Ving Rhames has played the character of Luther Stickell since the first “Mission: Impossible” in 1996 and for the award-winning actor, it’s been a great experience being part of a successful franchise. A computer expert, his character is the elder statesman of Ethan Hunt’s (Tom Cruise) Impossible Missions Force (IMF) team and although we haven’t seen much of him in the past few flicks, Luther, who was initially supposed to die in the first film, certainly makes his presence known in this sixth installment of the action franchise.
“Christopher McQuarrie [director] described my role as being ‘the soul of the film,’” shares Rhames. “At first I didn’t know quite what he meant, but I think it’s a certain consciousness that I give to Ethan (Cruise). In ‘Fallout,’ he really humanizes Luther more and you see more of their relationships and how they interact with one another in the film.”
The Harlem born actor who is widely known for his strong performances in such films as Steven Soderbergh’s “Out of Sight,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction,” John Singleton’s “Rosewood” and “Baby Boy” brings a touch of wit, wisdom and dimension to Luther on this big-screen action spectacle as he joins Ethan in a race against time after their initial mission goes wrong.
“In this film, for the first time, there is a physical altercation between Luther and Ethan. It happens sometimes with people who care about each other. I think it humanizes Luther and you get to see more of the fabric of his personality,” continues the Golden Globe winning actor.
From its start as a television show in 1966, “Mission: Impossible” has always centered on the extreme pressure of the ticking clock – the urgent deadline to stop deadly plots. With the film franchise, that idea has blossomed into an entire movie-making philosophy and in “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” it’s a culmination of all of the previous films in the series with previous characters brought back and storylines brought to a conclusion.
Christopher McQuarrie, who directed “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” returns to helm this latest one and franchise veteran Simon Pegg also returns with new additions Henry Cavill as a CIA agent, Angela Bassett as a CIA Director cementing the cast.
The mission this time, which is revealed within the first 10 minutes of the film’s start is to intercept an arms deal, recover stolen plutonium and avert a nuclear crisis. Unfortunately for the IMF team, their first attempt to procure the plutonium goes awry and they find themselves traipsing around Western Europe in an attempt to stop a group of anarchists hell bent on global destruction while an arms dealer named White Widow (Vanessa Kirby) is hot on their heels and a demanding CIA director (Bassett) is barking for results.
With a running time of 147 minutes, the best thing about every Mission: Impossible films are Tom’s impressive death-defying stunts and he doesn’t disappoint in this one. In “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” it was climbing Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper. In “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation,” it was hanging from the door of an Airbus A400M Atlas military transport plane as it takes off and in “Mission Impossible- Fallout” there’s major stunt sequence in Paris, where Cruise’s character is at the center of a high-speed chase involving a motorcycle, an automobile and an armored truck. There’s also a parachute from a military plane from 25,000 feet and a crash onto the top of the glass building. To top that off, Cruise also climbs up a rope dangling from a helicopter flying at roughly 2,000 feet and then free-falls 40 feet in a stunt that took two years of planning. Another of the film’s many spectacular stunt sequences is an adrenaline-fueled helicopter chase through the treacherous canyons of New Zealand’s Southern Alps.
There’s action, emotion, a great cast with good chemistry in this sixth installment which will certainly be a box office success.
“One of the very interesting things in the film is the team of actors working together,” Rhames adds. “When you have actors who have worked together before, it’s important that we have a good chemistry and I think McQuarrie and Tom who also produces this film, have been able to weave in past relationships and have put together a symphony of actors. He was able to capture a personal story and it gets more personal than just action.”
“Mission: Impossible – Fallout ” releases in theaters Friday July 27
Check out the trailer below:
Samantha Ofole-Prince is a Los Angeles based journalist and movie critic who covers industry-specific news (Photos courtesy of Paramount Pictures)