|“||There cannot be peace without, first, a great suffering. The greater the suffering, the greater the peace.||”|
–August Walker's manifesto as John Lark., Mission: Impossible – Fallout
August Walker (c. 1984 - 2017), also known as John Lark, is one of the two main antagonists (alongside Solomon Lane) of the 2018 blockbuster action-thriller film Mission: Impossible – Fallout, the direct sequel to Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and the sixth installment of the Mission: Impossible film series. He was a high-ranking operative in the Special Activities Division of the Central Intelligence Agency, under Erika Sloane's command, and one of their best top-level assassins.
|Date of birth:||c. 1984|
|Date of death:||2017|
|Place of death:||Kashmir, India|
|Cause of death:||Impaled in the face by a falling hook attached to a helicopter|
Hammer (by Sloane)
Central Intelligence Agency (formerly)
Intelligence operative (formerly)
Professional assassin (formerly)
|Expertise:||Genius Level Intelligence|
Great physical strength
High speed level
High fighting skills
Great driving skills
|Played by:||Henry Cavill|
|First appearance:||Mission: Impossible – Fallout|
|Last appearance:||Mission: Impossible – Fallout|
Walker was tasked with following Ethan Hunt and his behavior as well as to eliminate him in case he will do anything which the CIA believes to be chaotic right after Ethan failed to obtain three plutonium cores. However, he was also one of the new leaders of The Apostles who attempted to create a new world order.
Little is known about August Walker's early life because it is never discussed in the film, but it is known that he became a high-ranking operative and skilled assassin of the Central Intelligence Agency. Walker has been mistreated several times by his government, causing him to become a terrorist who operates under the code name of John Lark. He plans to wipe out a large part of civilization. Lark has written an apocalyptic manifesto in which he said that only chaos and death can bring about change. In his role as a CIA officer, he was assigned to various Apostles and, in the course of his mission, systematically killed all those who could identify him as John Lark. This earned him a notorious status within the CIA, but also gave him the image of an effective officer.
Walker has secretly teamed up with the Apostles and their infamous leader Solomon Lane to get three plutonium cores through them. After the plutonium cores were stolen, Walker had them converted to nuclear weapons by a loyal nuclear weapons specialist, Nils Delbruuk. After the latter is caught and interrogated by the Impossible Mission Force, the organization obtains information about Lark saying that he wants to meet arms dealer Alanna Mitsopolis, the so-called "white widow" in Paris, France.
Page from "Apocalyptic Manifesto" written as John Lark
|“||There has never been peace without first a great suffering, the greater the suffering, the greater the peace. As mankind is drawn to his self-destruction like a moth to the candle, the so-called defenders of peace – the church, the government, the law – work tirelessly to save humanity from itself. But, by averting disaster, they serve to delay a peace that can only come through an inevitable baptism of fire.
The suffering I bring you is not the beginning of the end. It is the beginning of a greater mutual understanding through common suffering. It is the first step towards the ultimate brotherhood of man. The suffering I bring you is the bridge to ultimate peace.
Today, mankind has been handed the opportunity to escape his destiny, an otherwise inevitable conclusion to a thousand years of intolerance and fear.
I call all rationalists who can stand and join in the struggle against the radical theists, all of which fall beneath a common umbrella of ideology. If we were to continue any further we would reach mythology and Aesop’s fables. When do we stop?
Any belief in a spirituality with no other proof, other than the cravings to project one’s self over the rational thinking of the others must be eradicated as it does not only halt progression and development of the human mind and reach, but also hinders it.
Here I will emphasize clearly that the judgment upheld against us will be one of human hands, not of a god or other worldly being. Part of the absurd rational is what leads to the obscure justifications, the believers place upon their own disgraceful and belligerent behavior.
No. The loss of human life cannot and will not be justified. For this is not the taking of human lives. They are merely puppets, hollow shells that were once human beings. Brainwashed by stories and tales of old, their weak minds have been overpowered by the pressure placed on them by other lifeless puppets. And so, the cycle continues.
–Page from the Manifesto seen during Ethan Hunt's briefing.
Mission in Paris
When the IMF receives information that John Lark wants to say hello the CIA learns of it and Erika Sloane immediately set off with Walker for the Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany, from where the IMF is planning their operation. They meet with Alan Hunley and Sloane sends Walker to watch Ethan, suspecting that the IMF will go rogue during the subsequent operation. Before departure, she warns the agent that he must not allow anyone - including Ethan Hunt or his team - to stand between him and the plutonium. Ethan and Walker flies to Paris on a CIA cargo plane. During the flight, the assassin is informed of the details of the mission.
When the plane arrives via Paris, Walker and Hunt are supposed to jump off with parachutes and special oxygen devices. When the plane's cargo hatch opens, Ethan realizes they're right over a thunderstorm and plans to change the plan. Walker doesn't want to hear about it, interrupts Hunt's objection by arrogantly pulling the oxygen cable out of his helmet and jumps out of the plane while Ethan reconnects the cable to the helmet. Still in the air, Walker gets pretty close to a flash of lightning and loses consciousness, so that he falls down motionless on the city. Ethan, who jumped after that, is able to save his life and open his parachute in time.
After they both arrive alive on the roof of the building where the White Widow wants to meet Lark during a concert, they spy on the situation in the building. Equipped with special search devices, they now mix into the crowd to find Lark in the crowd. Walker finally contacts Ethan by radio and tells him that his device has indicated that Lark is in the men's room. Accordingly, both enter the toilet and try to identify Lark using Walker's device. When they find the man, they want to systematically turn him off so that Ethan can take on his identity and meet as the Lark with the White Widow. However, "Lark" becomes skeptical, so that there is a scuffle in which Walker knocks the man down with his suitcase. However, this contained the system which "Lark" should scan the face and make a mask so that the machine is damaged and no longer works.
The man also comes to during the process and engages Walker and Ethan in a brutal fight. Since he is a very capable martial artist, he is on a par with the two agents and can knock Walker down so brutally that he remains dazed. "Lark" is finally shot by the newly arriving Ilsa Faust. Ethan, who knows Ilsa, introduces the two to each other. Walker then contacts their reinforcements and calls a cleaning team to get rid of the body. After that, Ethan makes it clear that they will not cancel the mission and that he wants to meet the White Widow without a mask. When Walker, confused, claims that Hunt doesn't look much like the "Lark" he just killed, Ethan replies that they have to hope that the two have never met before.
|“||How many times has Hunt's government betrayed him, disavowed him, cast him aside? How long before a man like that has had enough?||”|
–Walker explaining why Ethan might go rogue, and why they should keep an eye on him.
Ethan and Ilsa now set out to meet the Widow. Walker remains behind for the time being, but appears just in time when chaos breaks out due to various armed assassins. The spy manages to knock down an attacker who was about to shoot the White Widow. By fighting the Widow's enemies, Ethan has gained her trust and is invited to her headquarters by her and her companions. Walker accompanies him and they are taken to the room where the White Widow's henchmen are going through their plan to free Solomon Lane from prison. Walker reports on the new plan at a meeting with Sloane the next day, and Sloane expresses displeasure that John Lark is no longer part of the operation and Hunt will try to free Lane instead.
She also claims that Lark is dead now, but Walker claims that he has doubts that the man in the toilet was really Lark. Instead, he implies that Ethan Hunt could be Lark, knowing that Sloane suspects Lark is a U.S. agent. He claims that Hunt sent a double to meet the White Widow and hired his girlfriend Ilsa Faust to shoot "Lark" and look credible himself. Under the guise of serving his country, Ethan was then able to adopt his own alias and act at his discretion with the support of the CIA. Sloane claims that this is a serious accusation and asks him if he has any evidence. Walker hands her a cell phone that he claims they took from the dead "Lark" - a lie - and that she will likely find the evidence on it.
The next day, Lane's surgery begins. In order not to leave Lane to the criminals and to avoid civilian casualties, Walker and Ethan quickly come up with their own plan. They dash with their truck into the car that carries Lane and ram it into the river. As they dash off and are chased by all the other convoy vehicles, IMF agents Benji Dunn and Luther Stickell rescue Lane from the sinking car and take him to the safe house. During the chase, Walker and Ethan change vehicles so that they can ride away on motorcycles. Ethan and Walker are separated, but both can safely return to their hiding place. After changing the hiding place, Lane's interrogation begins. In the end, Walker leads Lane away.
Revealed to be a villain
|“||Why did you have to make this so f**cking complicated?||”|
–Walker to Benji Dunn (who was disguised as Solomon Lane), while revealing his true colors.
The team apparently decides to disguise Benji as Lane before being handed over to the Widow, leaving Walker to guard the real "Lane" at the safe house. As Hunt and the team depart, Walker releases Lane, revealing himself to be the real John Lark. Lane however refuses to proceed with Walker's plan and intends to stay at the safe house to deal with Ethan. Walker starts shouting at Lane for "making things so f**king complicated". While they are arguing, Walker recalls Sloane's remarks that the IMF are "nothing but grown men wearing masks" and realizes that it was Benji he was talking to all along, Preparing to beat up Benji, Alan Hunley arrives and along with Benji hold Walker at gunpoint. Walker is brought to Ethan and the rest of the team, who have had the real Lane with them all this time. Walker appears to be calm, and lies by saying that he is just "undercover" and that Hunt is delusional. Sloane, who had been listening in on the confrontation through Hunley's phone, confirms that Walker had been trying to frame Ethan as the real John Lark from the very beginning. Despite this, Sloane sends a CIA team to capture Walker, Hunt and the rest of the IMF team.
The CIA team had been infiltrated by the Apostles however, and on Walker's command open fire on the IMF team. During the ensuing shootout, Hunley tries to stop Walker, who stabs him repeatedly, killing him.
Walker calmly walks away from the room using the shootout as a distraction, but Ethan eventually starts chasing him. Walker manages to out walk him however, as no one can out walk a man named Walker, and takes the elevator up to the roof of a building with Hunt hanging onto the bottom of the elevator. Walker calmly provokes Hunt by threatening to kill his wife, Julia Meade-Hunt, if he doesn't turn himself in and admits himself to be John Lark. He boards a helicopter with Lane bound for Kashmir. Walker's true goal is also revealed; the plutonium he and Lane has collected will be detonated in Kashmir, contaminating the water supply of Pakistan, India and China and ultimately killing a third of the world's population, so that the world powers will work together and the dread will eventually cause peace due to how much fear it has spread and the world powers finally coming together to fix something.
Final Showdown and Death
|“||WHY WON'T YOU JUST DIE?!||”|
–Walker losing what's left of his sanity after his and Ethan's helicopters crash and his face is sprayed on by hot oil - also his final words before his demise.
In Kashmir, Lane sets the bomb on, giving Walker 15 minutes to leave the blast radius via helicopter. He intends to stay with the bomb, having become a nihilist after being imprisoned and endlessly interrogated for years trusting Walker as his sucessor as the new leader of The Apostles. Ethan arrives just as Walker's helicopter takes off. He grabs onto a second helicopter and assumes control. Ethan initially tries to bring down Walker by dropping his helicopter's payload on top of Walker's aircraft, but he misses. Walker grabs a machine gun and starts shooting at Hunt, until he runs out of ammo and Hunt is able to ram Walker out of the sky.
Both Walker and Ethan crash into a mountain but they both survive the crash. However, their wreckage slides down from the glacier into the gorge and when a hose breaks in Walker's helicopter, caustic acid splashes against it, which burns part of his face. While the helicopters crash down, Walker and Hunt briefly collide, but before they do, one of the helicopters falls even further. While both are thrown out of the wreck and come to a stop on a cliff, the wreck falls even further and only sticks to the cliff due to the cargo hook that got caught on a rock. Ethan and Walker now engage in a final one-on-one fist fight atop a snowy mountain, as Ethan attempts to steal the detonator for the nuclear devices and Walker attempts to withhold it. Finally, in their melee, both men fall over the cliff and can just hold on to the steel cable of the cargo hook.
However, due to the additional weight, it slowly releases, so that both try to climb up before the wreck crashes into the depths. While the two fight continually, the rock breaks off under the cargo hook, causing the wreck to crash. Being quicker to act, Hunt pulls the hook-line down the cliff and the hook impales into Walker's head, instantly killing him and sending his body to the explosion of the helicopter that fell along with him at the bottom of the cliff.
August Walker is a tall, muscular and handsome man with blue eyes, black hair and a dark brown mustache.
He usually wears a suit and a tie, and sometimes a large coat before changing to casual clothing after being revealed as John Lark.
August Walker originally appeared as a younger, but more brutal counterpart to Ethan Hunt who prefers confrontations over subdues. This was evidenced by the phrase that he is more of a hammer to Ethan's scalpel. He later, however, proved to be a skilled manipulator who fooled everyone while performing his schemes unnoticed.
Due to being repeatedly abused by his government, Walker thought the world was to be "saved" and then rejoin Solomon Lane and create the Apostles. So, although his goal (just like Lane's) was to orchestrate a massive terrorist attack that would destroy the world, Walker wanted to see the world come together to train in the fight against the attacks, which, he said, would bring peace. Lane, for his part, was acting purely for the sake of committing crimes. Walker was also remarkable for being generally calm, polite and friendly even after revealing his true colors.
Walker, like Nils Delbruuk, appears to process extreme anti-religious views, based on fact that in the second half of his manifesto, he blames religion as being one of the major causes of the world's problems and sufferings.
- Expert Combatant: Walker's style of fighting revolves around utilizing his physical prowess efficiently. As a CIA assassin, Walker rivaled Ethan Hunt in this area. Notably, during the bathroom fight, he was seen brutally throwing the fake John Lark around the room without apparent effort. His bare knuckle style boxing and grappling starkly contrasted the more kinetic and acrobatic way of fighting displayed by Ethan.
- Master Manipulator: Walker was also a master manipulator, being able to manipulate both the IMF and the CIA.
- Master Deceiver: Walker was also a great actor and deceiver, managing to disguise himself as a "recruiter with just special skills" and lack experience, simple thought and short-tempered. His acting was so perfect that even a calm Ethan Hunt ran out of patience with him. They were shown clearest in the Paris Mission when he kept ruining the plan. However, all of these were just a cover for his aggressive nature, madness and astute scheme, showing that his "accidents" were just the acting to destroy any chance of his being recognized, and when he secretly accused Ethan Hunt and destroyed his motorbike as well. Nonetheless, it seemed that he was willing to take off his mask when necessary, showing that he was ready to shoot the policewoman in Paris when his plan was at risk of being demolished.
Behind the Scenes
Henry Cavill revealed that even being Superman didn't prepare him for the extreme stunts of this film. Cavill noted that his training for Superman is geared more towards body-sculpting for shirtless scenes while stunts require more functional training. He added, "It is a very different kind of preparation for this. For Superman, it is a lot of getting the body looking a certain way when inevitably Superman gets his kit off. But for this, it is not about that. It is about prepping for the stunts, rehearsing the stunts, making sure everything is finessed and going right and I love that. It was a very different approach and I enjoyed it enormously."
Cavill's contract for this film forbade him to shave his mustache and this has been a problem for him because he was making re-shoots for Justice League where he plays Superman, who does not have a mustache. The hairs had to be digitally erased in the superhero movie.
- Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Only appearance)
- August Walker is similar to Kurt Hendricks because he is also looking to destroy the world to generate peace.
- Walker is also the counterpart to Ethan Hunt for several reasons:
- The two are being agents for their respective organizations.
- Both are quite charismatic and very intelligent.
- Both are very good fighters and seem to enjoy fighting.
- The two are surprisingly nice for the careers they have chosen.
- Finally, Walker plays the anti-villain who wants to commit terrorism in order to save the world from dangerous people existing while Ethan is the anti-hero who saves the world from terrorists and other dangerous people.
- While his first name August isn't mentioned in the film, it is listed in the end credits and the promotional material.
- Henry Cavill revealed during an interview on The Graham Norton Show that he didn't know Walker's first name until halfway through production when he saw his name on his director's chair.