Ralph Potts reviews Mission: Impossible Fallout , the sixth installment in the popular film franchise as Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, race against time in order to recover stolen plutonium that has fallen into the hands of a deadly network of highly skilled operatives, intent on destroying civilization.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:
Extras:
Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

93
Details:

Studio and Year: Paramount - 2018
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 147 minutes
Genre: Action/Thriller

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1/1.78:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1, French/Spanish/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish, French, Portuguese
Starring: Tom Cruise, Michelle Monaghan, Henry Cavill, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Alec Baldwin, Angela Bassett, Vanessa Kirby
Written & Directed by: Christopher McQuarrie
Music by: Lorne Balfe
Region Code: A

Release Date: December 4, 2018
"Some Missions Are Not a Choice"

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My Take:

Ethan Hunt and the IMF team join forces with CIA assassin August Walker to prevent a disaster of epic proportions. Arms dealer John Lark and a group of terrorists known as the Apostles plan to use three plutonium cores for a simultaneous nuclear attack on the Vatican, Jerusalem and Mecca, Saudi Arabia. When the weapons go missing, Ethan and his crew find themselves in a desperate race against time to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.

As a film lover I enjoy a variety of movies. I get satisfaction out of classic cinema, romance, comedy, drama and the like. I must admit that I have a bit of a soft spot for action thrillers. Sitting back and getting lost in a sci-fi action/spy flick is right up my alley. I own the previous Mission Impossible films in the series, with MI3 and Ghost Protocol being my favorites. Whether you like Tom Cruise or not there is no denying his status as a drawing power at the box office. I tend to like his films and always appreciate his dedication to his craft as exhibited by his willingness to not only take part in the filmmaking process but to perform hair raising stunts.

The above paragraph has led the last few Mission: Impossible reviews I have done so, I thought it only fitting and, apropos that it lead this one. It’s funny but, I don’t seem to tire of watching these films although, with Mission Impossible: Fallout, the sixth installment, I wondered if perhaps the luster might be beginning to wane. On opening weekend, I was all in and took my wife to see it in the theater. Well, the streak continues. We both thoroughly enjoyed the film. Yes, It adheres to the same formula that makes the other films in the series fun to watch, building upon the storyline and several characters introduced in MI: Rogue Nation.

Mission Impossible: Fallout  is a blast, offering high bar thrills, engaging stunts and, a well-spun supporting story that plays well against the threshold of genre antics that make this series entertaining. Writer/director Christopher McQuarrie proves that his grasp of the source material and what drives thematic impact hasn’t lost a step and is spot on. Along with Tom Cruise, returning cast members Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson and Sean Harris deliver the goods while newcomer Henry Cavil grabs his share of the pie. It would be safe to say that I like Mission: Impossible Fallout as much as MI3, Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation. It’s edgy, fun and makes for the type of popcorn munching escapism that genre fans are sure to appreciate

Replay Value: 5 Stars

Parental Guide:

The rating is for sequences of action and violence, and brief strong language.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

UHD Presentation(HDR-10): 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 
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UHD Presentation (Dolby Vision): 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 
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Dolby Atmos Rating: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 
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Mission: Impossible Fallout comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Paramount Home Media Distribution featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

For its presentation in Ultra HD Mission: Impossible Fallout was derived from 6K/film sources and finished on a 4K DI.

Mission: Impossible Fallout is an action-based thriller that has a specific visual aesthetic which comes through quite naturally in this Ultra HD rendering. With a discernible increase in detail and depth the image appears a bit more vivid and lifelike when compared to the 1080p version, which is excellent in its own right. Primary are pleasingly rich while whites appear gradational and punchy. The film contains a host of sequences that take place in low/limited lighting, and the increased dimension in blacks and shadows is appreciable. I found the IMAX sequences, namely the sky jump, over Paris and the spectacular helicopter chase in the finale, to be breathtaking. The IMAX shots over the mountainous regions, with their level of detail, color depth, and deep blacks made for an incredible enriching and engaging visual display.

I find the natural rendering of light via its discernible stages and incremental highlights to be one of the presentation's big pluses. This is the case during brightly lit interiors/exteriors, such as the scene where Ethan and Walker take on “John Lark” in the men’s room or the extended chase sequences between Ethan and the police and later Ilsa in pursuit of Ethan in the BMW. On the flip side, dark elements mixed with bright highlights, such as those that take place in the water tunnel below Paris or in the catacomb in London during the meeting with the CIA, look terrific.

The film has a variety of sequences that make use of close up camera angles that show off the superb rendering of detail. At times the level of minutia is excellent, as even the finest nuance in the physical features, clothing, interior sets, and props is resolvable. The film incorporates some CGI but, in general I didn’t observe any odd-looking proportions or deleterious softening. All in All, a great looking UHD presentation.

Dolby Vision vs HDR-10:

I utilize the TCL 55P607 UHD Dolby Vision HDR flat panel in my review system to enable me to compare the visual quality of titles that contained the Dolby Vision metadata versus its HDR-10 counterpart on the same disc. All titles are first watched via my JVC front projector. I then select specific scenes which are watched on the TCL, first via HDR-10 then via Dolby Vision. The TCL isn’t among the top tier flat panels with DV, however it came recommended by AVS Senior Editor Mark Henninger, and calibrates/performs extremely well for a set at its price point.

* The cumulative A/V score will still be based upon the HDR-10 rating, with the DV rating serving as informational only for now.*

In comparing the DV and HDR-10 renderings I ran the same scenes using my reference Oppo UHD player (both in DV and forced HDR-10 and Samsung UHD player (HDR-10 only). I found that this title looked excellent on both formats with respect to the reproduction of HDR. I felt that the DV presentation offered better handling of the finest details in shadows and dark to light transitions. The sequence in the underground waterway below Paris just after Luthor and Benji pick up Ethan is a good example. As their boat passes below the skylights above I found that the DV rendering did a better job of retaining the details within the darkened portions of the roof. As I said before, you can’t go wrong with either but, my preference for viewing would be the Dolby Vision version.

Dolby Atmos:

The soundtrack sounded great in the theater, so I wondered if the immersive experience would truly improve upon it. In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the active variety that made steady use of the platform. Its use of audio objects placed above is a mix atmospherics, directional fills, and discrete effects. This is done very well, adding a tangible level of immersion that supports the onscreen elements. During the street level chase sequences, firefight in the catacomb, or the fantastic set piece during the finale, the mix generates a noticeable improvement in dimension and depth of field. Audio object placement, from both above, and in the ear level listening plane are put to effective use. The various sounds and atmospherics featured throughout the film feel more realistic in terms of their acoustics and size.

The music score is wonderfully highlighted, as it is mixed throughout the soundfield adding a notable boost in presence. In comparison, the 7.1 channel TrueHD (Atmos core) mix in noticeably enveloping, but the Atmos mix raises it to the next level. I also noticed that the Atmos presentation added slightly more low frequency punch. Either way, a commanding and entertaining listening experience.

For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Blu-ray Video:

Video: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 
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Audio: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 
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  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA

 

Mission: Impossible Fallout comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount Home Media Distribution featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

This 2.40:1/1.78:1 framed Blu-ray Disc presentation features a solid looking video encoding that boasts stable contrast, bright, detailed whites, and gradationally enhanced grays. This coupled along with punchy blacks and delineated shadow detail gives images both light and dark excellent depth. The video is definitively resolved and fidelity appears to be intact. Wide angle shots have appreciable dimension with clear rendering of objects within foregrounds and backgrounds. Close ups reveal lots of subtle refinement as the intricate textures within facial features, clothing, and objects is easily discernible.

This isn’t an overly colorful film. Deep shades of blue stand out nicely against the sometimes, muted chromatic range, and look great. Skin tones rarely yield any truly defining complexional characteristics but all appear natural within the scope of the source material. On occasion sharpness/focus wavers, which appears innate, and film grain appears even and organic. Overall quality is excellent as the video has a dimensionally strong perspective that is visually pleasing and reminiscent of what I saw during the theatrical presentation.

The Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel audio (Atmos core) is demonstration quality. This recording has excellent dynamic range and boasts superlative clarity and high-level detail. Dialog is definitive and appreciably lucid through the center channel as it penetrates well into the room. Channel separation and imaging is noteworthy. This draws out both large and small sound elements and allows their directional correlation based upon the onscreen events to be definable. The mix makes effective and often aggressive use of the surround channels to reproduce the spatial and discrete sounds contained in this demanding soundtrack. Low frequency effects are applied with authority and occasionally provide room shuddering bass. This is an involving and entertaining audio presentation that sounds terrific.

Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: Mission: Impossible Fallout Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Mission: Impossible Fallout Blu-ray
    • Behind the Fallout
    o Light the Fuse
    o Top of the World
    o The Big Swing: Deleted Scene Breakdown
    o Rendezvous in Paris
    o The Fall
    o The Hunt is On
    o Cliffside Clash
    • Deleted Scenes Montage with Optional Commentary by director Christopher McQuarrie and editor Eddie Hamilton
    • Foot Chase Musical Breakdown
    • The Ultimate Mission
    • Storyboards
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • Commentary by director Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise
    • Commentary by director Christopher McQuarrie and editor Eddie Hamilton
    • Commentary by composer Lorne Balfe
    • Isolated Score Track
  • Digital Copy
Final Thoughts:

Mission: Impossible Fallout is the sixth installment in the popular film series that stars Tom Cruise as IMF Agent Ethan Hunt. As a fan I am happy to report that it’s an excellent addition not only to the franchise but the genre as well. It arrives on Ultra HD Blu-ray from Paramount Home Media Distribution featuring excellent Ultra HD quality, reference quality high definition audio/video, including a terrific Dolby Atmos immersive sound mix, and a fan friendly supplemental package. I had a great time with Mission: Impossible Fallout and highly recommend it on Blu-ray for fans of the series.
 
Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews


Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from  Spectracal )
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems