Home Movie Reviews ‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One’ – Review
‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One’ – Review

‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One’ – Review


Hollywood megastar Tom Cruise is ready to take audiences for another thrill ride as he jumps back into action mode as IMF super spy Ethan Hunt for the much anticipated cinematic blockbuster event, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. And this narrative will have your adrenal gland working overtime.

In Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team embark on their most dangerous mission yet: To track down a terrifying new weapon that threatens all of humanity before it falls into the wrong hands. With control of the future and the fate of the world at stake, and dark forces from Ethan’s past closing in, a deadly race around the globe begins. Confronted by a mysterious, all-powerful enemy, Ethan is forced to consider that nothing can matter more than his mission – not even the lives of those he cares about most.

Building on a professional relationship that started with 2008’s Valkyrie, director Christopher McQuarrie and action star Tom Cruise amp up the intensity with the seventh instalment of the Mission: Impossible franchise, Dead Reckoning. And it’s one hell of a wild ride. Sharing a terrific creative dialogue between the two of them, McQuarrie and Cruise have one goal with Dead Reckoning: Make It Big! And damn, do they do that with this picture. What they deliver is a film of large spectacle, with all the trimmings, and this is a luxe and sexy movie to watch. They know that they’re playing in the spy genre with this film, and they push the direction of the genre to its limits with a pulse-pounding watch that will have you on the edge of your seat. It’s a truly globe-trotting adventure filled with exotic locations, glamourous costuming, fast-paced sexed-up energy, and one hell of a shot of adrenaline that leaves audiences flawed.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is a clever and intriguing watch for audiences. Both McQuarrie and Cruise draw on current real-world fears of AI and the future of global security for the foundation of the film’s kinetic narrative. Right from the opening credits, this is an explosive story that moves fast, and it takes its audience with it. There’s also the move by McQuarrie and Cruise to look back to the past and the original story of 1996’s seminal Mission: Impossible film, and this leads to interesting narrative moves. With Dead Reckoning, you get both the best of a throwback to the past and that feeling of nostalgia, along with a contemporary and speed-driven story. The focus with both our director and star is to keep things moving and give the audience the experience of the ultimate spy genre film. And we’re taken there in Dead Reckoning.

For twenty-seven years, Tom Cruise has been keeping audiences entertained as intrepid super spy Ethan Hunt. Always eager to outdo himself with each new production and push this franchise into a bold new direction, Cruise absolutely goes for it in Dead Reckoning. And it’s awe-inspiring to witness. But while it’s easy to get caught up in his death-defying stunts, there’s a true character transformation going on for Ethan Hunt this time around. Having lived his life in the shadows and being ready for each new danger, Dead Reckoning forces Cruise’s Hunt to look back on his life’s work and reconcile with the events that have led him to this new threat. We see a man who places the value of humanity first, grappling with very real issues of sacrifice and the greater good, and Hunt has a hell of a choice to make this time around. Cruise is a hundred per cent committed to his performance, and he works to give his audience a spectacle they won’t soon forget.

A new addition to the franchise is British thespian Hayley Atwell as Grace. And she holds her own by Cruise’s side. Taking on a character who is a seductive, alluring and quick-witted femme fatale in the classic manner, Atwell’s Grace is a talented thief who, unbeknownst to her, stumbles into a far more dangerous game than she could ever have thought to play. And these stakes are do or die. With her penchant for sleight-of-hand trickery, Atwell’s Grace is a great new find for the Mission: Impossible franchise and her fresh-eyed perspective is a big boost for the story. She has great chemistry with Cruise that slides between unwilling allie to sparkling romanticism, and these two are a great pair on the screen. Captivating and sexy, Atwell’s Grace is a terrific throwback to similar characters present throughout the franchise and the genre, and she jumps into the action like a natural.

Facing down Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt this time is a dark shadow from the premiere spy’s past. As Gabriel, Esai Morales, is best described as a mixture of angel and devil, the chosen messenger of a formless sentient AI god. Morales’ Gabriel is a man blessed with a talent for violence, and his past makes for a sinister echo that Cruise’s Hunt can’t shake. Morales’ performance is delivered at full force, and there’s some wicked mano-o-mano action between himself and Cruise. As a performer, Morales holds back enough to keep the intrigue heavy for audiences, and I’m certain that there’s more to appear with Hunt’s dangerous new adversary.

The IMF team are also back for Dead Reckoning, and Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, and Ving Rhames are once again having a blast with this feature. For Hunt’s team, things get personal this time around, and each of them comes to learn just how willing Hunt is willing to go to the ends of the earth to protect each of them. Pom Klementieff brings dazzling sadism to the role of master assassin Paris, a key instrument in Gabriel’s arsenal of destruction, and she misbehaves with plenty of death following in her wake. Vanessa Kirby once again brings her grand sense of opulence and control to the elegant Alanna Mitsopolis, aka The White Widow, and she’s a ball to watch on screen. Finally, Henry Czerny returns as the disdastardly Eugene Kittridge, and time has not improved his strained relationship with Ethan Hunt.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One takes audiences into action overdrive, and the intensity of this film will set your heart racing. Cruise is one who is always looking to push the envelope, and that’s exactly what he does with this feature. Beginning with an epic gun battle in the Arabian desert, to a suped-up car chase through the streets of Rome, to a dramatic and bloody beatdown in Venice, Cruise doesn’t lift his foot off the accelerator. But’s the film’s mega stunt, an awe-inspiring motorcycle cliff jump, that will leave you holding your breath and gripping your seat with adrenaline. And it’s Cruise all the way through. Knowing that the star performed the stunt on six separate occasions only adds to the thrill of it all, and audiences are delivered into a heart-stopping third-act train fight aboard the Orient Express. The action of Dead Reckoning is action filmmaking on a whole other level, and it’s a spectacle you don’t want to miss out on.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is a film that is made for the giant canvas of the cinema screen, and it’s a display of blockbuster excellence. It’s a cinema-going experience of pure fun, and you’ll want to see this one on the biggest screen possible. And all I can say is, bring on Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two!

Image: Paramount Pictures