Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part 1

July 11, 2023 by Alex First
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A movie review by Alex First.

The big build-up concerned Tom Cruise plunging off a massive cliff on a motorbike.

While that was mighty impressive because he actually did it (eight times, I believe), the next to last scene involving a train was significantly more suspenseful.

The plot concerns a see it all, know it all entity that has the power to control the world.

Let’s face it, artificial intelligence is everywhere, but the entity is a cut above anything mankind has seen before and is constantly morphing.

Accessing this power requires two keys, which are not the preserve of one person.

Not surprisingly, evil forces and the US government are after the same thing.

Tasked with saving the world is the Impossible Missions Force (IMF).

I speak of Ethan Hunt (Cruise), computer whiz Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) and technical field agent Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg).

On their side is former MI6 agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), who allied with Hunt’s team in Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) and Fallout (2018).

Calling the shots is the former director of the IMF now CIA director, Eugene Kittridge (Henry Czerny), last seen in Mission: Impossible (1996).

Conspiring against success is Hunt’s past, which includes a long-time adversary who has brought the former great emotional pain.

Gabriel (Esai Morales) is a powerful terrorist, who works with French assassin Paris (Pom Klementieff).

She get her jollies from destroying anything that stands in her way.

Another impediment is a black-market arms dealer known as White Window, Alanna Mitsopolis (Vanessa Kirby), who we met in Fallout.

And a mainstay throughout the film is Grace (Hayley Atwell), who is loyal to no-one but herself. She is chasing untold riches.

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The high-octane ride that is Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is again directed by Christopher McQuarrie. He wrote the screenplay with Erik Jendresen.

It is the seventh movie in the franchise and is the longest yet at 2 hours 43 minutes.

Spectacular stunts, car chases, a runaway train heading for destruction, humour and heart are all part of the offering.

I wouldn’t call Dead Reckoning the best of breed, but the focus on tension works.

Esai Morales is threatening throughout, while the mysterious Paris speaks volumes with her actions. She is not a talker.

Cruise, Pegg and Rhames are a safe pair of hands. Unlike the Fast and Furious franchise, this trio hasn’t yet worn out its welcome.

Talking of welcome, I appreciated the continuing role that Rebecca Ferguson played.

But the female lead is undoubtedly Atwell, whose shadowy character, complete with a sleight of hand and vulnerability, is an important element in the plotting.

I am not sold on the entity story line. Let’s just say it requires a leap of faith, but really that is just an excuse anything to witness dare devil heroics.

Nor am I at all convinced that it needed all but three hours to tell just part 1 of this tale.

Still, the slick production values that we have come to expect from Mission: Impossible are very much at play here.

Rated M, it scores 7½ out of 10. Runtime – 163 minutes

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