Movie Review: Take the leap with Tom Cruise in ‘Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning, Part One’

by Chloe Baker
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Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning

Movie Review: Take the Thrilling Plunge with Tom Cruise in ‘Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning, Part One’

Uncertain about whether to embark on the latest installment of “Mission: Impossible”? Perhaps you’ve grown weary of the excessive spectacle dominating the cinema scene lately. However, let’s reframe it: Do you really want to let down Tom Cruise?

During the first day of filming for “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, Part One,” Cruise fearlessly drove a motorcycle off an actual 4,000-foot Norwegian cliff, freefalling before deploying his parachute. He undertook this daring feat for your entertainment. The least you can do in return is watch his film, right?

This heart-pounding adventure is an unrelenting success, seamlessly transporting audiences from the frozen Bering Sea to the Abu Dhabi International Airport rooftop and the winding alleyways of Venice.

Expect an abundance of exhilarating moments, including dramatic unmaskings, a high-speed car chase through Rome, a desert shootout, a sword duel on a bridge, and an adrenaline-fueled train sequence that may surpass anything the franchise has previously offered.

Early on, a character aptly exclaims, “This is getting exciting,” and you’ll wholeheartedly concur.

Returning for his third time as director of the spy series, Christopher McQuarrie—who also contributed to the writing of Cruise’s “Top Gun: Maverick”—brings back the talented ensemble cast. This includes the captivating Rebecca Ferguson as the love interest and fellow spy, along with the comedic duo of Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames. Vanessa Kirby shines as The White Widow, while Henry Czerny portrays the slippery Eugene Kittridge.

Among the newcomers, Esai Morales embodies a truly wicked villain, accompanied by Pom Klementieff as his psychotic aide. Hayley Atwell also makes a striking debut, portraying a master thief and potential romantic partner for Cruise’s Ethan Hunt (although, admittedly, the abundance of love interests might raise an eyebrow).

This time, the antagonist isn’t a person but a rogue form of conscious artificial intelligence that has infiltrated the computer systems of every nation. It represents a Hollywood fantasy about this emerging technology while perhaps also serving as a commentary on the overuse of CGI.

The AI possesses the ability to disrupt every digital device, possessing “the power to bring the world to its knees,” or at least plunge it into a pre-internet, analog era. It becomes “an enemy that is everywhere and nowhere.” The filmmakers purposely withhold specific details, allowing it to become an existential threat, casually referred to as The Entity.

As suggested by the “Part One” in the title, “Dead Reckoning” follows the recent trend of action franchises adopting multi-part story arcs, akin to “Spider-Verse” and “Fast & Furious” earlier this year. A crucial plot device—a two-part special key—becomes the coveted object pursued by Cruise, the thief/love interest, a U.S. Special Operations team, the nefarious Gabriel portrayed by Morales, and the arms dealer known as The White Widow. The key quickly changes hands, passed from owner to owner like an unwelcome Secret Santa office gift.

What makes this key so special? It holds crucial significance for the AI’s operations, with an estimated value of $100 million, which, truth be told, seems rather low. “The fate of the world rests on finding whatever the key unlocks,” Luther (Rhames) warns Ethan, cautioning him against underestimating the complexity of the situation: “Ethan, you’re playing fourth-dimensional chess with an algorithm.”

If some previous “Mission: Impossible” films left you with the impression that Ethan Hunt was somewhat robotic, this installment provides glimpses of his humanity. Cruise showcases delightful exasperation as he sits in the passenger seat while his car hurtles backward through the streets of Rome—a sight reminiscent of an exhausted driving instructor at the end of a trying day. He also reveals a tender side in Venice, sharing an intimate moment with Ferguson as they embrace in the twilight and hold hands aboard a gondola.

Regarding that memorable car chase in Rome—the second occasion this year where the iconic Spanish Steps have met their destruction courtesy of an audacious American franchise—we’re treated to the delightful sight of Cruise and Atwell handcuffed together, zooming along in a vintage yellow Fiat 500.

“Is anyone NOT chasing us?” she quips.

All the relevant parties converge during one of those grand, elegantly trashy Eurotrash dance parties, complete with dim lighting, pulsating rave music, and gyrating dancers on platforms—a sequence that only Hollywood seems to adore. It was most recently outdone by “John Wick: Chapter 4” in Berlin.

The movie, which began filming before the pandemic and boasts a runtime of two and a half hours, culminates in Cruise’s spectacular motorcycle leap, followed by a breathless fight atop a steam train and a derailment that compels the heroes to navigate through railcars vertically, dodging debris, adversaries, and even a cleverly placed falling piano.

Could you possibly decline this mission? Tom Cruise practically soared for your entertainment. It would be impolite to leave him hanging.

“Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning, Part One,” distributed by Paramount Pictures and exclusively screening in theaters from Friday, carries a PG-13 rating due to “intense sequences of violence and action, some language, and suggestive material.” The running time is 156 minutes. This film earns three and a half stars out of four.

MPAA Definition of PG-13: Parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

Online: https://www.missionimpossible.com

Follow Mark Kennedy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Action-packed.

Should I watch “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning, Part One”?

Absolutely! The film offers a thrilling and action-packed experience, with Tom Cruise returning as Ethan Hunt in a high-stakes battle against a rogue AI. It’s a must-watch for fans of the franchise and lovers of intense spy thrillers.

Who directed “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning, Part One”?

The film is directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who has previously directed two other installments in the “Mission: Impossible” series. He brings his expertise to create an exciting and captivating cinematic experience.

Is there continuity between the previous films and “Dead Reckoning, Part One”?

Yes, there is continuity in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise. “Dead Reckoning, Part One” builds upon the events of the previous films and continues the story of Ethan Hunt and his team. Familiar characters return, and new ones are introduced to add depth to the narrative.

Is the film suitable for younger audiences?

“Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning, Part One” has a PG-13 rating, indicating that it may contain intense sequences of violence and action, as well as some suggestive material. It is recommended for viewers above the age of 13. Parents are advised to exercise caution when considering it for younger audiences.

How long is the movie?

The running time for “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning, Part One” is approximately 156 minutes (2 hours and 36 minutes). It’s a substantial film that provides ample time for character development, thrilling action sequences, and an engaging storyline.

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