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Latest installment of ‘Mission: Impossible’ is easily predictable, but never dull

“Mission: Impossible—Fallout” released in the United States on July 27 to critical acclaim, but its biggest twist was also its least surprising.

“Mission: Impossible” follows Ethan Hunt, the leader of a fictional intelligence agency called the Impossible Mission Force (IMF). A tireless, 56-year-old Tom Cruise leads in the role of Hunt, who this time is tasked with saving the world from nuclear weapon attacks.

Although the “Mission: Impossible” franchise falls in the action genre, the stunts were not “Fallout’s” main draw. In some ways it was a character study of Ethan Hunt. There were enough fight scenes and motorcycle chases to keep action buffs entertained, but the film moved past mindless explosions and gore. “Fallout” explored Hunt’s motivations and his character.

One of Hunt’s most interesting traits is how much he values human life. Hunt has an early opportunity to save the world, but refuses to make a single sacrifice in completing his mission. The movie revolves around this decision. Without Hunt’s core beliefs to drive it, the storyline would not work. Hunt would have saved the day before the movie really started.

Hunt exemplifies the meaning of “action hero.” He chooses the long route in trying to save the world rather than taking shortcuts that would cost lives—literally, he runs so far. He is used to risking his own life to save others and recognizes that his inability to sacrifice leads to more conflicts. Still, he also remains flexible despite a limited timeline. At one point, one of Hunt’s partners questions his planning. Hunt replies, “We’ll burn that bridge when we come to it.”

“Fallout” featured a star-studded cast, meaning Wolf Blitzer was in it. As a CNN-enthusiast, I  enjoyed Blitzer’s brief cameo more than any other part of the movie, though I admittedly appreciated the entire ride.

For those who are not as interested in CNN, DC Comics’ movie Superman, Henry Cavill, stars opposite Cruise as Agent August Walker, a CIA assassin tasked with serving as a watchdog to Hunt during the mission. Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg return as franchise staples Luther Stickell and Benji Dunn, Hunt’s friends and fellow IMF agents. Alec Baldwin, Angela Bassett, and Rebecca Ferguson round out the core cast.

As viewers learn in the opening minutes of the film, a mysterious villain named John Lark and a terrorist group called the “apostles” are seeking to trade three plutonium cores that can be used to create nuclear weapons. Supposedly, they plan on detonating the bombs in an anarchist plot to forge a new world.

Hunt encounters old friends and old enemies along his journey to save humanity, including recurring foe Solomon Lane, played by Sean Harris. “Fallout” is a trip down memory lane for both Hunt and the franchise’s fans, bringing back characters from the earlier installments.

The fight scenes are impressive and, at times, hilarious. Aging Tom Cruise manages to pull off stunts with a level of ease that a less experienced actor would balk at, though he reportedly broke his ankle during filming.

Since I was unfamiliar with the rest of the franchise, I did not predict some of the film’s early surprises; however, I soon became acquainted with the style and began to expect certain twists. At first, Hunt’s unorthodox methods and use of highly advanced, albeit fictional, technology were refreshing. Unfortunately, they soon became gimmicky.

Hunt and his partners, Luther and Benji, are all delightful characters who I sympathized with. They were each hilarious, which made the movie enjoyable. They were also easily humanized so I always hoped they would turn out okay. I was happy to predict some plotlines because it meant they would survive another scene.

I did not mind how predictable the film was despite catching on to what was perhaps the biggest surprise less than halfway through. The intended twist became obvious quickly, even to those not looking. The details and nuances of each scene held my attention when supposed surprises did not.

Hunt’s ability to succeed and survive was questioned, but  I was optimistically convinced that Hunt would save the day throughout the viewing. Since I wanted certain events to happen, I was satisfied when they did.

“Fallout” may have been predictable, but I truly enjoyed the movie’s progression. “Fallout” is not revolutionary for an action film, but if you look past the obvious foreshadowing, you just might enjoy it. Despite the inability to conceal surprises, “Fallout” is worthy of your time.

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