Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is the long-awaited continuation of the popular spy franchise! This is a series that has continued to evolve with the times, putting out some of the most spectacular stunt work and action set pieces in the history of film. After Ghost Protocol, Director Christopher McQuarrie has taken over the reigns for Rogue Nation, Fallout, and now Dead Reckoning. He and Cruise clearly have an unbelievable working relationship, as they’ve managed to rescue the fate of cinema time and again with their MI films and Top Gun Maverick (McQuarrie being a writer/producer on the latter). The two have continuously pushed the boundaries of real stunts and have achieved technical and visual marvels due to the laser dedication of Tom Cruise.
He is a one-man movie machine and there’s quite simply no one else like him in the entire business. At 61years old, Cruise manages to one-up his efforts from the pervious films and shows no sign of slowing down here in Dead Reckoning. This film contains some of the most glorious set pieces of any action film we’ve ever seen, composing long segments of film where we’re left in disbelief and on the edge of our seats. Though some of these set pieces may seem familiar, the brilliant thing about these Mission Impossible films is that when they do it, it’s a million times better. There’s a long car chase around Rome which immediately calls to mind the latest Fast and Furious film (Fast X) which has a very similar chase in the same location. One of these movies is supposed to be the definitive car movie series and yet they’re getting outperformed on every technical level by the action spy series. It’s unbelievable how well these guys do their action and the dedication to the craft really shows in the final product because you believe nearly all of this is realistic.
I know I haven’t touched much on the plot, but all I’ll say is that Ethan and his team must stop a new form of Artificial Intelligence from gaining access to the world’s data. I only say a little bit about the plot because unfortunately Dead Reckoning is far more focused on the action than it is the story. There’s more heavy-handed exposition in this film than in the previous entries and there also felt like a lot of parroting from the supporting cast. One of the best things about this series is the team around Cruise and how well they all work and interact together, so it was disappointing to see most of them take a back seat here. Hayley Atwell is a great addition, but it comes at the expense of sidelining Rebecca Ferguson’s Ilsa, who it seemed like we were just getting to know. These things don’t totally take away from the overall enjoyment and cinematic marvel, but it’s the only reason why I wouldn’t have it above the last few entries. Nonetheless, it should be seen and it’s better than 99% of what we get each year!
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