Through five previous films over two decades, Paramount Pictures’ Mission: Impossible franchise has raked in a total of nearly $2.8 billion, providing a reliable tent pole for the studio and cementing Tom Cruise’s status as one of today’s greatest action heroes.
Now, the sixth installment, Mission: Impossible – Fallout is hurtling toward a July 27 release, and the initial critical reaction indicates that a resurgent Paramount has put together one of the boldest and most exhilarating films of the summer.
“Christopher McQuarrie’s Mission: Impossible Fallout is as relentless and intense an action movie as you’ve seen since [2015’s] Mad Max: Fury Road,” writes Forbes’ Scott Mendelson. “The action sequences, character confrontations and plot turns pile on-top of each other from beginning to end, with barely moment to breathe in between.”
This sentiment is echoed in one review after the next, with Vox’s Alissa Wilkinson noting that “… [Fallout] just may be the best blockbuster of the summer,” and Lewis Knight writing in Mirror that, “It’s hard to imagine how the franchise can top this terrific action romp, but then again we did say that last time.”
Indeed, it was this originality six films in that struck many critics.
“At this point in Hollywood’s franchise-fatigue cycle, it’s rare to see a sequel (nevermind a fifth one) one-upping itself,” writes Chris Nashawaty in Entertainment Weekly. “Fallout is a unique exception that defies our seen-it-all cynicism. It’s the kind of pure, straight-no-chaser pop fun that not only keeps taking your breath away over and over again, it restores your occasionally shaky faith in summer blockbusters.”
What Fallout does share with its five prequels is relentless and elaborate action scenes, pinned to stunning backdrops and choreographed with a heart-pounding realism. Cruise engages in a helicopter chase over the Himalayas, leaps out of a plane through a lightning storm, transforms the streets of Paris into a high-speed motorcycle obstacle course, and gets caught in what may be the greatest fight scene in the history of bathrooms:
“Fallout features more astounding set pieces than can be found in the rest of 2018’s summer crop combined, all of which escalate with such mounting electricity that it’s hard to catch one’s breath,” writes Nick Schager The Daily Beast. “In terms of providing a pure adrenalized rush, almost no contemporaries are in its league.”
“It’s not technically true to say that the Mission: Impossible movies are why IMAX screens were invented, but it sometimes feels as though it could be,” adds Angie Han in Mashable.
Writer/director Christopher McQuarrie returns to helm this installment – becoming the first to direct more than one Mission: Impossible film – and he is even more impressive in his encore.
“The action director Christopher McQuarrie has masterfully crafted I promise you will not be topped the rest of the year,” writes Jason Guerrasio in Business Insider “We see Tom Cruise jump out of a plane, get struck by lightning, save a man in free fall, and do it all in one single shot. Go. See. This. Movie.”
Paramount, reoriented and reenergized behind an overhauled management team, has demonstrated a savvy approach to its 2018 slate, with A Quiet Place earning more than $300 million on a $17 million budget, and Book Club bringing in $67 million on a $10 million acquisition fee.