesis in the film as they square off near the end of the film.

Deleted Scenes Montage – For fans of deleted scenes you get a few here with optional commentary by McQuarrie and Hamilton.

Foot Chase Musical Breakdown – This piece comes in at just under five-minutes in length and sees Composer Lorne Balfe break down the musical aspects of one of the action sequences piece by piece. It’s really interesting to get to listen to things like this, which don’t usually make the cut on the special features front.

The Ultimate Mission – This featurette lands at just under three minutes long and sees Cruise just gush about the franchise, what it means to him and why he holds it dear. He also touches on why he does his own stunts and how it benefits everyone in the end.

Storyboards – A few storyboards can be viewed here for those who like to see that sort of thing as well.

Paramount Pictures Presents Mission: Impossible Fallout. Written & Directed By: Christopher McQuarrie. Based on the TV series created by Bruce Geller. Starring: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Alec Baldwin, Angela Bassett. Running time: 150 Minutes. Rating: PG. Released on Blu-ray: Dec. 04, 2018.

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