The days of Hollywood being a bastion of creativity and originality are dead, and sequels and reboots are the new kings of entertainment. The worst part about this is that Hollywood doesn’t even use the “sequelboot” to do something different or change the formula.
Case in point, see the newest installment of the “Mission: Impossible” series, “Fallout,” a title which I can only say makes the movie seem cooler than it actually is.
In this iteration, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) must heroically hero his way through multiple potential love interests, terrorists, car chases and stunts in order to prevent weapons of mass destruction from falling into the hands of a terrorist organization called the Apostles (a.k.a. the Syndicate (a.k.a. Hydra)).
After dropping the nuclear ball on a mission, Hunt is teamed up with CIA agent August Walker (Henry Cavill). Armed with a gun, a fistful of arthritis medication and Walker’s mustache — which has the power to end the careers of dozens of Justice League editors — they embark on the most impossible “Mission: Impossible” mission yet.
Cruise is 56 in reality and 53 in the movie, yet he almost single-handedly does the job of several armies, a couple of intelligence agencies, a criminal organization and a doctor within span of a couple hours.
You really have to hand it to the scientists that the Church of [Redacted] kidnapped and trapped in their subterranean labs beneath Riverside County. They’ve really perfected the art of harnessing the life energy from all their sacrifices in order to keep Cruise young forever.
At multiple points in the movie, the agents just kind of acknowledge how ridiculous it is that they keep succeeding in these missions. This always happens with little more than Hunt’s assurance that he’ll protect everyone, which — and I’m gonna say this is a spoiler even though it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who’s ever heard of these movies — he does.
Don’t let the trailers that imply he might possibly break bad fool you. He saves everyone within a five-mile radius of himself.
You would think that a special covert operations force working alongside every major intelligence agency in the world and fighting all kinds of threats with no operating parameters would have to perform some morally questionable actions for the greater good. But Hunt (or Cruise, really) is America’s special golden boy, and America’s special golden boy can’t be morally ambiguous.
As such, almost every single moral quandary that Hunt finds himself in works itself out so that he only ever ends up having to shoot the bad guys. Or, in other cases, Hunt will go incredibly far out of his way to not have to do anything too unredeemable — almost equally opposite to how far the various bad guys go out of their way to be bad.
Despite this, the tone of “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” stays consistent enough to not take you out of it, and some of the action scenes are pretty cool if you somehow haven’t had them spoiled by the trailers.
Of course, you also have to respect Cruise’s insistence at filming all his own stunts, even if it means breaking more bones in the process.
At the end of the day, it’s a “Mission: Impossible” movie. You know what to expect. It’s a competent action movie with solid performances and subject matter that never gets too risky so that your average American Joe can easily digest it.
It’s like the movie version of applesauce: It tastes good and is easy to swallow, but it lacks sustenance and tastes exactly like it did last time.