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Mission Impossible Fallout Review (2018) | Ethan Hunt is on Another Wild Joyride

Christopher McQuarrie walks in with yet another installment of the MI series and he doesn’t fail to deliver. Mission Impossible Fallout is fully packed with action and a mind-racking mission that will have your heart in your mouth. To ice it all, the fact that Tom Cruise has done all his stunts himself deserves a standing ovation per se. The bloke is so invested in acting that even a broken foot doesn’t stop him from completing a scene. It is just thrilling to see him this phenomenal at the age of 56.

Mission Impossible Fallout doesn’t have any separate memorable side-missions like all the prequels used to carry except the immediate prequel. I guess we have to accept McQuarrie’s way of filming an MI movie. He doesn’t really cash in on a sub-plot rather focuses more on the actual one. For him, the idea of an impossible mission is to stay with the primal plot, and it makes sense too. He has literally changed the way we have been looking at an MI mission. For some, this very fact could be bothersome while for some, it doesn’t really matter.

The end you’ve always feared is coming. And the blood will be on your hands. The fallout of all your good intentions.

Mission Impossible Fallout has old school written all over it even though it is working along with all those latest gadgets IMF has. Everything boils down in the end to a cliched helicopter chase where the hero throws himself in the nick of time on a rope or someone in the team does something as intricate as cutting wires off bombs. But what makes it all different and why does Mission Impossible Fallout movie stand out?

The Direction of Mission Impossible Fallout Movie

McQuarrie believes in delivering a realistic experience to his audience. The fact that he doesn’t resort to that much visual effects in order to shoot an action sequence just goes on to prove how serious he is about filmmaking. If you get a complying actor who never fails to impress either, lo! the circle is completed. Judgment is delivered. You get a complete cinematic experience that focuses on what’s innate and not what’s fabricated. Tom is his golden goose, and the magic seems to be working every time.

Mission Impossible Fallout Team

Christopher McQuarrie satiates action lovers with all kinds of stunts in this new installment that capers around topics that makes all its stunts justified. It is a mind-boggling adventure of a tale that comes with its own twists and turns. Working for IMF and for so long (we are talking all the installments here) the team has become capable enough to outsmart people, and they do it plenty of times here, thus proving why experience gives them the upper edge.

There are close calls aplenty that will have you jumping on your seats. It also has an endearing love angle that places the two women Ethan loves and his boss in front of his mission and he juggles them all like a pro. There are split-second decisions to be made that Ethan makes unflinchingly. Plans going kaput that places him in dire situations and he always manages to come through.

McQuarrie leverages Tom in a way he has never before whilst depicting uncut original shots that will have you biting your nails off. Whilst Cruise cruises through it all dedicatedly and unfazed by what it might do to him. Such a level of commitment! It leaves you speechless.

The Plot of Mission Impossible Fallout Movie (Spoilers)

Set two years later after the events of Rogue Nation, the movie starts off with a dream Ethan Hunt has where he is concerned about his ex-wife Julia’s (Michelle Monaghan‘s) safety with the prequel’s villain Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) by his side as the world speeds up into oblivion. With Lane in custody, the remains of The Syndicate forms itself into a terrorist group called The Apostles. Ethan is assigned a mission (“should you choose to accept”) to intercept the sale of three Plutonium cores which are being handed over to their client John Lark.

There cannot be peace without first a great suffering. The greater the suffering, the greater the peace.

Cut to Berlin where he meets the rest of his team Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) to carry out the mission. Ethan fails when he chooses to save Luther’s life over securing the plutonium cores which is stolen by the Apostles.

Nuclear weapon’s expert Nils Debruuk (Kristoffer Joner) is captured by the team then and is tricked into believing that the nuclear bombs indeed went off and that cities like Rome, Jerusalem and Mecca were destroyed in its wake. Duping him, they take the info about Apostle’s next move.

August Walker

Enter August Walker (Henry Cavill), a Special Activities Division operative who is instructed by CIA director Erica Sloane (Angela Bassett) to shadow Ethan for the rest of the mission after knowing about his debacle in Berlin.

You use a scalpel, I prefer a hammer.

The next job is to Halo jump into a party to intercept John Lark, impersonate him using all that face imitation technology we had seen in the prequels, and to retrieve the cores from White Widow (Vanessa Kirby). The mission goes kaput when August and Ethan end up in a fist fight with John Lark who is eventually shot by Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson).  That fight scene is one of the many good things about the movie.

Unable to make the mask in time, hoping that White Widow hasn’t met John Lark in person, Ethan takes the risk of meeting her anyway portraying as John Lark. A lot of agents from all across the globe wanted him dead and show up to attack John. Despite their attempt Ethan and White Widow escape. White Widow then breaks it to Ethan the price of obtaining Plutonium was to extract Lane from a convoy crossing Paris.

Testing Loyalties

Avoiding a mass massacre of the innocents, Ethan and his team extract Lane even though he is forced to go against White Widow’s team, Ilsa Faust, who is bent on killing Lane, and the police. Watch out for that chase scene! Simply dope! White Widow changes her term of core’s deliverance by wanting Ilsa too along with Lane.

Please don’t make me go through you.

Mission Impossible Fallout Ilsa and Ethan

Walks in IMF Secretary Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) pointing fingers at Ethan calling him the real John Lark. On being cornered after being asked to stop the mission, Ethan knocks him out to complete the mission.

How many times has Hunt’s government betrayed him, disavowed him, cast him aside? How long before a man like that has had enough?

Taking Lane’s face to continue the meeting with White Widow, Benji is tied against Lane. When Walker is left behind with Lane, he spills the beans in front of him revealing himself to be the real John Lark. The team along with Hunley (who was acting all this time) catches him red-handed and Erica is informed on the phone. She sends a shadow team to take them all in.

Turns out Walker is a step ahead as his apostles have already infiltrated the shadow team. A fight ensues and Hunley gets stabbed and Walker escapes. Ethan follows suit racing after him and narrowly cuts him only to fall back owing to a threat about his ex-wife.

The Bomb Trouble

With the help of a tracker, the team is able to track down Walker and Lane to Kashmir. Lane’s plan, with the help of the nuclear explosion, is to contaminate the water supply of India, Pakistan, and China to affect one-third of the world’s population. Benji explains how the remaining nuclear bombs are so intricately synchronized that if one gets defused the other one goes off and that bombs can only be defused when the countdown timer is running. If that ain’t an impossible mission, I don’t know what is.

The two bombs are deliberately placed at a radioactive location to mask their radioactive signature. As Benji and Ilsa try to figure out the bomb’s exact location, Ethan goes after Walker in a helicopter chase to retrieve the detonator.  To make matters worse Julia and her husband are also deliberately planted there by Walker. Lane hands over the detonator to Walker after activating the bombs and chooses to stay.

My running days are over. This is where it all ends.

Mission Impossible Fallout Team

Luther finds the first bomb and starts defusing it with the help of Julia. While Ilsa and Benji run into Lane trying to find the second weapon. A fight ensues as Benji is almost killed but is saved in the nick of time as Ilsa subdues Lane. Ethan rams his helicopter into Walker’s and kills him before retrieving the detonator as they all successfully defuse the bombs.

Eventually, we see the remaining two cores being retrieved too as Lane is handed over to MI6 by Sloane. Ilsa is exonerated as the rest of the team joins Ethan while he recuperates.

Ballsy Choices

Apart from being what it already is, Mission Impossible Fallout is much more. There are critical situations that take shape in front of Ethan’s eyes which question his judgment as a human being. Like the choice of saving a friend’s life on being cornered.

Then Ethan chooses to not go with White Widow’s plan of a mass massacre, instead creates a difficult mission to ensure plenty of lives are saved. Then there’s another one where he is forced to kill four bad guys to save the life of one policewoman. It just goes on to show how thoughtful and decisive Ethan is and that he is willing to work around the way in order to stay good. Saving lives and taking impossible risks is what Ethan is all about.

So the internet is ranting about this very particular scene where Henry’s beard grows and his shirt magically grows a pocket as he locks and loads his arms. While the scene looks insanely theatrical the world is too harsh on him I think.

These are obviously two shots that are merged together but the details aren’t given proper attention to. The second shot of the arm gun reload moment was shot later to make it look more appealing. Given how brilliantly the images have been merged you cannot say that the editor did a bad job there at all, except for the overlooking of minutiae. To be really honest, I don’t feel it’s that big of a deal.

The Missing Scenes

While for some there is no such thing as too much action for an action movie, McQuarrie believes it is better to leave a movie well crafted since a meal is supposed to be savoured when it has all the ingredients in the right amount. That being said a lot of frames that were shown in the trailers couldn’t make it to the final cut. It is sad because in the back of the head I kept waiting for some scenes.

That truck scene, in particular, where Ethan is about to ram into a truck before lights go out.

What’s done is done when we say it’s done.

With such a huge scene missing from the movie, Mission Impossible Fallout becomes one of those flicks that doesn’t promise what it sells. I guess we can only say, it is better to not watch the trailers or you end up creating your own little storyline for every scene in your head. And when you don’t see it in the final cut, it ends up being a huge bummer.

You can order Mission Impossible Fallout from here:

The Final Verdict

With all the things that are going inside its powerful plot, it goes without saying, Mission Impossible Fallout is an extraordinary flick. The fact that its action is as real as it gets, makes it a definite watch per se.

Fate whispers to the warrior. There’s a storm coming. And the warrior whispers back. I am the storm.

Tom Cruise does justice to Ethan once again, and it’s hard to imagine a world where Tom does not play Ethan. He literally is Mission Impossible! Just go and watch this one for the thrill of being in Ethan’s disaster saving shoes once again.

Pete’s Dragon Review (2016) | A Beautiful Retelling of Petes Dragon 1977

Pete’s Dragon is a beautifully revived and embellished idea that had gone lost in humdrums of life. Disney digs up a lost tale, primps, preens and touches it and lo! It turns green. Green’s a pun-wink of course.

DIRECTION OF PETE’S DRAGON

Enchanting direction! The depth of David Lowery’s direction is simply mind-boggling. His images speak of a winsome quiet, a rare calmness that allows you to feel the warmth of every scene that he tries to show. It is not rushed and retains plentiful focus. It allows you to feast on the magnificence of his settings.

He manages to whisk it beautifully with Elliott‘s, the Dragon’s puppy like demenaour. His ideas can be read through his frames, those that canter on the strides of “What would be the next possible course of action?” He does a fine blend of what is plausible and whimsical and manages to elicit a stunning feat that looks good both in imagination and theory.

PETES DRAGON CAST

Pete’s Dragon brings in the vanguard Oakes Fegley of the Fort Bliss fame, cashes in on his forever seeking eyes. He makes his character quite endearing to watch with that sad comportment he carries. We see him in that mood often throughout the movie, and the yen in his eyes to be home, the longing in his eyes as he looks up searching for Elliott, will have you feel sorry for him on numerous occasions.

still of Oakes Fegley in Petes Dragon movie

Bryce Dallas Howard’s gargantuan affairs continue as she finds herself wrapped in the totem of another reptilian movie right after she did Jurassic World last year. She plays Grace, the lady who tries to help the lost boy in the woods. Her’s is quite a relatable character something you would love to do any day – care for a child who has no whereabouts of his family or, for that to matter, life itself.

Karl Urban as Gavin brings home that nefarious element to the Dragon tale, claiming his pointless right over what he finds and captures. His is a comprehensible role, that you can put a pin to, and get along with, given the circumstances.

Wes Bentley could be found so much engaged in his acting, that you don’t find him doing much in the movie. Robert Redford as Meacham has Dragon glories to share, and his thoughtful comportment will have you listening to him just as kids listened to him in rapt attention. Oona Laurence plays Natalie quite convincingly too, and supports Pete right from the moment she finds him.

THE GREEN FRIENDLY DRAGON ELLIOTT

still of Elliott and Pete in Petes Dragon movie

Last but not the least: The Dragon Elliott. If you have a thing for dogs, you are going to fall for it instantly. Elliot’s acts are just like a dog’s, with its postural manners, playful acts, seeking eyes; everything is going to put it into a contour of an adorable puppy. Its disappearing act comes straight from the 1977 movie, which Disney decided to go with. There are sporadic moments of tranquility when the green dragon flies to show nature at its true flair to Pete. Those images leave you with a sense of contentment. Love Elliott has is unconditional. But it becomes ungainly thoughtful too.

PIECES TO WATCH OUT FOR (SPOILERS FLYING AHEAD)

If you are in the right rhythm of the movie, there are some instances there that you cannot certainly miss. Like the time Pete ends up in town only to storm away in his rare window of opportunity. You can read him well in those fleeting instances where he is cornered by a pacifying Grace, as he howls, nay, wails in pain. That yelp is meant for Elliott but gets lost in thin air. It is so impactful that it will definitely hurl you towards a whirlwind of sympathy for the poor child.

I loved the direction where the falling of Pete with a thud gets followed up brilliantly by the waking up of the Dragon. You can almost feel their connection. Also, the way the movie begins, with that abysmal tragedy that has been so beautifully shown through Pete’s perspective inside the car. The book that Pete carries “Elliott Gets Lost” literally defines his life, and stays at all times, well complemented by the surreal creature.

The fact that the dragon sneezes a bucketful of mucus instead of fire brings home that elemental twist of humour that is laughable. But he is a dragon after all, and he can only take so much. That monstrous mien in the end is aptly fit and only once, just when things begin to head south. However, Disney doesn’t fail to celebrate Elliott with all the goodies, finding its soul to forgive it in a split second.

MUSIC OF PETES DRAGON

This is where the movie truly scores as well. Not only is the score simply soothing to the ears, but it constantly puts you in a room full of jocularity. It has beautiful songs well edited. Lowery places them in right areas that accentuate the theme of Petes Dragon further. One of the most gorgeous songs that the movie retains is the Petes Dragon Song by Bonnie Prince Billy the lyrics of which you can find here: Lyrics of Dragon Song. It will make you fall for it at once. So soothing and artfully written.

DOWNSIDES OF PETE’S DRAGON

If you pay attention to the CGI of the movie, it fails to touch the levels of culmination you might have had in your head, given today’s heightened age of visual effects. Elliott appears to be more fantastical and imaginary. It doesn’t have that primal realism feel to look at, like all those successful reptilian movies in the past that had so beautifully triumphed in visuals.

still of Elliott from Petes Dragon movie

You can’t also oversee the fact 6 years in the wild, and the child still behaves in normalcy. When he finds a group of people coming, he doesn’t run away in sheer fear, also puts things under clouds of doubt. His reaction on finding new things for the first time in town doesn’t get milked enough. He comes straight from the savage world. But still doesn’t carry that bewilderment gaze whilst running and hopping over things he had forgotten all about. Things like that don’t go overlooked when perceived from a pragmatic vantage.

Screenplay of Pete’s Dragon goes to and fro. At times drops us brilliant lines, then most of the times lets its characters speak from their eyes.

PLOT SHORTCOMINGS

Another downside stays with the plot of Pete’s Dragon. It is something you have been constantly fed when a misunderstood beast story is considered. So you see every bit coming. Pete’s Tale is a clichéd story likes of which we had already seen in the form of The Good Dinosaur that Pixar did last year.

But you can’t shake off its backdrop either. It is very plausible which makes it an interesting fiction. It is quite remarkable how every open end in its story gets conjoined.

THE FINAL VERDICT

Pete’s Dragon is a spectacular retelling of the tale that saw the light for the first time in 1977. It doesn’t go dark being a Disney movie, but subtly skips through that part (in the beginning). Petes Dragon incessantly capers around the happy theme that it intends to walk on. Of course, Lowery’s direction makes it all the way better.

If you don’t delve into the clichéd side of it, you are going to love every bit of it. If you are a kid, there is nothing in the world you would want than being bestowed upon a friendly dragon for a pup.

Petes Dragon carries a stunning amiable tone that is outright perfect for your kid. It goes without saying, it is great for the fanciful whims that lurk inside you. A highly recommended movie for everybody.

Check out the trailer of Pete’s Dragon here: