SPOILERS for Mission: Impossible -- Fallout below!
The Mission: Impossible series has never been known for its realism. From its far-out gadgets to Ethan Hunt's hair being the same color in 2018 as it was when his missions involved retrieving floppy discs, the series has asked a lot of our suspension of disbelief. The newest entry, Fallout has plenty of such scenes, but one particular key moment makes no goddamn sense. And no, we're not talking about Henry Cavill's enchanted beard.
In one of Fallout's best twists (if that sentence didn't tip you off, again, SPOILERS), Cavill's mustachioed CIA goon is outed as a baddie, caught by the IMF after confessing his plans to the villainous Solomon Lane.
This comes after Benji dons a Solomon mask and takes off with Ethan, leaving Cavill to spill his evil beans to the real Solomon -- but oh crap, the Solomon they left behind was Benji, who triumphantly tears off his mask as if it were Hulk Hogan's tank top.
It's a great reveal, but totally falls apart under scrutiny. And we're not just talking about the insanely lifelike masks they can now manufacture with laptop-sized devices (presumably because in this universe, the CEO of Microsoft is a reformed Scooby-Doo villain). The movie specifically shows us that Cavill was leering at a surveillance video of Lane's cell the whole time. Meaning there was no way for the two to switch places without being super obvious about the whole thing.
Slate actually asked director Christopher McQuarrie about this scene, and it turns out ... yeah, it doesn't make any sense. McQuarrie admits that he spent "ages" trying to work out the logistics of the switch. While they did end up cobbling together a "sleight of hand" method for Benji to trade spots with Lane, the filmmakers concluded it would "kill the momentum" of the movie. They even shot some of these explanatory moments to satiate potential nitpickers, but according to editor Eddie Hamilton, test audiences "didn't give a f**k," and were "just dozing off during those scenes." So they took them out, and no one missed them. Mission accomplished.
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