To expand upon my quick thoughts in the video, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is a spy action-thriller directed by Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher), from a screenplay written by McQuarrie and Erik Jendresen (Ithaca). Featuring Tom Cruise, Hayley Atwell, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Esai Morales, Pom Klementieff, Mariela Garriga, and Henry Czerny; it is the sequel to Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) and the seventh installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise. The story follows IMF Agent Ethan Hunt and his team trying to take down a powerful rogue AI known as “the Entity.”
In the Arctic Ocean, the next-generation Russian submarine Sevastopol tests its advanced AI, activated by a two-pieced cruciform key. The AI keeps the sub undetectable from sonar no matter how close they get to enemy borders. Before returning home, the AI deceives the crew into attacking an imaginary hostile target, only to redirect its torpedo back on itself, sinking the vessel and killing all aboard.
In Amsterdam, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) receives a package that contains his next assignment. Ethan travels to the Empty Quarter of the Arabian Desert to retrieve one-half of the key from disavowed MI6 agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), who carries $50,000,000 from the U.S. government. As Ethan alerts Ilsa of his presence, he is discovered by the mercenaries hunting her and is pursued through the desert. Ilsa provides Ethan with cover fire as a sandstorm blows in. After taking down all of his opponents Ethan attempts to locate Ilsa only to find her lifeless body on the ground.
I have been a fan of Mission: Impossible from the beginning. Since the release of Mission: Impossible III (2006) this franchise has not slowed down and just keeps getting bigger and better. Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise are all in on making this franchise amazing. While I do not believe that Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is as good as the previous entry, it’s nothing to scoff at. The cinematography is great as always. The score is incredible. The stunts are insane and the story is fun. Seeing this in IMAX was one of the best decisions I made this summer.
Tom Cruise still has the mojo as Ethan Hunt. It’s hard to believe that he is 61 years old as he could easily pull off a character in his mid-40s. Cruise’s commitment to keeping himself healthy so that he can continue to look the part is worth an Oscar on its own. The same goes for his commitment to the stunts. He does not have to be doing any of this himself, but he wants the audience to know how much he cares about their entertainment. The scene where Ethan rides the motorcycle off the side of a mountain does not disappoint – even if the aftermath of parachuting through the window of a moving train SHOULD have gravely injured him if not flat-out killed him.
The ensemble cast continues to be enjoyable. Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg are staples at this entry in the franchise so it would be odd if they didn’t appear. Vanessa Kirby is given a little more to do this time around as Alanna, while the new silent yet deadly minion Paris (Pom Klementieff) proves a worthy addition. Though I enjoyed Grace (Hayley Atwell) I feel like the role of a thief would have been better served by returning Thandiwe Newton to the franchise. In Mission: Impossible 2 her character Nyah was a master thief and has not been seen since. This would have given the character more connection to Ethan thus raising the stakes with one more person he cares about being in danger.
While previous Mission: Impossible films have carried over storylines this is the first to be split into two movies. The division is handled masterfully as even though this is part one of two it has a clear and definite ending. The story concludes like any other Mission: Impossible movie does. So, if for some reason there wasn’t another sequel the audience wouldn’t feel like they were missing out on anything. This is also the first Mission: Impossible film to not have a “human” villain. The Entity as it is called is a highly sophisticated AI. This takes the franchise into new territory by leaning more into science fiction. Although with research on the topic is advancing on the subject now it may be science fact before we know it.
If you’re a fan of the Mission: Impossible franchise then you will not be disappointed. The story is fun and the action is as awesome as ever. I give Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One a Decent 8.4/10. Tom Cruise has stated that he intends to keep the franchise going well past Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two and I for one cannot wait to see what new stories they can come up with. Hopefully one of them includes Thandiwe Newton!