Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One
Jul 10, 2023
Christopher McQuarrie, Erik Jendresen, Bruce Geller
Tom Cruise, Hayley Atwell, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson. Vanessa Kirby
There is a feeling of quiet anticipation with any coming attraction. Making the punters wait for the next instalment in a franchise is a weapon too rarely used as the bean counters demand more of same as quickly as possible. However, the Mission Impossible series will not be rushed and is so much the better for it. Once again Tom Cruise has teamed up with director Christopher McQuarrie to produce the 'must see' movie of this summer. This is the seventh MI outing since 1996 and one film roughly every four years feels about right.
The story begins in earnest when Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) receives details of his latest mission from an unusual courier. His team are charged with recovery of the key to a device powered by artificial intelligence known as ‘the entity’. In the wrong hands it could have devastating consequences with dynamic potential to control defence systems. Not only must they recover the key but also learn what it unlocks. Hunt is joined by right hand man Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) and nervy technical wizard Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg). They combine with old sparring partner Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) as they chase the key through the Middle East and Europe. The situation grows increasingly complex as pickpocket Grace (Hayley Atwell) is hired to steal the key for a mystery client. Sinister forces begin to close in as Alanna Mitsopolis (Vanessa Kirby) acts as the duplicitous go-between.
The stunts are absolutely jaw dropping and move at a breakneck speed. They cleverly avoid many clichés that have become all too familiar in recent years. Rome and Venice provide the spectacular backdrop to a gloriously inventive adventure. One can only wonder at the cost of insuring 61-year-old Cruise who performs his own stunts. But there’s little doubt it paid off as this film moves the action-thriller into completely new territory. Cruise romps through the countryside on a motor bike a la Steve McQueen in the Great Escape. It builds to a thrilling set piece that has generated its own publicity pre-release. But there is more to come as the eyes remain glued to the screen until the closing credits roll.
Mission: Impossible is Bondesque in its construction, although Ethan Hunt goes rogue more often than James Bond would ever dare. Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli should look to their laurels and cast the new Bond because Hunt is stealing his thunder. It’s superior entertainment that easily blows Indiana Jones out of the water. From the visuals to the locations and memorable theme tune by Lalo Schifrin it hits every mark.