Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Front Row at the Movies by Shirrel Rhoades

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This film had three thousand set-ups, thirteen helicopters doing 450 landings, four weeks of aerial photography across three continents … and one broken ankle. That’s what it takes to make a “Mission: Impossible” movie, the adrenaline-pumping action franchise starring Tom Cruise.

Known to do many of his own stunts, Cruise trained for a year to perform the High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) parachuting stunt in this film. That took over one hundred jumps from a C-17 military aircraft at 25,000 feet to end up with only three takes for the movie.

What’s more, Tom Cruise broke his right ankle, causing an eight-week shutdown of the film, while leaping from one building to another during filming in London.

One of the characters (Ilsa) says: “What the heck is he doing?”

Another (Benji) replies: “I find it best not to look!”

But you will look. That why you bought a ticket, to see the great action scenes in this ongoing spy thriller.

The studio’s synopsis simply says, “Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, along with some familiar allies, race against time after a mission goes wrong.”

That description would fit almost every “Mission: Impossible” movie to date.

Here is the skinny: IMF’s Ethan Hunt takes on Solomon Lane, the villain who heads up the Syndicate. Lane has a cache of Plutonium that Ethan lost years ago in an effort to save his IMF team. Hunt has to get it back before Lane unleashes a nuclear holocaust. However, questioning his loyalty, the CIA sends out an assassin to stop Hunt and his rogue agents.

This puts Hunt in a squeeze play between the bad guys and his former allies.

Yes, that makes for lots of heart-stopping stunts, hand-to-hand fights, and guns-blazing shoot-outs. At 2 hours and 27 minutes, this is the longest one yet. And it takes you to London, Paris, India, the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, and Norway during that tick-tick-tick time.

“Mission: Impossible – Fallout” is currently playing at Tropic Cinema.

This is Tom Cruise’s sixth “Mission Impossible” to date. Cruise and his pal Ving Rhames are the only two actors to appear in all of the films. Simon Pegg has done four. Michelle Monaghan has appeared in three. We were pleased to see the return of Rebecca Ferguson in this one. Alec Baldwin and Sean Harris have also appeared in a couple. (And we noted the absence of Jeremy Renner, who had a conflict with shooting an “Avengers” movie.)

Toss in Henry Cavill, Angela Bassett, and Vanessa Kirby, then you have quite a cast.

This is Christopher McQuarrie’s second outing as a “Mission: Impossible” director. He won an Oscar for his “The Usual Suspects” screenplay and debuted as a director with “The Way of the Gun.” He’s a frequent collaborator with Tom Cruise, also helming “Jack Reacher” and co-writing “Valkyrie,” “The Mummy,” and “Edge of Tomorrow.”

Tom Cruise has been called the “evergreen movie star with the daredevil heart of a stuntman.” In “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” he certainly lives up to that accolade.

Email Shirrel: srhoades@aol.com

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