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"How many times has Hunt's government betrayed him, disavowed him, cast him aside? How long before a man like that has had enough?"

"'Your mission, should you choose to accept it' — I wonder, did you ever choose not to? The end you've always feared is coming, and the blood will be on your hands. The fallout of all your good intentions."
Solomon Lane
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Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) is the sixth entry in the Mission: Impossible film series, directed and written by Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, The Usual Suspects), who is the first director to return to the series, and starring Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt once again.

Two years after the capture of Solomon Lane, the remnants of the Syndicate have reformed into a terrorist cell known as the Apostles. Now on the payroll of mysterious anarchist John Lark, the organization is set to acquire three plutonium cores. Ethan Hunt and his team (Pegg, Rhames) are sent to Berlin to intercept the deal, but the mission goes sideways and the Apostles escape with the payload. Now under the watch of CIA operative August Walker (Henry Cavill), Ethan and his team race around the globe to recover the plutonium before it's too late.

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Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Alec Baldwin, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, and Michelle Monaghan reprise their roles from the previous films. Newcomers include Henry Cavill, Vanessa Kirby, Angela Bassett and Wes Bentley.

In January 2019, it was announced that two sequels to this movie will be directed by Christopher McQuarrie, filmed back-to-back for the summers of 2021 and 2022. Later that year, Rebecca Ferguson confirmed she would be returning for at least the first sequelnote .

The film was released in the USA on July 27, 2018. Unrelated to the Fallout video games.

Previews: Super Bowl TV spot, Trailer 1, Trailer 2, Trailer 3.


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Mission: Impossible – Fallout contains examples of:

  • 10-Minute Retirement: It is revealed that between the events of Mission: Impossible III and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Ethan did quit the IMF to be with Julia. But eventually, his Samaritan Syndrome made it impossible for him to stay on the sidelines when the world was in danger, thus compelling him to return to action.
  • Absentee Actor: William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) does not appear due to the actor being busy filming Avengers: Endgame.note 
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: There are no sewers big enough for a boat to navigate through in Paris, much less with an opening on the Seine.
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Two of them.
    • After the long, intense chase in Paris. Ilsa meets with Ethan in a park where she explains the nature of her mission to him, and how she doesn't want Ethan standing in her way of doing it.
    • Before the climax in Kashmir, Luther explains to Ilsa emotionally about how Ethan is struggling under the burden of having to protect those he cared about and save the world again and again. This convinces Ilsa to drop her personal vendetta against Lane for the moment and fully commit to helping Ethan stopping Lane and Lark's scheme because he needs all the help he can get.
  • Amicable Exes: Julia has moved on from Ethan and married someone else, but there's absolutely no bad blood between the two of them and both are happy for each other.
    • The "Amicable" part gets really emphasized when the two characters are able to communicate in coded statements despite what is canonically described as years of separation. They may no longer be together, but they clearly get each other.
  • And Starring: Unusually, Tom Cruise gets final billing when the credits roll at the end of the movie.
  • Anywhere but Their Lips: Julia kisses Ethan on the forehead at the end. Justified since she's now married to somebody else.
  • Apologizes a Lot: Ethan, throughout the film, is constantly put into situations where he screws things up for other people. It's used to show just how much he's playing from behind.
  • Arc Words:
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • The Catch-Phrase of the IMF is "Your mission, should you choose to accept it..." Solomon Lane asks aloud if there was ever a time when Ethan chose not to accept.
    • August Walker mentions the many times that "Hunt's government betrayed him, disavowed him, cast him aside" and wonders "How long before a man like that has had enough?"
  • Artistic License – Nuclear Physics: The nuclear devices depicted in the film would not have been capable of achieving anything close to the claimed 5 megaton yield. First, there was no evidence of a secondary fusion stage that would be necessary to achieve megaton class yields. note  Second, the plutonium cores showed no evidence of a hole for the insertion of tritium gas to "boost" the efficiency of the reaction. An unboosted plutonium sphere of that diameter would likely only be capable of producing an explosive effect of between 20 and 40 kilotones.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: When Benji asks why he has to impersonate Lane, Ethan simply turns incredulously to Luther who non-verbally explains it's either him or Benji and Luther is way too big, not to mention, black.
  • Asleep for Days: The agents make Delbruuk believe he was in a coma for two weeks as part of their sneaky Virtual Reality Interrogation.
  • Assassin Outclassin': Numerous times, being Mission: Impossible, but in particular Hunt takes down an entire team of them with nothing but their own knives when he poses as "John Lark" in a meeting with the White Widow — in the midst of a crowded high-class party, no less.
  • Audible Sharpness: Hunt's sedation device gives off a swoosh sound. Also when the White Widow wields her knife.
  • Automated Automobiles: Benji controls a car remotely during the Action Prologue.
  • Badass Biker: Ethan Hunt, August Walker, and Ilsa Faust all get motorcycle chase scenes.
  • Badass Bystander: The Lark that is killed in the bathroom fight scene was revealed to be a decoy (played by a veteran stuntman) and thus ultimately a nobody. He literally wiped the floor with both Ethan (who has had traces of Invincible Hero in the franchise) as well as renowned CIA contract killer Walker. Neither had any real excuse offered for not being on their game, and it would have been a really short movie if Ilsa didn't show up.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The finale has you think that Lane and Walker's nuclear bombs went off when the entire screen suddenly fades to white, and Ethan is blinded by a flash of light. However, it turns out that it's just glare from the sun and not a nuclear explosion.
  • Ballroom Blitz: A fight scene breaks out at the Parisian club between Hunt and a Carnival of Killers.
  • Barrier-Busting Blow: At the camp's cabin, Lane busts his hand through a wooden panel to grab Ilsa from behind.
  • Bathos: The movie does not fall victim to the latest fad in action movies of undercutting dramatic moments with silly remarks. Except for the scene of Hunt crossing London's rooftops. First Benji has his display turned the wrong way and then Hunt ends up in an office where an awkward interaction with the workers ensues.
  • Batman Gambit: Already suspecting that Walker is John Lark, the team deliberately leaves him behind with Benji disguised as Lane so he'll incriminate himself.
  • Behind the Black: When Walker is about to get a shot at Hunt during the shootout in the catacombs, Hunley does a surprise attacks from his right. Walker would have had a clear view of this area.
  • Bench Breaker: How Ilsa manages to get free after being tied up to a chair by Lane, attacking him in the process.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Once it's revealed that the White Widow is actually working with the IMF and the CIA, and that Walker and Lark are one and the same, the Big Bad group turns out to be two people: Lane and Walker, who are not associated beyond their deal: Walker helping Lane inflict a Fate Worse than Death revenge on Ethan, in exchange for Lane helping Walker carry out his plan to irradiate 1/3 of the world's water supply, with neither really taking orders from the other. Walker is The Heavy, driving the action by having hired the Apostles for his scheme, but he's also stuck following Lane's plans for Ethan to get what he wants.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: The remnants of the Syndicate, now named the Apostles, are looking to break their leader Solomon Lane out of custody, and are now on the payroll of mysterious anarchist John Lark, who is looking to use stolen plutonium to carry out a massive nuclear attack that only Ethan's team can stop. Further complicating matters are the White Widow, an arms dealer who's brokering the deal between Lark and the Apostles to break Lane out of custody in return for the plutonium, and August Walker, a CIA assassin assigned to oversee Ethan's mission and possibly kill him if he goes rogue. In the end, it is revealed that the White Widow was actually collaborating with the CIA from the start, and Walker is the true identity of John Lark, with the real deal with the Apostles being framing Ethan in exchange for Lane providing him with nuclear bombs.
  • Big "NO!": A muffled Ilsa shouts this during the climax, when she realizes Benji is walking into Lane's trap.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Some non-plot-essential lines in French are not subtitled.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Downplayed. The series was never really one to shy away from blood in the first place, and this film still makes use of Gory Discretion Shots when needed, but the combat here is much more brutal and realistic than any previous entry, especially in comparison to the rather stylized Rogue Nation that this film directly follows. Walker's death in particular is easily the most brutal, graphic kill in the series thus far, and likely would have awarded the film an instant R-rating were it not captured from a very specific angle. Although we don't see the actual wound for obvious reasons, note the massive bloodstain left on the floor when Ilsa shoots the decoy Lark.
  • Bomb Disposal: The film's climax involves Ethan and co. disabling two nuclear bombs. The bombs are synchronized with each other, so both have to be defused simultaneously while the countdown is running. The fuse must also be pulled from the detonator before the countdown reaches zero, otherwise the bombs will detonate.
  • Book Safe: Ethan receives a book from a courier which holds a film projector for his Mission Briefing.
  • Boom, Headshot!: The fake John Lark is dispatched this way by Ilsa. Cut to a scene after Ethan, Walker, and Ilsa have dragged the body into one of the bathroom stalls, leaving a wide blood trail on the floor. When Walker asks if they can still make a mask, Ethan remarks that he needs a face.
  • Bound and Gagged: During the climax, Ilsa Faust gets this treatment, after Lane captures her, who ties her up to a chair, gags her, and forces her to watch how he hangs Benji. She manages to free herself in short time.
  • Breaking Out the Boss: Doing this to Solomon Lane for the Apostles is their price in exchange for the plutonium. Walker is the one assigned to the job.
  • Bulletproof Vest: Luther wears one which leads to him survive the Shoot the Hostage situation in the Action Prologue.
  • The Bus Came Back: Michelle Monaghan's character, Julia Meade, has lines in a second film, becoming the first female character to do so in the history of the franchise. Twenty minutes later, Rebecca Ferguson's Ilsa Faust joins her.
  • Bystander Syndrome: In this film, if you have an accident while riding a motorbike in Paris in front of people, nobody will call for aid or act concerned.
  • Call-Back:
    • In one of the first scenes, the team confronts Nils Debruuk, a scientist who loves to laugh annoyingly. Debruuk states that it was two weeks ago he was run over by a car, but Luther responds by saying that it wasn't. Then, some minutes later, Luther finally reveals that it wasn't two weeks ago, it was a couple of hours ago. Specifically and exactly this happened in the episode "Operation Rogosh" in the original Mission: Impossible TV Series.
    • M:I-III has Julia mention that when she went to Lake Wanaka with Ethan, they did a spot of jumping out of helicopters... Cue Fallout, with the main stunt being Ethan dangling from a chopper.
    • Once again, the latex mask-creating machine gets broken mid-mission and Ethan is forced to go meet the target without a mask, hoping that the target and the person he was going to impersonate haven't known each other's faces yet. The target in both cases are also very alike: a mysterious blonde-haired Dark Action Girl.
    • Once again, the bad guy lived long enough to see their plan foiled at literally the last second by the IMF (though Lane doesn't die but is recaptured). For bonus points, both Lane and Hendricks's plans involved detonating a nuclear bomb to wipe out a large part of the world population in the name of peace.
    • Ethan once again ends up in a situation where he has to watch a bad guy point a gun at a young woman's head. And he's not going to let this one pull the trigger.
    • When Ethan's helicopter spins out of control in the mountains, the on-board computer warns him "Terrain! Terrain! Pull up! Pull up!", which is the exact same warning the pilots of the doomed airliner from the opening of M:I-II were receiving.
    • Ethan's rock-climbing skills were on display at the beginning of M:I-II, and they are here as well.
    • The plan to decrypt Debruuk's phone ends with this exchange from the first film's mission before the opening credits, only Ethan's role is reversed.
      Claire / Ethan: Did we get it?
      Ethan / Luther: We got it.
    • When they meet again in Paris and learning that his mission puts him into conflict with hers, Ilsa depressingly tells Ethan that he should've come with her, referencing the "third option" she offered to Ethan in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.
  • The Cameo: Wolf Blitzer appears as himself, or rather, Benji appears as him.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: After his identity reveal, John Lark has Hunt at gunpoint at the elevator but admits he cannot kill him because the organisation still needs Hunt to turn himself in as John Lark.
  • Can't Stay Normal: It's explained that Ethan and Julia split up after Mission: Impossible III because however much they loved each other, both of them knew the work that the work Ethan did as an IMF agent saved lives and he was having a hard time putting that behind.
  • Car Fu:
    • Lane's police transport gets t-boned into a river by a truck driven by Ethan. The apostles were right that bullets can't get into this armored truck, but water can.
    • Hunt drives an old Beamer through Ilsa on her motorbike.
    • During the climax, Hunt takes out Walker's chopper with another chopper.
  • Casting Gag: Tom Cruise was set to take the role of Napoleon Solo in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., but dropped out to do Rogue Nation, allowing Henry Cavill to take his place. Now Cavill's in Fallout with Cruise.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: Between Julia and Luther as they disarm a nuclear bomb
    Julia: So, how is he?
    Luthor: Oh you know, same old Ethan.
  • Chase Scene: Several in Paris.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When they carry the knocked out Lark decoy into one of the bathroom stalls, his gun drops and gets some focus by the camera. It proves to become plot-relevant later during a Gun Struggle between the fake Lark and Hunt.
  • Chekhov's Skill: One that goes all the way back to Mission: Impossible II. Ethan's free climbing skills in that movie's opening is utilized in this movie's climax when Ethan and Walker are having a cliffside battle. Ethan's free climbing skill allows him to climb up the cliff fast enough to get to the remote control in time to get the fuse out just before the nuclear bombs detonated.
  • *Click* Hello: Director Hunley does this to Walker, only to immediately be disarmed. Then Walker realizes the gun isn't loaded, whereupon Hunley pulls out another gun, which is loaded.
  • The Coats Are Off: Walker removes his coat and even busts his sleeves' buttons during the bathroom fight when things are getting serious.
  • Continuity Nod: Several things that happened in the past films get a nod in this one.
    • The White Widow, an arms dealer and Ethan’s contract is the daughter of Max, the information broker played by Vanessa Redgrave in the first film.
    • Luther mentions the incident where Julia is kidnapped in Mission: Impossible III.
    • Ethan rock climbs towards the end of the film, a skill he displayed in the opening of Mission: Impossible II.
    • August Walker lists the numerous times Ethan is branded traitor and hunted down by his own government, which happened in every single film aside from the second one.
    • Ethan mentions an incident of someone crashing a passenger plane in order to kill one man, which was one of the many crimes The Syndicate under Solomon Lane's leadership did and got away with in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, which is also a nod to how Sean Ambrose crashed a passenger plane to cover up his murder of Dr. Nekhorvich in Mission: Impossible II
    • Benji finally gets to wear a mask at long last. Twice, in fact!
    • The 'Fake Room' Gambit from the first film is reused again when Ethan and his team attempt to coerce a nuclear extremist into unlocking his phone to get the data inside it.
    • Benji is also being a bit more aggressive than usual towards Solomon Lane, however, it's quite understandable when you consider the fact that he strapped him to a bomb in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.
  • Combination Attack: Hunt and Walker teaming up to fight the Lark decoy at the bathroom.
  • Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: Ilsa kills the Lane decoy with a headshot Just in Time before the latter could finish off Hunt.
  • Coolest Club Ever: Hunt and Walker meet the White Widow in an epic Parisian club built in the Grand Palais.note 
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot:
    • A villainous version. Upon making contact with Lane, Lark can't help but be frustrated at the former Syndicate leader about making everything so damn complicated. The Apostles could have just killed Ethan and completed their contract to carry out Lark's plan in the opening of the film, but won't due to their leader's desire to make Ethan suffer.
    • A heroic version exists as well regarding the same event as above: If Ethan and Benji hadn't tried to save Luther and escaped with the plutonium briefcase, the entire film probably would not be happening. Indeed, several characters called Ethan out on it, and Luther even admits that the only reason they're all in this whole mess in the first place is because Ethan wouldn't let him die.
  • Counting to Three: During the Action Prologue, a member of Syndicate holds Luther hostage and counts to three for Ethan to hand over the MacGuffin. On three, Ethan decides to do both, Shoot the Hostage and Shoot the Hostage Taker.
  • Creator Cameo: Christopher McQuarrie is the voice giving Ethan’s briefing about John Lark and the Apostles at the start of the movie.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Walker is impaled through the head by a winch attached to a helicopter, and he falls down the cliff face into the helicopter's exploding wreckage, leaving bloodstains along said cliff face.
  • Cue the Sun: Exploited for a Bait-and-Switch. The skies above Kashmir remain overcast during the whole climax, until the countdown reaches zero and so, the movie uses the glare of the sudden appearance of the Sun as a fake out for the nuclear blasts that didn't happen.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Once Benji provides a distraction, Ilsa frees herself from the Bound and Gagged situation Lane subjected her to.
  • Darker and Edgier: The series was never "kids' movies" to begin with, but Fallout takes this to levels not seen since Mission: Impossible II. The color palette is overall much more muted and gritty than that of Rogue Nation. Solomon Lane has completely abandoned any sympathetic traits he may have initially had, becoming a borderline Death Seeker entirely fixated on ruining Ethan's life. The action is much less flashy and stylized than that of Rogue Nation or Ghost Protocol, instead opting for the most brutal combat in the series thus far, and some of the most graphic kills in the series thus far.
  • Day Dream Surprise: It looks like Ethan actively participates in the White Widow's attack on a police convoy to free Solomon Lane, with Ethan gunning down and killing numerous innocent police officers. Then it's revealed that it was Ethan merely visualizing what would happen if he accepted the Widow's plan.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: Of the Samaritan Syndrome trope. On one hand, Ethan's tendency to try to save as many people as he can results in a lot of problems that could be avoided had Ethan make the hard decisions and focus on The Needs of the Many. He tends to derail a safer, more efficient plan in favor of a way riskier one if it means he could avoid a few casualties, and always focusing on protecting the lives of his teammates over the success of the mission. Many characters see this aspect of Ethan as a Fatal Flaw and call him out on it. Villains don't hesitate to exploit it. And all of these is taking a heavy toll on Ethan. On the other hand, all his attempts at protecting people does pay off in the long run. His teammates are unquestioningly loyal to him and will follow him into a Suicide Mission without hesitation because of this quality. He manages to complete the mission in Paris against all odds with zero police casualty, showing that while a non-violent solution is difficult, it is possible to do. And him deciding to leave his marriage life with Julia means he's able foil many world-threatening plans in missions that nobody else could do. And the knowledge of every life he's able to save is what keeps Ethan going no matter how impossible the mission is. Contrast this with the villains John Lark and Solomon Lane, both of whom are driven to villainy because they've killed and let so many people, even innocents, die in the name of "the greater good", they finally stopped caring about human life in general and became murderous sociopaths.
  • Disney Villain Death: A particularly painful example. Walker falls mid-climb after getting pulled down by a falling helicopter wreck... because the hook at the end of it impales him in the head!
  • Disposable Pilot: Standard action-movie procedure. Hunt hijacks a helicopter, shoots the pilot, kicks him out the door and takes his seat.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The subtitle of the movie could refer to either: the unforseen consequences of the previous film (the formation of The Apostles after Lane was taken into custody), the result of Ethan choosing to protect his team over securing the plutonium, or the team rushing to prevent nuclear fallout from killing 1/3 of the world's population.
  • Dramatic Unmask: As per usual with the latex mask gambits in the series. For a twist, both turn out to be Benji.
    • The first time around, Benji poses as Wolf Blitzer to trick Nils Delbruuk into cooperating with the team and giving away access to his files on the nuclear bombs.
    • The second instance has Benji impersonating Lane in his cell to bait Walker into incriminating himself as "John Lark".
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: The opening scene starts out like this. Ethan had a nightmare where he and Julia are about to marry near a lake, but then the priest starts ranting about how Ethan's life as an agent means he could never live a peaceful life with Julia, and that her life will always be in danger. The distressed Ethan then turns to look at the priest, who turns out to be Solomon Lane, who gloats to Ethan that he should've killed him. Suddenly, a nuclear bomb detonated in the distance, annihilating everyone. This foreshadows the entire latter half of the film, where Solomon Lane escapes from custody and plans to detonate nuclear weapons at a medical camp in Kashmir where Julia happens to be working (Lane and Walker arranged for her to be there to threaten Ethan). The camp itself is also located near a large lake that is one of the main water sources in Asia, which means that if the bombs detonated, the resulting radiation contamination would be devastating enough to kill one-third of the world population.
  • Dream Intro: The film opens with Ethan marrying Julia at a lake, except the priest turns out to be Solomon Lane, who tells Ethan that he should have killed him. A nuclear bomb goes off and incinerates Ethan just before Ethan wakes up.
  • Dude In Distress: During the cabin fight, Benji is hanging from the ceiling and must be rescued by Ilsa.
  • Easily Forgiven: Ilsa is quite understanding about Ethan running her over. Aware of their constant Good vs. Good entanglements, she lets him know that she knew he "had his reasons".
  • Elite Mook: The fake 'John Lark' Ethan Hunt and August Walker fight in Paris turns out to be an extraordinarily tough and fast combatant who very nearly kills Ethan and Walker combined and establishes himself as one of the most capable fighters in all six films. All this despite having no lines or real name and having maybe five minutes of screentime.
  • Engineered Public Confession: It appears Ethan has to knock out Hunley to pull off a trade with Benji disguised as Lane. It turns out the real Lane was taken and it's Benji in the mask to trick Walker into revealing he's Lark and Hunley was in on it. The confession gets transmitted to his boss Sloane.
  • Epic Tracking Shot: Ethan and Walker perform a HALO jump, which is depicted in approximate real time as they go through a lightning storm and Ethan has to revive Walker after a particularly close strike. It starts as Ethan makes his run out of the plane and the next cut is just as he pulls his suit and gets snagged on a steeple.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Walker is introduced as a hammer to Ethan's scalpel, best illustrated when he smacks their target with the face-creating laptop to knock him out when Ethan's attempt to drug him failed. Taking into account the reveal that Walker is John Lark, this action seems much more calculated in retrospect; ruining the laptop means Ethan will have to pretend to be Lark without being able to disguise himself, which makes it much easier for Walker to frame Ethan later and claim that he's been John Lark all along.
    • Another one for Walker comes earlier than that, when Ethan tries to delay their HALO jump because of a thunderstorm directly below them, Walker rips out Ethan's oxygen tube so he won't delay him, then dives into the storm anyway. When Ethan saves his life and they both land safely, rather than thank him, Walker sarcastically points out that Ethan seems to have lost his oxygen tank, showing that he's utterly fearless, doesn't play well with others, and doesn't really care who dies in the course of his mission. Which makes sense when you consider what his true mission is as John Lark.
  • Eureka Moment: Ilsa has one at the camp when she realizes that she has to look for Lane in the village.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: The Hospital Epilogue ends with everyone laughing. Hunt comments that it's not actually helpful under his condition.
  • Every Bullet Is a Tracer: Every bullet Walker fires from the machine gun on the helicopter leaves a visible trace.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • Solomon Lane, a ruthless, genius agent and former spy who wishes to tear down the established order, as opposed to Ethan who seeks to protect it.
    • August Walker, the CIA assassin placed on Ethan's team to eliminate him if goes rogue also serves younger, more brutal counterpart to Ethan. Walker also turns out to be one of the Big Bad Duumvirate.
    • Erica Sloane, head of the CIA, to director Alan Hunley. Unlike Hunley, who is fully trusting and cares deeply for the lives of his agents, Sloane is ruthlessly pragmatic and only cares about the mission, telling Hunley that if his agents are in danger, he should just let them die, because they're spies and it's part of the job.
  • Exact Words: While pretending to be John Lark, Ethan is told he doesn't look like he's Lark. Ethan retorts that of course he isn't John Lark, it's a codename. And while these statements are both true, the fact it's not his codename either is fairly relevant detail. As it turns out, it's August Walker's.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: The White Widow tells Ethan, posing as Lark, that she was expecting a man of his reputation to be uglier.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!:
    • In the opening mission, after Ethan and Benji save Luther from the Apostles, Luther says that he should be dead, prompting Benji to add that they should all be dead since they're all out in the open and the Apostles are free to shoot them all, but nothing happened. Luther then asks "Where is the plutonium?". It then dawns on Ethan that in their attempt to save Luther, they left the plutonium briefcase unguarded. When they run back to where they last left the briefcase, they find that it is already gone, stolen by the Apostles.
    • In a meeting, Walker talks about the plan to nuke Kashmir to Lane, revealing he's really John Lark and is infuriated Lane won't leave due to a grudge against Ethan. Walker snaps about how his boss was right and "IMF is just Halloween with guys in..." And it hits him he's talking to Benji in a mask.
  • Extreme Graphical Representation: The flashy laptop animations illustrating to the audience how the plutonium bombs are synced and how the disarm protection could be tricked.
  • The Extremist Was Right:
    • The CIA's decision to put an assassin on Ethan Hunt and his team, with orders to execute the lot of them if they go rogue again, might seem extreme, until you consider what Ethan's done every other time he's gone rogue, including: selling all the CIA's Deep Cover Agents to a crime boss, stealing an extremely dangerous biological device for an arms dealer, giving nuclear launch codes to a terrorist, and nearly funding a multi-national criminal syndicate. Sure enough he also goes rogue here.
    • It turns out the CIA is perfectly willing to allow their ally to kill a few dozen French police officers in order to extract Lane so he can be traded for the plutonium cores. MI:6 in turn is also willing to let this massacre happen so Lane can be killed while trying to escape, as they want him dead but would lose plausible deniability if he died in their custody. This lack of scruples on the part of the Superpowers' intelligence agencies helps show how Lane and Lark ended up believing that the system they spent their lives upholding was irrevocably corrupt.
  • Face-Revealing Turn: After the helicopter crash, Ethan sees the dropped detonator and Walker standing nearby, looking to the left. As Ethan approaches, Walker turns toward him, showing the right half of his face chemically burned by caustic helicopter fuel.
  • Facial Horror: Half of Walker's face is chemically burnt by fuel from his damaged helicopter during the climax.
  • Fade to White: The scene fades to white when the countdown reaches 00:00.
  • Final Battle: Ethan chasing down Walker in his helicopter followed by a fistfight on a cliff after their helicopters crash. At the same time, Benji and Ilsa must also fight off Lane before defusing one of the two nuclear bombs he's guarding.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing:
    • In the third scene, Ethan reluctantly agrees to have Lark's manifesto read on CNN so that Debruuk will unlock his phone. Mere seconds after Ethan makes the call to have the manifesto read, Wolf Blitzer is handed a copy, making one wonder how it got out there so fast. The "newscast" is shortly revealed to be a mockup, with a masked Benji standing in for Blitzer; the IMF most likely expected the reading of the manifesto to be Debruuk's demand and had it printed and ready ahead of time.
    • When Walker tries to jailbreak Lane, Lane's body language is somewhat "off" when he first wakes up, for example holding out his hand and telling Walker to calm down, which seems a little odd for the otherwise usually very still and cold Lane. These gestures are however something that Benji does quite a lot, and of course "Lane" turns out to be Benji in a mask; presumably it took him a few moments after waking up to properly get into character.
  • Flaw Exploitation: Within seconds of the CIA forcing their way onto the mission, they make it clear they find the IMF's mask-and-con-job antics exasperating. Director Sloane actually orders Walker to throw subtlety out the window the instant he gets bored with it. Given he's one of the main antagonists, he makes full use of this; Sloane is so impatient that even after Hunley gets an Engineered Public Confession she simply orders everyone arrested, so after he was exposed, all he had to do to spring himself and Lane from IMF custody is wait for the CIA — and the Apostles hidden in their ranks — to show up.
  • Foil:
    • August Walker to Ethan Hunt. Angela Bassett's character directly contrasts the two by describing Hunt as a "scalpel" while Walker is a "hammer." Walker is also The Big Guy, relying heavily on boxing and brute force, as compared to Ethan's more acrobatic and kinetic fighting style. Ethan is clean-cut, while Walker looks like he couldn't decide if he wanted a mustache or Perma-Stubble and went with both.
    • Bassett's character herself is a lot more patronizing and snarky and authoritarian than Hunley is, even at his worst. She also has his old job, and is openly contempuous of the IMF, while Hunley respected the IMF and Ethan in particular even as he tried to hunt Ethan down.
  • Forced Friendly Fire: Hunt uses a co-driver of the helicopter he hi-jacked to kill the pilot who himself was about to shoot Hunt.
  • Forceful Kiss: The White Widow gives Hunt one of these in one of their meetings, thinking he is "John Lark".
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In Rogue Nation, Solomon Lane, the film's villain, says a line that could easily be seen as foreshadowing the events of Fallout, given that this film is meant to be about "the best intentions coming back to haunt you". The events of the film are set to be about a mission gone wrong; Ethan's luck might just have run out.
      Solomon Lane: Ethan Hunt is a gambler. And one day his luck will run out, and thousands of innocent people will pay the price.
    • En route to Paris, Ethan points out Walker's violent tendencies, saying the reason agencies haven't found John Lark yet is because Walker killed an informant who was going to provide more information about Lark. After the reveal that Walker is John Lark and has been working with Solomon Lane the whole time, it is evident that Walker killed the informant so he wouldn't be found.
    • Walker's real intentions are hinted at when he accuses Ethan Hunt of being John Lark, and while his reasoning is sound, he frames Ethan by handing Sloane false evidence.
    • When Ethan told Walker how to catch John Lark, he used the mask maker gadget to scan Walker's face in order to show how he plans to do the same with Lark. Which foreshadows that August Walker & John Lark are one person.
  • Frame-Up: Walker, the real "John Lark", frames Ethan by reasoning how he could go rogue after one too many betrayals and handing Sloane a cell phone found on "Lark's" body supposedly containing the evidence (while the audience knows the real phone was broken). Subverted though since even Sloane was skeptical and Hunley completely unconvinced, leading the latter to actually inform Hunt and make the connection that Walker might be Lark himself and managed to expose him, though somewhat Double Subverted when Sloane decides she just doesn't trust anybody in the room and tries to have them ALL arrested so she can sort everything out.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: During the opening Info Dump, Walker can be seen in a quick shot of a group of CIA Special Activities Division operators before he's introduced in the film properly.
  • Gambit Pileup: The plot with the White Widow involves at least six different factions working with and/or against each other, some in multiple ways (the IMF, CIA, MI-6, the Apostles, White Widow's brokers, and the unknown assailants trying to kill John Lark).
  • Gambit Roulette: Ethan gets involved in a lengthy car and motorcycle chase all throughout Paris, and undergoes many surprise twists, turns, and detours as the police are chasing him around. He ends up driving against traffic for most of the chase, and performs maneuvers to try to stop the police from following him. He even crashes into a car at the very end of the chase, and is dazed in the process after being flung over twenty feet. Despite that, he manages to enter an underground aqueduct just at the same exact time the rest of his team is piloting a boat underneath.
    • In all fairness, it's far more likely that the team in the boat was already waiting for Ethan in the aquaduct, underneath the grate that they cut open for him to jump down into and avoid being captured by the police.
  • Gay Paree: A cliché about Paris/France in the form of the song "La Vie en Rose", which is sung by the bunch of Frenchmen who annoy the hell out of Ethan and Walker while they are busy scanning a knocked out John Lark's face in the toilets of the Grand Palais.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Luther and Ethan use this act successfully on Delbruuk in his hospital bed.
  • Good vs. Good: Ethan and Ilsa are at odds over what to do about Lane: Ethan needs him alive to trade for the remaining plutonium cores, while Ilsa needs to kill him in order to be forgiven for her actions by the British government. Luckily, Lane survives the events of the film and the CIA hands him over to MI-6 through the White Widow, securing Ilsa's loyalty to MI-6.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When Ethan is getting strangled by the man he thinks is John Lark, Ilsa saves him with a Boom, Headshot!. We never see the corpse's head afterwards, although there's a lot of blood on the floor.
    Walker: Can you still make a mask?
    Hunt: I need a face to make a mask.
    • Also played straight with Walker's death. It's too fast and too distant to see the damage, but what little we can see from the distance shows little more than a red smear where his face was.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Ilsa runs a broken bottle into Lane's leg during their fight.
  • Gun Struggle: Between the fake Lark and Hunt at the bathroom. The former wins out but can't finish Hunt because of a Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind.
  • Happily Married: Julia, but not with Ethan. She found new love with a kindhearted doctor.
  • Has a Type: During a quiet moment, Luther mentions to Ilsa that Ethan had only really cared for two women, the first being Julia. He implies that Ilsa is the second. So does the camera, when we get both women in the same scene and notice their similar facial structure, hairstyles and (eventually) personalities.
  • Held Gaze: Ethan and Ilsa, repeatedly. During the Hospital Epilogue they seem to be doing nothing so much as drinking in the sight of each other, completely oblivious to everyone else.
  • Hellish Copter: Ethan is forced to hijack a helicopter (mid-flight!) to pursue the villain. And both aircraft end up crashing.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: When Hunt's team reaches the medical camp in Kashmir, they rather quickly spot one of the bombs mounted in a telecommunications antenna pole on top of a shipping container. The second bomb averts this, however, forcing Ilsa and Benji to scour the area for it.
  • High-Speed Hijack: The climax has Ethan hijacking a helicopter in mid-flight to stop Walker from escaping with the detonator.
  • High Turnover Rate: Averted. Alan Hunley becomes the first IMF leader to reappear in the series. It helps that he was not appointed Secretary until the end of Rogue Nation. Hunley does end up playing this straight when Walker kills him.
  • Hollywood Density: The dealer's guard is easily able to hold a case with all three plutonium cores and Benji is easily able to pick one up with one hand despite the fact that each one should weigh about one-hundred pounds.
  • Hope Spot: Ethan tries to disable Walker's helicopter by dropping the heavy payload from his own into Walker's rotors, but Walker's pilot manages to swerve his chopper out of the way just in time.
  • Hospital Epilogue: After defeating Walker, Ethan recovers from his near-mortal wounds in a hospital in the Karakoram mountains, with Benji, Ilsa, and Julia at his side.
  • If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten:
    • Ethan, to keep up his John Lark cover, is basically told he has to kill a group of innocent cops. This being Ethan, he finds another way.
    • Following his bloodless freeing of Lane, a random cop checking for parking violations spot the crew. She's wounded by one of the Widow's men, who insist that Ethan finish her off. He opts to shoot all of them instead.
  • I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: Julia isn't an electrician so she tells Luther this as she doesn't know what wire strippers are.
  • Improbable Piloting Skills: Ethan gets in contact with his team, telling them that he's taken a helicopter to go after Walker, who has the bombs' detonator. Benji and Luther express surprise that Ethan can pilot a helicopter. Soon after, it's shown that he doesn't know exactly how to fly it, as he looks over the myriad of screens and lights. Despite this, he manages to catch up to Walker's helicopter despite his own being horrifically damaged and knock them both out of the sky.
  • Improvised Weapon:
    • During his fight with Ethan and Walker, Lark pulls a drainpipe from the wall to use as a weapon.
    • During the helicopter duel, Ethan tries to use the cargo payload his helicopter is carrying as a kind of weighted bomb. It fails.
    • Pretty much everything in the room sees use as a weapon during Ilsa and Benji's climactic fight with Lane, including a chair, several glass bottles, a shelf, a piece of firewood, and a length of rope.
  • Indy Ploy: Ethan's crew at some points admit that they have a goal, but they don't know the exact steps towards that goal and will just figure it out. And as expected from the series, whatever they decide to do is dangerous bordering on unbelievable (summed up by Ilsa reacting to Ethan running towards a helicopter about to take off with "What the hell is he doing??").
  • In Love with Your Carnage: The White Widow is clearly interested to more than the usual degree when Hunt tosses around Badass Boasts posing as "John Lark" and takes out a team of assassins right in front of her. Eventually, she gives him a Forceful Kiss, but the Ship Tease doesn't proceed anywhere beyond that.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Eric, Julia's new husband, tells Ethan — who pretended to be a volunteer doctor — that they have already treated the smallpox virus outbreak in the village now and that he's sorry that "Ethan" comes all this way for nothing. Eric was talking about the smallpox virus, but the look on Ethan's worried face tells that he takes it as a very bad omen because it implies that Ethan and the team will fail in their mission to stop the nuclear bombs and everybody will die.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Lark's plan is to cause a terrorist attack so huge the world governments will have no choice to give peace a chance. His "bigger the suffering the bigger the peace" is basically trying Misery Builds Character on a global scale and in practice he is gonna kill one third of the world population and permanently ruin Asia's biggest water source with radiation in hope something good will come from it.
  • In Space, Everyone Can See Your Face: Hunt and Walker's oxygen masks are equipped with lights that illuminate their faces.
  • Instant Sedation: Because of course there is. One example is when the crew arrives in London and needs to stash Solomon in a cell. They give him a hypo and he is out like a proverbial light. And Hunley gets the brunt of the same device a few moments later as he tries to collect Hunt to take him home and terminate the mission. That's two in one location!
  • Interesting Situation Duel: A brutal three-way fight between Ethan Hunt, August Walker and "John Lark". In a public bathroom.
  • Ironic Echo: Walker is a CIA agent hired to watch over Ethan and his crew and was ordered to kill Ethan if he goes rogue. When they learn of this, Walker says it's just his job. Later, after an Engineered Public Confession reveals Walker was working with Lane all along, Benji repeats Walker's line.
  • Ironic Name: The name "August Walker" could be interpreted per word: "dignified" for the first, "male escort of a dignified woman" for the second—which definitely works considering he's a Heroic Build guy working for the no-nonsense female head of the CIA. The trope kicks in when he is revealed to be the first half of the Big Bad Duumvirate.
  • It's Personal: As opposite to Walker — who really doesn't give a crap about Hunt beyond being a villain that doesn't want the hero foiling his plan — Lane and Ethan really do despise each other and Lane goes out of his way to hurt Ethan as much as he can, to the point of impracticality.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: After being exposed as John Lark, August Walker tries to shoot Ethan's team only to learn his gun isn't loaded.
  • I've Heard of That — What Is It?: Ethan and Ilsa realize their missions conflict:
    Ilsa: You don't understand what you are involved in.
    Ethan: [incredulously] I don't understand what I'm involved in? I don't understand what I'm involved in?! [curiously] What am I involved in?
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Ethan is clearly still in love with Julia but divests himself from her life so he can keep saving the world and while it clearly hurts him, he seems happy for her having found love with a kind doctor.
  • Jumped at the Call: Once Julia intuits that something is going wrong, the character doesn't hesitate to show up and help in any way possible. Downplayed in that the character is kept out of combat.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: The CIA and IMF are at odds with each other over who should handle the John Lark exchange, which is probably unsurprising in light of their relationship in the last two films. In the end, Hunt has to pull the job off alongside CIA man Walker.
  • Just Following Orders: Walker makes it clear that his beef with Ethan's team is nothing personal, and it's just him doing his job. Another point of difference compared to the perpetually-rogue Hunt. Even when it turns out that he's a mole working with Lane, he doesn't really give a crap about the latter's quest for revenge against Ethan.
  • Just in Time: During the film's climax, Ethan goes after Walker alone to retrieve the bombs' detonator, and his crew attempt to disarm the bombs. By the bomb's design, Ethan needs to disable the detonator first and then the wires have to be cut. Having lost contact with him, they decide to cut the wires at the last second, trusting that Ethan would have succeeded his job by then. The crew's tendency to complete their mission in the nick of time is later lampshaded by Benji.
  • Karma Houdini: Sloane's backstabbing and bungling got Hunley killed and resulted in Walker escaping from a situation Hunt and the IMF had well in hand. She faces zero repercussions whatsoever.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: The White Widow kills two of the assassins sent after Lark while still wearing her Simple, yet Opulent dress.
  • Kill the Lights: A tactic employed by the Syndicate agents.
  • Knuckle Cracking: Walker cracks his neck before the extraction of Lane commences.
  • Latex Perfection: The IMF's use of masks is derided by the CIA, with them comparing it to Halloween. However, it still serves the IMF quite well, with masks being used to trick information out of Debruuk and Walker on two separate occasions.
  • Laughing Mad: Debruuk, the nuclear scientist who ascribes to Lark and the Apostles' worldview, can't stop giggling.
  • Leave No Witnesses: Hunt is appalled by the White Widow's men who are determined to kill the entire police force guarding the convoy.
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: Ilsa does a helpful summary of the convoluted rescue plan on the way to the medical camp in Kashmir.
    Ilsa: But wait, just so I've got this clear. Our only chance to safely defuse both bombs is to let the countdown start. And then remove that key.
  • Literal Cliffhanger: After crashing his helicopter into Walker's, Ethan finds himself dangling from the edge of a cliff by a rope, with Walker hanging on right under him.
  • Living MacGuffin: Solomon Lane for much of the film. Lark wants him to trade him for the plutonium. The Apostles want their leader freed. Ethan and co. want him freed to lead them to the plutonium. And MI-6 wants him freed so they can kill him since He Knows Too Much.
  • Magic Countdown: The 15 minute nuclear bomb countdown lasts for over 22 minutes on screen.
  • Mêlée à Trois: The battle at the London safehouse splits into a conflict with at least five sides. Ethan and his team are trying to capture Solomon Lane and Walker non-lethally, Lane is just trying to escape, Ilsa is trying to kill Lane, Walker and his men are trying to kill everyone else, and Erica Sloane wants her men to capture everyone for questioning.
  • Mickey Mousing: Employed extensively in the first trailer; punches, gunshots, and even motorcycle gear changes are all set to the beats of a mashup of the Mission: Impossible theme and Imagine Dragons' "Friction". In fact, for a few seconds, the music goes completely silent, letting the aforementioned actions be the beats.
  • Mistaken for Gay: After knocking out the man they think is John Lark in the men's toilet at the Grand Palais, Hunt and Walker hide in a toilet stall so Ethan can use his likeness to create a mask. While they wait for the mask to complete, a group of drunkards enter the toilet and see their legs under the stall. They mistake them for having a gay orgy and proceed to repeatedly knock on the stall door to tease them.
  • Motive Rant:
    • Delbruuk delivers one from his hospital bed.
    • Also Lane when they extract the tracker from his neck.
    • Walker when he tries to free Lane, only for Lane to actually be Benji in a mask.
  • Moving the Goalposts: First the White Widow only wants Hunt to extract Lane in exchange for the plutonium. After he delivers she demands Ilsa on a plate.
  • Needle in a Stack of Needles: The bombs are hidden in a medical camp, because all the radiology equipment confuses the heroes' radiation detectors.
  • The Needs of the Many: A constant theme of this film. There are many times that Ethan is forced to choose between the success of the mission and the lives of those he cares about, and he always prioritizes the latter first even if it means the fate of the world is at risk. In fact, his decision to save Luther's life instead of escaping with the three nukes kickstarts the whole plot of the movie. Hunley is not entirely happy with the decision, but he admires Ethan's quality of caring individuals, which means Hunley can always trust him to have his back. CIA Director Sloane came to agree with this as well in the ending, finally realizing that with people like Ethan to care and protect individual lives means higher-ups like Sloane can focus fully on the big picture while trusting their agents to do the right thing and still get the job done. By contrast, Solomon Lane and August Walker, star agents whose careers were marked by a willingness to sacrifice others for "the greater good", ended up going rogue as their definition of "the greater good" shifted over time.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: During the mission in Paris, as the team is extracting Solomon Lane, they are accidentally spotted by a young lady police officer, who mistakes them for criminals and pulls a gun on them. As the mission requires no witnesses, and they just can't simply explain the nature of their mission to her, the right course of action means Ethan would have no choice but to shoot her. Ethan, having a history of seeing young, promising women being executed in front of him, really doesn't want to do this and tries to convince her to walk away. The officer is then shot non-fatally by the White Widow's brother's hit squad when they arrive, and they prepare to finish her off. This luckily allows Ethan to gun down the hit squad and uses the officer's radio to call for backup, gaining the officer's trust and saving her life in the process.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer implies that Ethan has to go rogue to recapture the lost plutonium because the government has disavowed him after his initial failure, with Ilsa even being sent to kill him. It also implies that Walker is an agent being sent to hunt down Ethan by the government. In reality, Ethan still works officially for the government to get the plutonium until Sloane tries to shut the operation down near the end, but the movie glosses over that since they have bigger issues than a woman telling them to stop halfway around the world. And Ilsa was actually out to kill Lane due to pressure from MI-6. And Walker is actually working with Ethan under the orders of Sloane until it is revealed that he is a sleeper agent working with Lane's syndicate. The bathroom scene is edited to look like Walker is fighting Ethan, but they are actually working together to take down someone else.
  • Newscaster Cameo: While Ethan and his team are interrogating Debruuk, CNN's Wolf Blitzer appears on TV reporting on the nuclear attacks on Rome, Jerusalem and Mecca. It turns out to be a setup to trick Debruuk into giving up the passcode to his phone, and Wolf was just Benji in disguise.
  • Nice Guy: Julia's new husband is a borderline saint, dedicating himself to helping others as a doctor and being a warm, friendly person.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Taking out Solomon Lane left the rest of the Syndicate to continue operating mounting whatever attacks they want; granted, they would be dangerous with or without Lane, but Lane at least convinced himself that he had a fixed agenda that the Apostles as a whole seem to lack.
    • Ethan botching the recovery of the plutonium in order to save Luther in the beginning of the film, thus setting up the events for the rest of it.
    • After Walker is outed as John Lark, Sloane reneges on her deal with Hunley and sends a CIA black ops team to capture Walker, Lane, AND the IMF team. While she understandably just wanted to be sure everybody would be accounted for, she failed to consider that the Apostles infiltrated the black ops team, and they instead attack the IMF team, resulting in Hunley's death and both Walker and Lane escaping.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Lane and Lark’s plan goes off without a hinch, up until both of them decide to bring Julia into the picture in hopes of demoralizing Ethan. Julia, after she learns about the IMF’s mission, helps foil the bad guys’ plan by helping Luther disarms a nuclear bomb when before that he is seriously undermanned and would most likely not be able to disarm the bomb fast enough on his own. Moreover, with Julia’s life on the line, Ethan has even more motivation to complete the mission than ever before.
  • Nothing Personal: As opposite to Lane, who holds a completely mutual grudge against Hunt, the relationship between Walker and Ethan doesn't go beyond the "stop the antagonist" usual business, both before and after being revealed as a mole.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Twice in the Paris bathroom.
    • Comically, when Ethan and Walker are cramming themselves into a stall to copy decoy Lark's face, the three pairs of feet look like a Ménage à trois to some partygoers.
    • Exploited by Ilsa after the bathroom brawl: when more partygoers stumble upon the wrecked bathroom and blood on the ground, she instantaneously pretends Walker had a really bad nosebleed and Ethan shoos everyone away by pretending to be the cause of it.
  • Oblivious Janitor Cut: During the roofhopping scene at London, there is a shot of an office worker at her desk with her headphones on while Ethan Hunt is shown through the window behind struggling to ascent to the rooftop.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Ethan has this reaction when he's inside of a damaged helicopter and sees the wreckage of another helicopter about to crash into him.
    • He - and his team - also have this reaction when Julia reveals herself in the middle of ground zero. Julia "returns one" when Ethan "corrects" her assumption that he's on vacation that he's actually working, as she realized the dire of the situation she's in (as Walker had convinced her and her husband to station there at ground zero, practically guaranteeing their demise if Ethan's team failed to disarm the bomb).
    • The team collectively has one when Julia offers Luther help (albeit badly-needed help) with disarming the bomb.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Ethan Hunt is 54 by Fallout. Walker's age is never explicitly given, but Henry Cavill was 35 when the film was released.
  • Once per Episode:
    • Just as in Mission: Impossible II, and briefly in Mission: Impossible III, as well as in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Fallout features Ethan Hunt riding a motorcycle.
    • Hunt also does a crazy stunt with high chances of falling to his death, after climbing on the Burj Khalifa tower in Ghost Protocol and hanging outside a plane in Rogue Nation. It's with a pilotless helicopter this time around.
    • Also lampshaded by August, who points out "How many times has Hunt's government betrayed him, disavowed him, cast him aside? How long before a man like that has had enough?" As per usual, Ethan does indeed seemingly get disavowed (again) by the U.S. again only for it to turn out to be a trap set up by Ethan's team and Hunley to catch August, aka John Lark.
    • The film continues the trend of killing an IMF agent once per movie (minus the second one). This time it's the head of the organization, Secretary Alan Hunley himself. An interview with the director revealed that in the original script, Agent William Brandt would've returned only to be killed off in the opening scene as well, but Jeremy Renner didn't want to return only to get slain by Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome.]]
    • And of course Tom giving a Big Heroic Run like the taxman found him. If anything, they're parodying it at this point.
    • Just like in every movie but Ghost Protocol, the bad guys are spies gone rogue.
  • The Oner: Ethan and Walker's spectacular HALO jump is edited to look like only one long, epic take.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation has Hunt going to extreme lengths to avoid hurting Ilsa, and she knows it, having used that against him in that movie. During the Paris chase, Hunt only hesitates briefly before proceeding to plow through Ilsa and her motorbike with his car, to which she understands when they meet up later, acknowledging to Ethan that he "had his reasons".
    • Hunt is also not the type to attack someone out of fury, preferring to have his antagonists captured, or otherwise incapacitated as a result of their own actions. Here, Luther has to stop him from personally ripping into a prisoner in a hospital bed. Turns out it was all part of an act to trick the guy into unlocking his phone, allowing them to obtain more information about the Apostles.
  • Overt Rendezvous: Walker and Sloane have one in Paris with the Eiffel Tower showing prominently in the background.
  • Parachute in a Tree: Hunt's parachute gets snagged on a steeple. He copes pretty well given that the chute only opened like 100 feet above ground.
  • Parallel Conflict Sequence: The climax spreads the action into three locations. Hunt goes after Walker and the detonator, Luther defuses one of the bombs with the help of Julia, and Ilsa and Benji fight Lane in the cabin.
  • Practical Effects: Director Christopher McQuarrie managed to keep the Mission: Impossible franchise tradition of practical stunts, practical action, and real locations with as little green screen as humanly possible.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • In a first for the series, Walker drops one while talking to Lane after outing himself as John Lark, annoyed that Lane won't let him break him out.
      Walker: Why do you have to make things so fucking complicated?!
    • Walker drops a lesser one earlier on. When he grills Ethan about the things Lane has done, Ethan eventually cuts off all further questions with, "If it makes your skin crawl, it's true." Walker can only respond with a hushed, "Holy shit."
  • Product Placement:
    • The helicopter Ethan is dangling out of in the first released image has a large decal that says "Airbus", the same company which made the A400 that Ethan hung out of in Rogue Nation. (Airbus' people even helped Tom Cruise learn to pilot helicopters)
    • 95% of all the remaining modes of transportation seen in the movie are branded BMW front and centre.
  • Prolonged Prologue: The prologue sequence before the opening credits is the longest in the series. It starts with Ethan's nightmare, him waking up and receiving a briefing for the mission to buy the plutonium from a black market arms dealer before the Apostles (which failed) and ended with an elaborate plan to trick a nuclear extremist into unlocking his phone to get the data within it. In total, it takes almost twenty minutes before the fuse is lit this time.
  • Properly Paranoid: While helping Luther disarm the bomb, Julia asks for repeated confirmation of color, position and action of the components before doing anything. Not only is this absolutely justified since she's a nurse dealing with a nuclear bomb, it saves their asses when Luther gets his right and left hands mixed up. Ilsa is impressed with her thoroughness.
    Ilsa: Oh, I like her.
  • Race Against the Clock: The climax rolls during the 5 minutes before two nuclear bombs detonate. And of course it goes down to the last seconds!
  • Ramming Always Works: Done with helicopters.
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": Hunt, when his helicopter gets hit and starts to malfunction.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Even with Lane captured, there are still many members of the Syndicate still at large; the remaining members formed another terrorist group called the Apostles, which is as dangerous as when Lane was in charge.note  Just removing the leader of a terrorist organization doesn't make the organization itself disappear.
    • A HALO jump is dangerous enough as it is. It's an even more terrible idea to jump straight into a storm cloud crackling with lightning. Walker cockily does exactly that (after disconnecting Hunt's oxygen!) and almost instantly gets stunned by a lightning strike, nearly dooming him and Ethan who has to save his ass.
    • Walker cracks "John Lark" over the head with the mask-creating device which knocks him out, but also breaks the screen and makes it completely useless. "Lark" also regains consciousness shortly afterwards as knocking someone out with blunt force only works for a brief period.
    • In a more lighthearted example, restrooms (especially those near a party) are not a private space where Ethan and his target can be isolated indefinitely. Several times during the apprehension of "John Lark", Ethan is bothered by unrelated civilians who come and go and risk ruining the mission by discovering the mess they've made. He is notably pestered by a group of drunks who can see their feet under the stalls doors, and assume than Ethan is having an orgy with Walker and Lark.
    • "John Lark" learns that it doesn't matter what an unstoppable martial arts badass you are. A bullet to the head will still put you down as easily as it will anyone else.
    • Two within the face of a few seconds during the Paris chase scene. Walker and Hunt try to escape the cops by driving their armored truck through a very narrow alleyway. Naturally, it gets stuck soon enough, and when they climb out to switch to motorcycles, Ethan's bike doesn't start instantly but instead takes a few seconds to start up, which nearly gets him shot by the cops.
    • Even with Atlee out of the picture, MI6 still wouldn't bring Ilsa Faust in because she failed to capture or kill Solomon Lane, who was turned over to the IMF at the end of the last film. Her going deep undercover and participating in many of Lane's acts of terrorism means she is also a wanted woman as well, leaving her no choice but to go on the run for two straight years until she either manages to kill Lane or bring him back to the British government by herself.
    • Hunley vs. August Walker. Not only is Hunley a somewhat pudgy bureaucrat and Walker a hulking CIA agent with a reputation for brutality, Hunley was well aware of what kind of dude Walker was before deciding to take him on in single hand-to-hand combat. Walker basically guts him, leaving him just alive enough to kick Hunt's ass into high gear before dying.
    • Julia has spent close to a decade undercover, away from Ethan; it's understandable that she would find new love and remarry.
    • The massive machine gun that Walker uses while shooting at Ethan's helicopter is not a precision weapon. Shooting from a moving helicopter at another moving helicopter, at high speeds and poor angles for aiming means that he's unable to get more than a few glancing hits on his target, and it quickly runs out of ammo a few minutes later anyway.
    • You cannot just shoot out the locks on locked boxes if you don't know the contents inside them. There might be flammable, explosive materials, or in this case, a nuclear bomb inside them which will result in an explosion if the bullet or the shrapnel hit them.
    • Fuel isn't pure water, where you get doused in it and you will only end up wet. August Walker is shot in half of his face by aerial fuel from a burst helicopter fuel pipe, and it's excruciatingly painful, chemically burning him.
  • Red Shirt: Deconstructed. The police officers escorting Lane are all nameless, faceless cops for Lark's mercenaries to mow down... but they're still people, as we're reminded when Ethan imagines himself forced to execute one. During the actual plan, Ethan promptly derails it with one of his own, ensuring no cops get killed.
  • The Reveal: Walker is revealed to be a villain when he accuses Hunt of being a double agent and hands Sloane a pristine phone he got from "John Lark" as proof. The phone we saw Hunt pull from Lark was damaged, so Walker is setting Hunt up.
  • Revealing Cover-Up: Walker's attempt to frame Hunt doesn't convince anyone. Even Sloane, who is out for Ethan's blood for losing the bombs, is at the very least doubtful of the claim, and the mere suggestion that Hunt is John Lark by Walker is enough for Hunley to be convinced that Walker is totally untrustworthy, to the point he actually informs Hunt himself of this and Sloane, Hunley and Hunt all realise that Walker might be John Lark himself, so they manage to set him up and get him to incriminate himself into admitting just that. Had he not attempted this frame up Walker might have managed to get away with everything.
  • Revenge Before Reason: It's pointed out several times that Lane's plan would be so much simpler if he was willing to just have Ethan shot in the head. But he's lost a little bit of sanity while in prison and insists on a dramatic death for Ethan.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Upon meeting Hunt, the White Widow immediately assumes he couldn't possibly be John Lark because he's "too handsome". Of course, he isn't Lark, but the real Lark is Walker, who's just as handsome as Hunt, if not more and has a Heroic Build to boot.
  • Running Gag:
  • Samaritan Syndrome: Ethan's primary character flaw. When Luther is captured in the opening, Ethan can't bring himself to let Luther die and saves him, losing the plutonium in the process. Later, he completely derails the operation in Paris to free Lane simply because he can't bear to see a few cops get killed. It's also revealed that this is the main reason Ethan's and Julia's marriage ended; he tried staying out of the game, but whenever something bad happened in the world, he wondered if he could've stopped it, and she wondered the same.
  • Sanity Slippage: Ethan is accused of having this by several characters in the film because of everything he has gone through in the previous films and it's not entirely without merit. Ethan has been suffering from nightmares involving Julia and Solomon Lane, the dangerous criminal mastermind he left alive, and the stress from increasingly important and dangerous missions is taking a toll on him. Luther implies that the constant worry he has for the lives of his teammates, Julia, and the fate of the world put a lot of strain on his psyche, and Hunley and Walker express concern that Ethan will eventually reach a breaking point and go rogue for real.
  • Scenery Porn: During the chase sequences in Paris and London. The mountains of Kashmir are also quite pretty.
  • Sequel Escalation:
    • Seemingly the only way to top Tom Cruise hanging out of a Airbus A400 is to put him on the struts of a pilot-less helicopter, with even less places to have safety harnesses.
    • And apparently the only way to top Tom Cruise continually hanging from dizzying heights was to just have him straight-up falling from them... off bikes, buildings, cliffs, and helicopters... all the way through to a HALO jump through a storm, while trying to save a fellow agent's life.
    • Also in regards to the film's MacGuffin, a case of plutonium that's later used to make a pair of 5 megaton nuclear bombs that, when detonated in the Kashmir, will irradiate the water supply of one-third of the world's population.
  • Sequel Hook: Even with John Lark dead and Solomon Lane back in custody, the Apostles are still loose by the end of the movie. It is also very likely that Lane will escape from custody a second time with the Apostles still being active.
  • Series Continuity Error: Possibly. Julia was a nurse when she was introduced in the third film, but she states "I'm a doctor" in this one. That said, more than enough time has passed for her to have gone to medical school in the interim between her appearances.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Ethan, as is often the case. Walker also has an eye for sophisticated suits.
  • Shell-Shock Silence: When Walker and Hunt get struck by lightning the epic soundtrack cuts out for more than 10 seconds emphasizing the temporary blackout experienced by the two jumpers.
  • Ship Sinking: This film quietly and gently puts to bed any notion that Ethan and Julia could ever get back together, as she has fallen in love with and married someone else, but also establishes that they will always care about each other. Julia tells Ethan outright that her relationship with him made her who she is now and she's incredibly happy with her life, and hearing this allows Ethan to truly move on, as well.
  • Ship Tease: With Ethan and Ilsa. Even if they are on separate sides this time, they both go out of their way to avoid hurting each other until they are truly left with no other choice. Ilsa reveals that she was supposed to protect the fake Lark who's supposed to meet the White Widow, but she killed him when she sees that he's about to kill Ethan, and Luther explains to her in an Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene that even if he doesn't show it much, Ethan cares a lot for her, and that adding her to the long list of people he needs to protect puts a lot of strain on him. This convinces Ilsa to commit to helping him stopping Lane's plan in Kashmir. Humorously, she also seems to get along very well with Ethan's ex-wife Julia in the ending.
  • Shoot Out the Lock: Defied and Justified. In the climax, Benji tries to find the second nuke that he believes to be hidden inside one of the radioactive equipment boxes at the medical camp. At first he tries to pick the lock but realizes he couldn't get it done fast enough, so he pulls out a gun and prepares to shoot it out. Then he realizes that if the nuke is in the box, shooting out the lock could risk blowing it up. So Benji puts the gun away and grabs a nearby fire extinguisher to smash out the locks instead.
  • Shoot the Hostage: In the opening, Luther is taken hostage by the Apostles, who demand that Ethan hand over the briefcase containing the three nuclear bombs. Ethan instead shoots at Luther, who's wearing a Bulletproof Vest, to drop him so he could shoot the enemies. Unfortunately, while Ethan and Benji tend to Luther's wounds, they leave the nuclear briefcase unguarded and it is stolen anyway.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Ethan's Dream Intro, which includes him being vaporized in a nuclear explosion, is similar to Sarah Connor's Nightmare Sequence from Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
    • Ethan and Walker perform a HALO jump and run straight into a thunderstorm. Walker even makes the mistake of asking if Ethan is "afraid of a little lightning". Makes you wonder if anyone at Paramount has played Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. It even doubles as Foreshadowing, since the "lightning" line in MGS3 was said by the villain.
    • During the initial chase in Paris, Ethan and Walker drive their vehicle into an alley that keeps getting narrower and narrower until their vehicle gets stuck between the walls, then they proceed to kick out the front windows and continue the escape on the bikes prepared nearby. Almost the same thing happened in the opening chase scene of The Man From Uncle, which Henry Cavill also starred in and his character happened to be a passenger in the vehicle of that film as well.
    • During the climax, Julia says to Luther, "I'm a doctor, not an electrician."
  • Shown Their Work: When Ethan knocks Lane's transport into the Seine, there's a brief shot of Lane, inside the van, hyperventilating. The average viewer might think he's panicking, but he's actually just trying to lower the CO2 in his blood so he can hold his breath for longer, an old but risky free-diving technique.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Neither Wes Bentley nor Sian Brooke are anywhere to be found in the advertising.
  • Soft Glass: At one point during the bathroom scene August hurls the decoy John Lark through the divider mirror and he crashes to the other side surrounded by glass. Naturally he springs back to his feet in no visible discomfort and only showing a cut on the side of his cheek.
  • Spanner in the Works: The extraction of Lane goes according to the secret plan until a female police officer shows up.
  • Spy-Tux Reveal: Hunt and Walker wear tuxedos underneath their skydiving jumpsuits which they need for their Black-Tie Infiltration at the dance club.
  • Start X to Stop X: Benji's method for disabling the bombs requires starting the countdown.
  • A Storm Is Coming: The opening exchange between Ethan and an IMF courier has the "I Am The Storm" quotes attributed to Jake Remington. Also a Badass Boast. Bonus points as it's actually raining during the scene.
    IMF Courier: Fate whispers to the warrior...
    Hunt: A storm is coming.
    IMF Courier: And the warrior whispers back...
    Hunt: [steps out of the shadows] I am the storm.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Hunley, after he's stabbed by Walker.
  • Suicide Mission: What Hunt and co. acknowledge their outing to Kashmir is. Also one for Lane, who chooses to stay at the blast site rather than easily escape.
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: The music played during the gala in Paris, "Consequences of Love", only has its instrumental section played, but the lyrics of the full song (and, arguably, its title) are quite appropriate for the film's themes.
  • SWAT Team: RAID was assigned to escort Solomon Lane while in their custody.
  • Take a Third Option: While posing as John Lark, Ethan is told by the White Widow that part of their deal with the Apostles is the secure the release of Solomon Lane. The Widow already had a plan in place, which would involve her men ambushing and massacring all of the innocent police officers guarding Lane. Ethan is presented with the choice of going through the mission and willfully sacrificing innocent lives or aborting the mission. Instead, he comes up with his own plan to free Lane without inflicting any casualties or breaking his cover.
  • Tap on the Head: Zigzagged with the decoy John Lark in the bathroom. Walker knocks him out cold with a single smack using a laptop, though in a surprising moment of Truth in Television he wakes up a few minutes later like someone normally would if they were knocked unconscious by a hit like that. On the flipside he'd never be capable of instantly having enough clarity to realize his situation or win a prolonged martial arts fight against two highly trained opponents.
  • Television Geography: The distance between the Opéra Garnier and the Arc de Triomphe in Paris is much shorter in the film than in real life (Hunt almost immediately goes from one to the other on his motorbike).
  • Tempting Fate:
    Walker: What's the matter, Hunt? You afraid of a little lightning? — *ZING*
  • That Wasn't a Request: When Hunt's credibility gets undermined by accusations about him being John Lark, Hunley tells him to terminate the mission. Hunt declines upon which Hunley drops this line.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Walker gets a winch to his face and dragged down a cliff by the helicopter. His body hits the rocks below, before rolling into the flaming inferno caused by the helicopter's explosion. There's no way he's coming back from that.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Ilsa's poker faced "OK" once the final plan is summed up — the nuclear detonation can be stopped, but the bombs need to start in the first place.
  • This Page Will Self-Destruct: A tape recorder which can only be played by a sample of Hunt's blood, and which self-destructs once played.
  • Title Drop: Lane mentions to Ethan that the end he's always feared is coming, and that the blood will be on his hands. He refers to this as "the fallout of all his good intentions".
  • Tracking Chip: Lane has one implanted in his neck which the heroes have to remove to avoid being tracked by police.
  • Trailers Always Lie:
    • The trailers make very heavy use of the implication that Ethan Hunt has finally snapped and turned against a government that has betrayed him multiple times and that Walker is backed by the government to bring him down. In reality Walker is the Big Bad and Hunt is chasing him.
    • The trailers show a despondent Ethan Hunt witnessing news footage showing a report of a successful nuclear attacked being carried out, suggesting the team's mission is to capture the mastermind and prevent any retaliation. Said attack is actually faked footage by the team in their plan to trick Debruuk, in order to get the data from his phone so they can prevent any such attacks from happening.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailers make it pretty obvious that Walker is part of the Big Bad Duumvirate.
  • Traitor Shot: August Walker gets several ominous closeups shot from a low angle before being revealed as a bad guy.
  • Trapped in a Sinking Car: Lane when his prison truck is shoved into the Seine. He gets rescued by Benji and Luther.
  • Two-Faced: Walker gets a side of his face burnt by scalding fuel, appropriate for a mole.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Walker dismisses the IMF as "adults in Halloween masks trick-or-treating". When Benji is disguised using a mask to trick Walker into an Engineered Public Confession and out himself as John Lark, he falls for it hook, line, and sinker.
  • Unfolding Plan Montage: The extraction of Lane from a convoy as pictured by Hunt. Plays out as a Daydream Surprise as we only learn that it's imagined when the illusion comes to an end.
  • Universal Driver's License: Ethan ends up hijacking and piloting a helicopter by himself, and his reaction to the control scheme is largely confusion. He figures out a few features, but primarily starts red-lining the aircraft so he can ram the enemy helicopter (it doesn't take a genius to see the flashing red lights as a bad thing).
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Ethan and Ilsa go out of their way to avoid hurting each other when they don't absolutely have to, and at the end when Ethan is in the hospital, there's a Held Gaze and some very gentle, romantic face-touching going on between them.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Played straight with Ethan and his team pretending to incapacitate Director Hunley, who was in on the plan, to trick August Walker into incriminating himself while talking to Benji-as-Lane. Although the fact that the target of this plan is right there the whole time makes them not discussing it out loud fully justified.
  • Video Credits: The closing credits tie actor names to scenes from the movie.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Downplayed. Following Ethan taking apart his plans in the last film, Solomon Lane has gone from a Wicked Cultured, sharply dressed rogue agent to an unkempt, wild-eyed, bushy-bearded prisoner in a straitjacket. His personality, on the other hand, only slips a little, becoming more focused on revenge against Ethan.
  • Virtual Reality Interrogation: The agents trick Nils Delbruuk into cooperating with the team and giving away access to his phone by making him think he was in a hospital showing a live TV feed of nuclear blasts having struck Rome, Jerusalem and Mecca. They agree to make Wolf Blitzer read his manifesto on air, in exchange for the password. Once he's done so, the ruse is revealed.
  • Vulnerable Convoy: Lane is broken out of prison while being escorted in a convoy.
  • We Interrupt This Program: Used for the Virtual Reality Interrogation when Delbruuk's manifesto gets handed to the news anchor on TV.
  • Wham Line:
  • Wham Shot: Walker hands Sloane a brand new phone, claiming it was the one they took off of "Lark" when the phone Ethan took was damaged. It shows that Walker is framing Ethan.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Walker says this to Ethan after both of them survive the helicopter chase in the climax.
  • Wild Goose Chase: Lane was equipped with a Tracking Chip in his neck. The team extracts it and have a drone carry it somewhere with the police chasing after it.
  • Wire Dilemma: While Ethan goes after Walker, who has the detonator for the two nuclear bombs, his crew need to locate the bombs and defuse them, which involves cutting wires in the right order.
  • The World Is Always Doomed: It's revealed that this is what drives Ethan to come out of his retirement and ends his married life with Julia. Ethan believes that one day something terrible might happen that nobody except him could've prevented, and that the world will always be at risk as long as he and Julia remained together. And he is completely right. If Ethan wasn't there to save the day, World War III would've happened already, or the Syndicate would've become an NGO superpower with nobody to stop them.
  • World of Badass: Everyone in this movie kicks ass. Not just the obvious Ethan Hunt, Ilsa Faust, and August Walker, but also Luther, Benji, The White Widow, Solomon Lane, and even Director Hunley get a fight scene or two. The only major characters who don't do any fighting are Erica Sloane (who never participates in field ops herself), Julia, and her new husband.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Unlike the previous movie, here Ethan hesitates only briefly before running into Ilsa and her motorcycle with the car he's driving. She walks away with only minor injuries, though, and when he starts to apologise for it later, she very firmly doesn't blame him.
    Ethan: Are you okay? Ilsa, I never —
    Ilsa: [holding his eyes] I know you have your reasons. I know.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: The fake John Lark busts out a Spanish Fly against Walker during a brawl in a restroom.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Line said by Sloane upon learning that Hunt is to lead the extraction of Lane in Paris.
  • Your Other Left: While Luther and Julia work on defusing one of the nukes, Luther at one point instructs Julia to cut the wire in his left hand, and since she's across from him, she wants clarification on which left.

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