Before even writing the corresponding review about Mission: Impossible – Fallout, I can confirm that not only this is the best movie of the franchise, but also this is the one with the most convoluted plot. So, if you find yourself wondering what just happened in the movie, after the credits roll, do not worry, because 1) you are not the only one and 2) in this post we will answer all the questions you may have, or at least we will try. No further ado, Get this post started!
1 ^ What happened in the five films that preceded Fallout?
The list of films of Mission: Impossible, with a very short summary is as it follows:
1996 – Mission: Impossible – Director: Brian de Palma ^ Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is accused of killing his own team on a mission in Prague. He embarks on a personal mission to recover his prestige.
2000 – Mission: Impossible 2 – Director: John Woo ^ Ethan is in the middle of a professional thief and a former agent of the IMF when he tries to stop the chimera, a genetically modified virus able to destroy humanity.
2006 – Mission: Impossible III – Director JJ Abrams ^ Ethan is engaged to marry Julia (Michelle Monaghan), but returns to the game, when one of the agents he trained is captured and killed for information about the «Rabbit’s Foot» .
2011 – Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol – Director: Brad Bird ^ Ethan is accused of attacking the Kremlin and must operate under the Ghost Protocol to discover the real culprits.
2015 – Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation – Director: Christopher McQuarrie ^ Ethan embarks on the personal project of exposing the Syndicate, a terrorist organization led by Salomon Lane.
2018 – Mission: Impossible – Fallout – Director Christopher McQuarrie ^ The remains of the Syndicate have plans for Ethan, Ilsa Faust, Salomon Lane and a third of humanity.
In total, there are 6 movies in a 22 years time lapse.
2 ^ What happened to the Syndicate? Who are The Apostles?
After the events of Rogue Nation, The Syndicate was left without a visible leader and its middle managers have organized themselves in a new structure called The Apostles, which sync through an unknown man named John Lark.
The goal of The Apostles is to destroy the system of national governments, which according to them is increasingly strengthened and in a war of power without quarter that has only brought destruction to humanity. That is, more or less the same apocalyptic discourse of Millennials.
3 ^ What is the REAL goal of The Apostles?
At the beginning of the film we see that the CIA and the IMF believe that the goal of The Apostles is simply to cause nuclear destruction, to subject the world to chaos and anarchy. But the ends of this organization are more complex.
The first goal is to get the material to construct devices of mass destruction. The second goal is to free Salomon Lane from the french custody. And the third goal is to destroy Ethan Hunt, perhaps not so much physically, as morally and emotionally.
4 ^ How did The Apostles intend to set up a device of mass destruction?
Through 3 plutonium cores stolen from a Russian military installation. The Apostles hired Nils Debruuk, a Scandinavian scientist who left the plans ready to construct not one but two nuclear bombs connected to each other. Nils Debruuk was manipulated in his radical atheism, when he was promised that The Apostles would use the bombs to destroy religious centers of world importance. But apparently they did not tell him the whole truth.
5 ^ How did The Apostles intend to free Salomon Lane?
The issue is that after intervening in the exchange of money for the plutonium cores, The Apostles tricked the US agencies into thinking that Russian plutonium was still in the hands of the Black Market vendors and that they were going to use an intermediary, the White Widow (Vanessa Kirby) to obtain the material. But that was a trap.
The Apostles ALREADY had the plutonium. And most likely, they already had it armed and ready. But they needed the americans to believe otherwise, so they could demand the release of Salomon Lane. The false deal was – The Apostles, through John Lark recovered Salomon Lane and the supposed vendors delivered the Plutonium. The White Widow would be the intermediary and one of the cores was given to her, as a proof.
But in reality The Apostles played two sides, so that 1) the US government did not suspect that the bombs were already armed and 2) to force Ethan to pose as John Lark and to recover Lane himself. And he did it.
6 ^ How did the Apostles intend to destroy Ethan Hunt?
In the first place, by accusing him of being John Lark, this would lead the United States Government to lock him up. The plan is that from prison, Ethan could see how the world collapsed at the hands of Salomon Lane, but just in case something went wrong, considering how lucky Ethan is, the had Julia, Ethan’s ex-wife as a Plan B all the time in the place where they expected the bomb to explode. And they put her there by launching a smallpox virus in Kashmir, where undercover John Lark offered extraordinary financial support to Julia and her husband Patrick (Wes Bentley) in return for her presence in that specific area.
7 ^ What was Salomon Lane’s plan to plunge the world into chaos?
Salomon Lane wanted to blow up the nuclear devices near the Siachen Glacier and thereby deprive China, India and Pakistan of water, affecting a third of the world’s population. Which would eventually lead to war, chaos and anarchy.
8 ^ Who was John Lark and how was he covered up?
John Lark was the code name of August Walker (Henry Cavill) a CIA assassin. John Lark was the man with whom Salomon Lane had infiltrated the CIA and was faithfully convinced that the system must be destroyed, bringing as a consequence a new world order. However, when the Syndicate fell, John Lark was forced to eliminate his former colleagues to win the favor of Erica Sloan (Angela Bassett) so he could be involved in the special operations involving Ethan Hunt and Salomon Lane.
Once in the Mission, where they added him to Hunt’s team. John Lark knew that everything on the Lark-Widow meeting was a trap, both on the side of The Apostles (where he had his hands tucked), as on the woman’s side. Therefore, he sent in his place a decoy, an expert in hand-to-hand combat (Liang Yang). Thus, when the decoy was killed, Walker was able to put together a story that accused Hunt of being John Lark, counting as a proof a fake phone that he gave to Sloan, saying it was the decoy’s phone.
9 ^ How did they discover that Walker was John Lark?
The director of the CIA, Erica Sloan, did not trust the information Walker gave her, and in conjunction with the secretary of the IMF, Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) and the team of Ethan, she organized a plot to discover the real face of John Lark.
The plan was to put a Salomon Lane mask on Benji (Simon Pegg) to supposedly make the exchange with The White Widow, while Walker watched over the terrorist. When Hunt’s team left, Walker confronted Lane, revealing his true intentions. What he did not know was that he was not talking to Lane, but Benji.
However, this did not have a happy ending because the CIA agents sent by Sloan to bring Hunt’s team to the United States were infiltrated by The Apostles and allowed Walker and Lane to escape.
10 ^ In total, how many missions did Hunt have during the movie?
Mission 1: Berlin – Make the money exchange with the vendors of the plutonium cores. The mission failed when a group led by The Apostles intervened in the exchange and took the cores.
Mission 2: Berlin – Get information about The Apostles, John Lark and the nuclear bomb . The mission succeeded when Nils Debruuk was tricked into believing that the bombs had been used in important religious centers and that his manifesto had been read on CNN.
Mission 3: Paris – Intervene in the exchange between John Lark and the White Widow . The mission was contaminated from the beginning. The White Widow worked for the CIA and John Lark was a decoy of Walker, who already had the cores in his power. That way he could accuse Hunt of being Lark.
Mission 4: Paris – Free Salomon Lane. The mission succeeded when Ethan got custody on Lane. Remember that those interested in releasing Lane were The Apostles, and they used the White Widow as an intermediary and she sent the information of what was happening to the CIA. However, when Ethan released Lane, he found that Ilsa was attacking them. Nevertheless and despite everything, Hunt got Lane in his custody and then used him to expose John Lark.
Mission 5: London – Discover the identity of John Lark and capture him. It is the trap referred above. This mission was partially successful. They discovered that Walker was Lark, but with the help of the infiltrators of the assault group, both Walker and Lane escaped.
Mission 6: Kashmir – Avoid the explosion of the nuclear devices. Once they discovered that Lane intended to blow up the nuclear devices near the Glacier, Hunt and his team had to deactivate the two bombs, at the same time that the switch key was deactivated. The mission was successful, and had as a side effect the death of Walker and the capture of Salomon Lane.
11 ^ Why did Ilsa Faust attack Hunt?
Well, she did not attack Hunt. She attacked the car where Hunt was going next to Salomon Lane. It turns out that in his work as an infiltrator of Salomon Lane, Faust generated many doubts in the British Government about her loyalty. The solution offered was to eliminate Salomon Lane, for which Faust was willing to help John Lark in the Paris exchange. However, for reasons of affection, he decided to help Ethan first.
12 ^ Walker is dead? Will there be a sequel?
There is something very weird in this film, and that is that they developed very well the character of August Walker (Henry Cavill), they even gave him a hideous scar at the end. But we saw him falling from a cliff, like The Coyote. But, is he really dead? I am afraid that Walker’s coherent development and scarring implies that in the future we will get to see him as a villain in the style of James Bond, trying to destroy Hunt, again.
With such good results in criticism and box office for Fallout, the sequel is taken for granted. Perhaps with a date of 2021 or 2022.
13 ^ What is the meaning behind the end of Mission: Impossible – Fallout ?
Many things happened in that ending, so let’s look at them one by one.
The farewell of Julia and Ethan : Ethan felt guilty of having put Julia back into trouble, that is why he apologized so many times with her. Julia did not accept the apology because she knows that despite everything that has happened to her, she knows how important Ethan’s work is and also her new life has proven to be equally positive for her. Something that causes me concern is the choice of Wes Bentley as Patrick, Julia’s husband Will there be something important for the character in upcoming movies? We will have to wait until 2022. Meanwhile, it is enough for us to know that he did not buy the doctor story about Ethan.
The presence of Erica Sloan in Kashmir: When Ethan awoke after his violent confrontation with Walker on the cliff, Patrick informs him that a woman, along with «half of the Indian army» rescued him. In effect it was Erica Sloan. This means that the CIA and the US government agencies trust Ethan more than ever, despite all the setbacks of the past.
Salomon Lane and Ilsa Faust : After being neutralized by Benji and Ilsa, Salomon Lane was handed over to the British authorities, so Ilsa’s loyalty was proven, although it is very likely that there will be a permanent link between the MI6 and the IMF- Well unless Rebecca Ferguson does not land on a movie that makes her the new Jennifer Lawrence or something like that.
The White Widow: She continues in her role as an intermediary who works for the CIA, and has had a primary role in returning Lane to the British government, without anyone knowing that it passed through the hands of the United States.
Benji and Luther : Benji and Luther are more loyal than ever to Hunt, not only for the effectiveness of Hunt in achieving success in their missions, but for the friendship that unites them and because of Ethan’s quality as a good man.
The bombs: Finally, the bombs were deactivated and the plutonium cores were recovered and kept in the custody of the United States Government, which, for diplomatic reasons, could end up delivering them back to Russia. Not kidding.
14 ^ What is the message behind Mission: Impossible – Fallout?
Many films approach the deontological point of view (the end does not justify the means), however, it is quite ironic that it was a movie of Mission: Impossible starring Tom Cruise, the movie that finally addresses it from a perspective that invites to reflection.
Ethan’s morale has a red line that is not to sacrifice lives to save others, unless we are talking about the lives of murderers and terrorists. In fact, to save Luther’s life, he lost the plutonium cores. For saving the French police officer, they delayed the Lane’s extraction mission. However, at the end of the film we see that one of the positive consequences of being a practitioner of deontologism is trust.
Both Hunley, Sloan, as well as Faust, Julia, Benji, Luther and even Patrick rely heavily on Hunt because they know that for him, a life is not disposable, even in the worst circumstances.
The one who writes these humble words is a follower of utilitarianism, the contrary current of deontologism, because of its profound influence on the most successful political and cultural model in history, the Anglo-Saxon model; However, this film has convinced me that although everyone has the right to have their thoughts shaped in a way that convinces them, it is appropriate to open the conversation and listen to other points of view. After all, as Holly Hunter said in her magnificent character of Senator June Finch in Batman v Superman:
This is how to democracy works, we talk to each other. We act by the consent of the governed […].Because only by speaking, only by working together can we create [freedom].
Questions? Annotations? Doubts? Insults? Any grammatical mistake? The comments section is open just below this post. See you in another post of Ending Explained, here on El Sabanero X.