It's going to be hard to top MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT as the best action film of 2018, make that the best FILM of 2018. This is one of the best pure action films since "Skyfall".
Like that superb James Bond film and the style in which we learned more about Bond's past than any other film in the series, FALLOUT pulls back the curtain on Ethan Hunt's life, past and motivation.
Hunt (Tom Cruise, ageless and excellent) and his team are facing the unexpected consequences of having captured terrorist Solomon Lane (Sean Harris, oozing menace) two years before.
Like Isis wannabes, the bad guys have splintered into numerous dangerous factions, united under the moniker The Apostles.
In the film's clever, fast-paced opening sequence, 3 atomic bombs are put into play and its up to Ethan and the IMF team to find them.
The supporting cast is huge and flawless. IMF members Benji (hilarious Simon Pegg) and Luther (Ving Rhames) are back, as is Alec Baldwin in his biggest featured role to date as their boss Alan Hunley.
Hunley's CIA counterpart Erica (a fierce Angela Bassett) doesn't trust anyone and inserts the human wrecking ball and assassin August Walker (Henry Cavill) into Hunt's team.
Cavill is a complete badass as Walker, more Superman than he is in the DC films and twice as kick-ass. It's a great role for Cavill and he makes the most of it.
This is globe-trotting thriller in the finest form, bouncing all over the world in one jaw-dropping action scene to the next.
Less said the better as surprise and intrigue are the orders of the day in Writer/Director Christopher McQuarrie's excellent screenplay.
Cruise is amazing.
That really is him doing a HALO jump that he trained for over a year to perform. That's really Cruise driving that motorcycle over 100 MPH the wrong way through the roundabouts of Paris. That's Cruise making that leap from building to building and really breaking his leg in the process.
And YES, that really is Cruise piloting that helicopter in downward spirals through the massive cliffs of New Zealand's fjords.
For all the action, its easy to forget how good of an actor Cruise is, but like Craig in "Skyfall", Cruise's Hunt finds new depths of personal motivation for what he does.
Rebecca Ferguson (The Greatest Showman) returns from the terrific last MI installment as Ilsa Faust, whose relationship to Hunt brings more questions than Bond's Vesper.
Vaneesa Kirby (The Crown) is excellent as the White Widow, a shady player seemingly tied to all sides, she also provides a nice tie-in to Vanessa Redgrave's Max in the original Cruise/Mission Impossible film 22 years ago! Michelle Monaghan is back and terrific as Hunt's ex, Julia.
The music score is by far the best of the MI films, with a new composer Lorne Balfe respectfully updating and taking Lalo Schifrin's original themes into a full tilt orchestra spin that drives the action. Listen during the Solomon prisoner transfer sequence for some of the best action film music I've heard in a long time.
The hand-to-hand fight in the bathroom is one of the best fight scenes ever made. It took 4 weeks to film!
The foot car, motorcycle chase manages to top the one in "MI: Ghost Protocol" and is one of the best ever filmed.
From it's opening scenes to its near perfect ending, FALLOUT is a beast and gets an A+.
I can't wait to see it again.
It's the second MI film in a row to enter my Top 100 films of all time!