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A Fine Aged Mission: Impossible

This past weekend, like a large swath of the world, I saw the latest Mission: Impossible movie, Fallo
First Draught
A Fine Aged Mission: Impossible
By M.G. Siegler • Issue #133 • View online
This past weekend, like a large swath of the world, I saw the latest Mission: Impossible movie, Fallout. And it was good. Really good, even. Probably the best of the bunch, which is rather remarkable for a sixth film in a franchise. A few things stuck out to me.
First, the buzz before the release was insanely good. But we’ve seen this before (spoiler: people who go to early screenings tend to like them). So I was worried my expectations would be way too high here. They were not. My only complaint is that the movie was far too long (a typical complaint for me these days – maybe I’m just getting old – but this was loooong). I worried about halfway through that it was going downhill, but then it revved back up and seemed to pick up momentum through the end. Remarkable, really. Many movies – most, even – do well for one act or maybe two, but then completely fail to land the third. This movie nailed the third.
Second, in a similar vein, but at a macro-level, Mission: Impossible is somehow pulling off the truly impossible task of getting better with age. I first noted this three years ago, but now it’s official. There are really only two other franchises I can think of that have done something similar: the Fast & Furious films, and Rocky. But Rocky is more nuanced because the first movie is still by far the best, and while Creed was very good, it is sort of a tangential movie/reboot – the Rocky franchise is 42 years old! We’ll see how Creed II fares. Fast & Furious started out decent, then got bad, then got good around film five. M:I started out good, then got bad, then started to get good again, and crescendo’d up to this sixth film. Again, remarkable.
Third, as Jason Hirschhorn noted on Twitter: “Bond has its work cut out for it.” I was thinking the same thing while watching Fallout. It’s out-Bonding Bond – by which I mean the new James Bond films, of course. A franchise older than Rocky! My instinct on this is not for Bond to try to out-do the M:I films – I’m honestly not sure they could – but instead to go back to its roots: focus on the style and intrigue, not the explosions. You could argue that Bond moved away from this after the Sean Connery films, but certainly they did since the Roger Moore ones. And while we’re now firmly in the age of the big blockbuster, I would try to think antithetically and go decidedly retro. We’ll see what Danny Boyle comes up with
Drinking: a Barrel Brothers Naughty Hops IPA, neither shaken nor stirred. 🍻

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M.G. Siegler

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