Tom Cruise is known for headlining action-packed Hollywood blockbusters like Jack Reacher, yet the Mission: Impossible films stand out as his flagship series. A new installment – Mission: Impossible – Fallout – launched earlier this year, continuing the story that began in the series’ 1996 theatrical debut. 

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT BLU-RAY REVIEW

Veteran IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Cruise) begins the film with a bad dream – or perhaps some kind of premonition? – showing him in the process of marrying his wife, Julia Meade (Michelle Monaghan). The vows become corrupted as the priest says them, anthropomorphizing Hunt’s fears that his profession will endanger her life before a nuclear bomb vaporizes them. Upon awakening, Hunt receives a call about his latest assignment, closing the opening sequence by cleanly identifying the film’s overreaching threat would involve nuclear armageddon.

Hunt’s team incorporates returnees Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), both of whom loan their technical expertise (and, in Benji’s case, a few humorous jokes about his inexperience) to the assignment. U.S. assassin August Walker (Henry Cavill) tags along per a mandate, breaking up the group’s comadre. Walker butts heads with Hunt throughout the film, positing the hero against his equal in bravado, quick-thinking and theatrics. Cavill plays Cruise’s opposite stoically but, thankfully, with more charisma than the stilted Superman we saw in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman

Character interactions and dialog are fairly thin and offers little that hasn’t been sampled in other films, but it’s serviceable connective tissue for Fallout’s biggest strength: its intricate action sequences. Cruise and director/writer Christopher McQuarrie nail choreographing exciting chases, fights and standoffs, utilizing a wide array of set pieces and props while making everything easy and fun to follow. While all of these beats have been seen both in prior Mission: Impossibles and elsewhere, they’re polished to an impressive degree here. Fallout’s presentation, from its sound design to Lorne Balfe’s booming soundtrack to the editing, work together and coalesce into an adrenaline-pumping rollercoaster.

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A second Blu-ray disc is loaded with over an hour of behind-the-scenes exposes, showing the dedication Cruise and his crew have to their craft. Footage shows the action star performing his stunts, detailing the planning and execution behind six of the picture’s iconic moments. One interesting tidbit we learn is that Cruise broke his ankle during a cut that made it into the movie. Balfe scores a feature to himself, exploring the composition of one of his suspenseful tracks, and four storyboards are included as well. All of the bonuses are worth watching for those who enjoyed the film proper. Also included in the package is a copy of the movie on DVD and a booklet showcasing a few of Fallout’s defining moments.