We could argue until the metaphorical cows come home about whether or not the Mission: Impossible franchise is science fiction; I contend it is, and hold up “this dude is wearing this other dude’s face” as Exhibit A. However you slice it, the Mission: Impossible movies are genre: you might call them SF-adjacent, or just plain action, or my preferred (if unwieldy) category designation: Movies so precisely calibrated yet entirely ridiculous you can’t stop laughing with incredulous glee.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout contains a lot of sequences that, if you have a Thing for impressively orchestrated action, you truly need to see as big as possible. (I have this Thing. In spades.) You can watch a wee featurette about the HALO jump sequence here, and it’s a lot of you-seriously-did-this-oh-my-god fun, but this is not even the most over-the-top sequence in the film. (That’s the finale, of course.) Nor is it the most important.
The most important scene is the motorbike chase through Paris, which left me convinced of two things:
1. There needs to be a Star Wars Story that is just straight-up an action movie.
2. Christopher McQuarrie needs to direct it.
McQuarrie, who introduced the screening I saw, seems like an affable fellow, one both delighted by and slightly astonished at the things his team is able to pull off. Last month, an unfortunate Twitter situation led McQuarrie to tweet (since deleted) that he was no longer interested in making a Star War, which is frankly a tragic turn of events. I need this. I need speeder-bike chases as gracefully and breathtakingly choreographed as Mission: Impossible-Fallout‘s motorbike chase. Watch Tom Cruise come to an intersection and just slip right through, having timed it perfectly. Imagine this, with spaceships. And speeders. And all that traffic in Coruscant.
Watch the bathroom fight scene (everyone loves a good bathroom fight scene, yes?) in the midst of a slightly absurd rave/party/benefit in which everyone is constantly screaming, and imagine it in a Star Wars setting (Just pick a planet. Any fairly populated one will do.) Everything is space-ier. The space fashion is outlandish. There are aliens involved instead of compact, deadly men who can kill you with their bare hands. (Henry Cavill reloading his fists optional.)
I need people running across frozen planets (though not necessarily on broken ankles) impossibly fast. I need things crashing and falling and tumbling into situations that find new and inventive and horrifying ways to get worse; extremely competent women with their own bikes/speeders/blasters/troubled pasts; maniacal scheming villains; and really there’s got to be a way to shoot the equivalent of a HALO jump in Star Wars space. Space spies! Space doublecrosses! Action as gorgeous as the end of Rogue One, but in a movie that’s, you know… fun!
I’m not saying we need to bring back swoop racing. I am saying: McQuarrie, please, don’t write this idea off entirely! But if you really want to stay far, far away from the galaxy far, far away, there’s one other long-joked-about thing that also needs to happen:
The Fast and the Furious in space.
Molly Templeton didn’t expect to be this in love with a Mission Impossible movie, but stranger things have happened. You can find her catching up on the movies she missed in the M:I series, and also on Twitter.