[Review] Mission Impossible Fallout: The most explosive of the saga?


After Jack Reacher and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Christopher McQuarrie and the indestructible Tom Cruise are back for a new summer merry-go-round … Still as entertaining?

James Bond, Jason Bourne, L’agence tout risk, Jack Reacher, Mission Impossible … The years 2000-2010 were definitely prolific for undercover agents with a stunt tendency. While Her Majesty’s spy has turned to a darker atmosphere, Ethan Hunt’s turn is clearly one of one-upmanship.

If desperate situations have always been part of the DNA of the series, the original episode of Brian de Palma now seems to be over. Since that of John Woo ( MI 2 ), the saga has not stopped pushing its own limits, even if it means gradually losing the form of credibility it had until then. An uninhibited vision, far from the real codes of espionage, which has succeeded in seducing an audience fond of special effects and moments of bravery of all kinds.

For once, the feature film is based on a threat of global destruction. In possession of a plutonium cache following an error of the IMF (Impossible Missions Force), an anarchist group called “The Syndicate” intends to create chaos in the world. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team will try to stop them by stopping Soloman Lane, at the head of the group. The CIA questions Hunt’s intentions and decides to send August Walker (Henry Cavill) to arrest him. Caught between two fires, he will face multiple dangers.

McQuarrie uses this catastrophic and almost mundane storyline in the series to deliver an impressive action recital. He expels the stakes of the film in an explanatory scene of a few minutes to launch us as quickly as possible into his visual furnace. It consists of a series of perfectly produced sketches, delivered at a metronomic pace for 2h30.

Some of them are also doomed to become emblematic of the second cycle of the saga, which began with Ghost Protocol . This is particularly the case of a highly charged Parisian getaway, which represents the best third of the film. The director gratifies us all mixed with a vertiginous free fall above the Grand Palais, but also a chase in the streets (not very crowded) of the capital, which poses as a model of genre.

Each desperate situation gets worse as if to make itself more spectacular on purpose. A van accident thus turns into a death trap when the latter falls into the Seine, causing an aquatic sequence as original as it is unexpected.

Indoors, the whole is a little less inspired. The hand-to-hand games are perfectly choreographed, but the flashy photography and impeccably costumed smears make it feel like watching a Gucci-commissioned action commercial.

McQuarrie repeatedly tries to suggest that a page is turning in the saga. Beaten down by a martial arts expert, Cruise, 56, has to rely on tough Henry Cavill and Rebecca Ferguson to get by. But the elegance of his sidekick and the good-naturedness of the new Superman do nothing: he is the guarantor of a franchise that will find it difficult to continue without him.

Proof of this is that this episode still struggles to create a true antagonist in Ethan Hunt. What James Bond managed to do by chaining the audacious castings (Mads Mikkelsen, Javier Bardem, Christoph Waltz…). Even Simon Pegg’s antics seem to have been muted.

This reluctance to strip his star can be seen in the last half hour, when McQuarrie sends the laws of the physics of bodies and objects flying. A sequence against the clock so hallucinatory that it will even make the fans smile.

But here again, the director ensures the spectacle and manages to hang on to his roller coaster, whose climax is reached during a memorable but cartoonish helicopter battle. Without ever giving rise to any concern about its progress, the feature film leaves us sated. That’s good, that was what we asked him.