The sixth “Mission: Impossible” feature starring Tom Cruise is getting rave reviews, and I must pose the question: Why is this ridiculous series so potent? Is it the premise? Or is it the annoying but amazingly can-do star? There are a few clues in the original TV incarnation, which ran on CBS from 1966 to 1973 and was so dull it had a strange kind of power It had two great elements: the team of poker-faced good guys functioning as high-tech con artists, donning lifelike masks to impersonate marks and coordinating stings with clockwork precision; and the theme by Lalo Schifrin, the musical equivalent of that fuse under the credits, supplying the illusion of momentum even when there’s nothing, nada, going on: Mission: Impossible Theme and Title Sequences by Themes and Titles on YouTube When Tom Cruise seized control of that title in 1996, he kept Schifrin’s theme but threw out the teamwork concept, so his character, Ethan Hunt, ended up a lone wolf.
The director was the great Brian De Palma, but Cruise was the muscle. And for the second film he hired Hong Kong hotshot John Woo to turn him into a super-cool kung fu hunk, He looked like an ass, but the movie did well.
Abrams’ “Mission: Impossible III,” Cruise went back to the team idea Ving Rhames had been aboard from the start, but now there was Simon Pegg as a comic chatterbox, which helped.
But it was number 4, “Ghost Protocol,” that turned “Mission: Impossible” into an event.
The director was animator Brad Bird of “The Incredibles,” a genius at showing how best-laid plans could become worst-case scenarios.
“Rogue Nation,” was nearly as good, bringing in Swedish-born actress Rebecca Ferguson, who stole the movie But that was okay because the goal was different now. People had started to dislike Cruise after his couch-jumping antics with Oprah and public affiliation with the Church of Scientology. Suddenly, the aim of “Mission: Impossible” was to make him vulnerable That’s also the theme of the newest film, “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” again with McQuarrie directing.
The script is “Mission: Impossible to Follow,” but the movie is great fun anyway, with whiplash action and a lively ensemble, including Ferguson and Henri Cavill as a rival agent who flaunts his handsomeness.
As Cruise battles an apocalyptic organization called the Apostles, we register again how he has suffered for us and will suffer more, feeling every punch, finally heaving himself up the face of a cliff after a helicopter crash that would have killed a lesser-paid actor.
I admit I don’t find Cruise especially appealing, but I have no doubt why he’s a star, and why this new film is so smashingly well-done: No one hustles harder, or signals in so many ways, that nothing is impossible, Tom Cruise’s secret agent takes the leap into the latest “Mission: Impossible” installment.
Mission: Impossible 6 Fallout – Plot Connections & Ending Explained
Mission: Impossible Fallout is quite possibly the most spectacular entry in the series so far. On top of another round of insanely awesome action sequences, this sixth installment also connects deeply to the past five movies in the franchise.
I’m explaining all the connections between Fallout’s characters and plot and the other Mission: Impossible movies, plus how the ending sets up the seventh film. I’ll be talking White Widow, Ilsa Faust, Julia’s return, Henry Cavill, Solomon Lane, the new MI 7 team, and easter eggs.
Of course, Spoilers ahead if you’ve not seen the movie yet. The end of Mission: Impossible Fallout sees the newly recaptured Solomon Lane handed over to British intelligence by the CIA. Taking care of that transaction is the White Widow who CIA boss Erica Sloan refers to as the broker.
White Widow is actually the daughter of Max, the arms dealer from the very first movie, and it appears that she’s in charge of the same dubious organization Max led. And the “ongoing arrangement” that CIA boss Sloan mentions as Lane is handed over is a reference to the deal that Max was forced to make at the end of the first Mission: Impossible when she was caught and arrested on the train by the CIA.
It looks like White Widow will be a returning player in future Mission: Impossible movies which could be interesting given her organization’s nefarious connections in the underworld. I also noticed that Ethan and White Widow’s relationship in Fallout mirrors Ethan’s story with Max in the first film. In Fallout, Ethan pretends to be Lark in order to meet the White Widow, just like he pretended to be Job to meet Max in the first movie.
And Fallout even plays up some flirtation between Ethan and White Widow, similar to that hinted at between Max and Ethan. I also thought it was incredible how Vanessa Kirby who plays White Widow sounded so similar to Vanessa Redgrave’s Max, even channeling a number of her mannerisms.
Also in Fallout’s final scene is a big hint to Rebecca Ferguson’s future in the franchise when Sloan explains that the CIA’s transaction with MI6, closes their “friend’s account with British Intelligence”. Earlier, Ilsa told Ethan she was being forced to continue working with the British Secret Service in order to prove she wasn’t a rogue agent.
However, now that Ilsa’s free-and-clear of MI6, she’ll be available to become a permanent member of the IMF. By the end of Fallout, Ilsa has also been confirmed as Ethan’s love interest going forward, with the movie having developed the relationship between them, showing they do actually care for each other even if Ethan does run her over with a car! There is, of course, the matter of Michelle Monaghan’s Julia who returns for a small but significant role.
She and Ethan open the movie in a call-back to their wedding scene in Mission: Impossible 3. This distorted nightmare-like sequence has Solomon Lane officiating at the wedding and he begins to taunt Ethan about his lies to Julia and leading a double-life, blaming Ethan for her abduction in M:I 3, their subsequent separation, and how she had to go into hiding for her own safety in the fourth film.
This scene’s important because it sets up Ethan’s state of mind in Fallout where he’s troubled by visions of losing his moral compass and harming or killing innocent people in the course of his missions. The other purpose of this scene is to set up Julia’s reintroduction later in the movie, something which Tom Cruise had specifically requested. ‘I asked Tom, “what’s the one thing you wanna do?” and he said people are still asking me about Julia.’ ‘You know, you can’t be with Ilsa.
There’s still Julia.’ ‘And he said, I wanna tie up that story.’ ‘So I said, OK, we can do that.’ ‘But we have to do it in a way that it’s not just something we gonna cut out of the movie.’ ‘It has to be baked into the narrative.’ It’s nice to see Michelle Monaghan back and properly integrated into the story after her tiny cameo in the fourth film. Her scene with Luther catches us up with what she’s been doing since her split from Ethan, and she has a tender reunion with her ex-husband at the very end where they come to terms with why they have to be apart. I think Julia’s story is likely wrapped up now in the franchise, however, she could always return if the story warranted it. For example, we don’t really know who her new husband is exactly, so there’s always a chance he could turn out to be one of Lane’s Apostles! Also, interestingly, at the end of the movie, Ilsa whispers something into Julia’s ear.
Although Ilsa’s words aren’t audible, it does show a connection between the two who are, to quote Luther, the only two women Ethan has ever been serious about. And maybe Ethan himself knows what Ilsa said, given what a good lip reader we saw he was in MI: 3. But let me know if you’ve got any theories on what you think Ilsa said to Julia. Similar to Alec Baldwin’s Hunley in Rogue Nation, Angela Bassett’s Erica Sloan progresses from an adversarial view of the IMF at the start of the movie to a positive view of what the team does by the end. With Hunley’s death in Fallout, I think the film heavily hinted that Sloan will become the new Secretary for Mission: Impossible 7. Still alive at the end of Fallout is Solomon Lane.
He could return as it’s quite possible there are other Apostles out there who splintered off from the Syndicate and are ready to take up arms. Indeed, the original TV series featured the Syndicate as a recurring criminal organization; however, I suspect the film franchise will want to move on to a different villain. The other villain whose future seems over is Henry Cavill’s Walker. After all, he did fall off a cliff after a huge hook smashed into his already burned face; however, we never saw the body and crazy things have happened to bring back seemingly dead villains in the movies. Even if there’s a small chance he’s still alive, I really don’t think we’ll see him return for the next movie as it would feel too repetitive, though maybe he could make a surprise cameo down the road, perhaps as a horribly disfigured criminal mastermind.
So, this latest Mission: Impossible movie really feels like it’s making a concerted effort to build a more closely connected cinematic universe with recurring villains and new characters like Ilsa and Benji returning in each film to build a bigger team. It also felt like there were more call-backs and easter eggs to previous movies than usual. For example, when Ilsa was gagged and tied up by Lane, it felt like a nod to when Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s villain bound and gagged Julia in the third movie. In Fallout, Ethan pretends to be Lark with the hope that White Widow and Lark have never met, a tactic the team previously used in Ghost Protocol.
This time Henry Cavill’s Walker mocks the plan saying “hope isn’t a strategy”. The scene where Luther, Ethan, and Benji set up an elaborate fake hospital room and TV show so the nuclear scientist will reveal his phone’s passcode reminded me of the fake-out opening scene in the first movie where the team uses a similar scam to extract crucial details from an adversary.
And the final scene of Ethan climbing up a rock face after his fight with Walker to be rescued by a helicopter calls back to the beginning of Mission: Impossible 2 where Ethan’s rock climbing vacation is interrupted by an IMF helicopter.
So, the entire third act, I knew what Tom was going to be doing. He was going to be flying in this helicopter. But, that his flying in a helicopter didn’t mean anything if it didn’t have some immediate impact on things that were happening on the ground. And, the whole movie became about how do I engineer a sequence where the team all has things to do and if any one member of that team was removed it all would have gone to seed.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout Director Christoper McQuarrie
And, even then I only had the vaguest sense of it going into that village days before we shot it. – Like, that sequence just in it with the IMAX scope to it like is that on an Empire podcast you said last year that you showed Tom a picture of something and he said, “I can’t wait to fall off that.” Was that the helicopter? – That was Pulpit Rock.
We had figured out the helicopter sequence and we knew that it was going to end on a cliff somewhere. But, we couldn’t find a cliff like that anywhere in New Zealand. New Zealand everything was sloping downward. And, I kept saying to the location guy, “not something “he can fall down. “It needs to be something he can fall off.” And, he brought me that picture and when I brought it to Tom he was like, “That’s it.” And, the trick became how to create the helicopter sequence so that it would end on that mountain with both of those characters together.
And, that really was the big challenge of that sequence. – And, I love that, I mean I think if that sequence has any theme it’s like subverting expectation. ‘Cause you’re sitting there and you’re like Ethan’s going to get out of the helicopter before it hits him. I was like – he’s not going to crash. He’s going to crash and the helicopter, like was that something like, ’cause I know these movies they don’t exactly stop on a dime. So, is that something that you’re coming up with like leading up to the shoot? Was that there in the original outline? – It really became, it became the demands of we wanna have this confrontation between these two characters. And, we wanna have this helicopter chase between these two characters. And, Benji when he asked that question saying, “If he’s in another helicopter how are you gonna get it?” That was our question.
And so, a lot of what you see the team going through, that’s why when I introduced the film last night I said, “Watching a Mission Impossible movie, “the experience of watching it is very much like “the experience of making it.” A lot of times we put together these sequences not knowing how we’re gonna solve these problems. And, it’s always just about doing it in a way that just feels real enough ’cause they’re so outrageous.
“I want it to feel like a different director. “And, I wanna make a very different movie “from Rogue Nation.” Rogue Nation tipped its hat to Ghost Protocol. And, Ghost Protocol wasn’t broke and we didn’t try to fix it. I said I don’t think we can do that three times in a row. It’s gonna become kind of cute. And so, I wanna do something more emotional. And, I never really even allowed inside Ethan’s head and I want this movie to do that. So, what do you wanna do? And he said, “Well, I wanna tie up the story with Julia. “Everybody keeps asking me wherever I go “they’re asking me what about Julia?” We thought we had tied it up in Ghost Protocol. So, I said, “Okay, we can do that but you gotta do it “in a way that it’s not gonna end up on “the cutting room floor.
“And, I need to reintroduce that character. “You can’t assume that people have seen “every other Mission Impossible.” So, I pitched him the opening of the movie which is the opening you saw. And, that was the very first scene we came up with. – The dream sequence? – Yes, and that from that moment on we were in different territory. We were starting an action movie in the way action movies don’t begin. Not because we were saying, “Oh, let’s be different.” It was simply well, what would the story require. And, everything that’s you’re seeing in the movie that feels subversive is just us following the story where the story wanted to go.
The ‘Mission: Impossible — Fallout’ Team Reveals The Climactic Helicopter Scene
Every night, like clockwork, the “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” director would wake up in the middle of the night, his mind racing with worries about the film’s climactic helicopter chase Advertisement “You’re stuck in a loop where your mind is constantly thinking about all the things that could go wrong,” McQuarrie says “That keeps you up until around 6 in the morning.” Shot over six weeks over mountainous terrain on the South Island of New Zealand, the high-speed aerial chase – with Tom Cruise, as superspy Ethan Hunt, in pursuit of Henry Cavill’s villainous August Walker – was perhaps the most ambitious and dangerous action sequence ever attempted in a “Mission” film And given the number of death-defying stunts that Cruise had personally performed over the course of the franchise’s history – including scaling the world’s tallest building and clinging to the side of a plane during takeoff – that’s saying something “It was so big and so overwhelming,” says McQuarrie, who also scripted the sixth installment in the action franchise, which opened this weekend “We didn’t know how big a bite we were biting off before we did it.
It’s a very scary way to make a film It’s also intensely invigorating.” Though it’s all seamless on screen, that chase and the film’s final cliff-side slugfest were shot in three separate countries under extreme conditions including subfreezing temperatures and an injured leading man.
Here, McQuarrie, stunt coordinator Wade Eastwood, and Cavill break down what went into the grand climax Director Christopher McQuarrie, at left, and Tom Cruise behind the scenes on the set of “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” (David James / Paramount Pictures)
The sequence begins with Cruise’s Hunt attempting to get onto a helicopter as it’s taking off by grabbing onto the long line that carries its payload As the helicopter soars into the air, Hunt climbs up the rope, only to slip and fall backward 40 feet and slam into the cargo While it would have been easy enough (and needless to say, far safer) to shoot the stunt on a studio backlot against a green screen, that’s not how Cruise rolls True to form, the 56-year-old actor wanted to do it for real.
Eastwood and his team rigged up a complicated pulley system and safety line so that Cruise could perform the stunt with some degree of control But given the speed at which he needed to plummet – and the fact that he was doing it backward – there were still tremendous risks “The only thing the safety line was ensuring was that if Tom was killed during the stunt, we wouldn’t be looking for his body in the bushes,” McQuarrie says dryly “Because if he made the fall at the wrong angle, it’s picture wrap on Mr. Cruise
If he hits the payload headfirst as opposed to back first or legs first, he’ll break his neck and just be a rag doll.
Watching from the ground, Cruise’s costars didn’t realize at first that the fall was intentional and feared that the actor – who had already broken his ankle jumping from one building to another in an earlier stunt, forcing the production to shut down – may have hurt himself again “When he first dropped, they all screamed because they thought he’d actually fallen off the helicopter,” Eastwood says, laughing “They were almost booking holidays and packing up their bags. “Everyone always asks me if this is Tom Cruise just going mad and wanting to do all this stuff, but it’s really not that,” he continues “He approaches everything in a calculating fashion.
He would have been a great stuntman if he wasn’t a great actor ” McQuarrie, in window reflection, and Cruise on New Zealand set of “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”
Cruise has been a licensed pilot for many years and flown helicopters before, but in order to be able to pull off the difficult maneuvers involved in the chase on his own – including a perilous downward spiral – he underwent intensive training, spending 16 hours a day for more than a month honing his skills Advertisement Having Cruise fly the helicopter himself wasn’t just a way for the actor to get his thrill-seeking kicks The aim was to create the most immersive white-knuckle experience possible for the audience To that end, special camera mounts were fixed to Cruise’s helicopter so the audience could see that he was flying solo “It’s hard to do a helicopter sequence that’s interesting,” Eastwood says.
“We thought, how do we stay with the characters so it’s not just two helicopters in this massive canyon and it’s boring? It’s all Tom flying, 100% of it. There’s a lot of jeopardies – we’re flying in close proximity to other helicopters, in close proximity to the sides of the mountain – but the way we shot it, we keep it with Tom and keep it subjective ” Though his own helicopter was being flown by a professional pilot, Cavill still keenly felt the dangers (not to mention the bone-chilling, minus-22-degrees cold) “All it takes is one person to make a mistake for everyone to go down,” Cavill says “Even if Tom is flying perfectly, if my pilot has one little error in judgment trying to anticipate a gust or something, we all turn into a giant fiery ball of fun.
That’s what made it so spectacular.