Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning – Part One (2023) Review
A “DEAD RECKONING” RINGER FOR GREAT
SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER ACTION
The Mission Impossible franchise has had a lengthy road, stretching from the small screen (all the way back from 1966 to 1973) to the big screen in 1996, with the release of the first film (i.e. Mission Impossible) and introducing the spy riddled world of character Ethan Hunt (played by actor Tom Cruise) to moviegoers everywhere. While the first movie, which grossed over $450 million and receive praise from critics, its’ two follow-up sequels Mission Impossible II in 2000 and Mission Impossible III in 2006, were faced with mixed reviews, but were still deemed commercial success at the box office. Perhaps the world wasn’t ready for another spy installment with Cruise’s Hunt and his fellow operatives. That was until 2011 when Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, the fourth entry in the franchise, exploded into theaters. In a nutshell, director Brad Bird seem to breathing new life into the series with Ghost Protocol and rejuvenated the Mission Impossible brand name with more high-flying action stunts, visual vigor, and (possibly) a better narrative than the two previous sequels. The film went on to gross close to $649 million at the box office as well as the fifth highest grossing movie in 2011. With Mission’s mojo back (and positive praise from critics and the public), a fifth entry in the series materialized in 2015 with Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. The movie, which was directed by Christopher McQuarrie, continued the on-going trend from Ghost Protocol in being more a high-action spy adventure with visuals and stunts and with (of course) Cruise once again returning as Ethan Hunt. Rogue Nation, much like its predecessor film, gained positive reviews and garnished roughly $680 million at the box office, becoming the second-highest grossing in the film series and the eighth highest grossing feature film in 2015. Following that, a sixth Mission Impossible film in the franchise was planned and came to cinematic realization in 2018 with the release of Mission Impossible: Fallout, with McQuarrie, Cruise, and many other players from Rogue Nation returning to the project. Like its two predecessors, Fallout received universal acclaim (many calling it the best in the franchise to date), with the action blockbuster bringing in roughly $791 million at the box office worldwide. Now, after five years since the release of Fallout, Paramount Pictures and director Christopher McQuarrie prepare the much antiquated and highly coveted seventh chapter in the Mission Impossible franchise with the release of Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning – Part One. Does this first half of a two-part feature endeavor worth the hype or has time (and the mission itself) run out for Ethan Hunt, his team, and the entire IMF agency?
In today’s world, artificial intelligence has grown with popularity, with new innovation and creative being generated for humanity. In the shadows, however, an A.I. program known as “The Entity” is amassing power, with a special cruciform key capable of unlocking the secrets and wielding them against the world. The key itself is split into two parts, with one half been collected by the IMF (Impossible Mission Force), inspiring the director of the C.I.A Kittridge (Henry Czerny) to contact leading agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) to find the other half. Standing in the way of Hunt is skilled terrorist Gabriel (Esai Morales), who works with The Entity, determined to retrieve the key and bring the modern world to its knees. With the mission accepted, Hunt reunites with fellow IMF agents Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) as well as MI6 operative Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), with the group plan their skilled talents for a set layout of infiltration and theft. Along the way, Hunt and his team gain a new ally in Grace (Hayley Atwell), a master thief, and reunite with black-market arms dealer Alanna Mitsopolis aka “The White Widow” (Vanesa Kirby), while confronting Gabriel’s assassin’s Paris (Pom Klementieff) around every turn and outwitting US government agent Jasper (Shea Whigham). The hunt for the other half of the key is quite clear, with Ethan and his friends traveling around the globe to retrieve to thwart Gabriel’s master plan of unleashing The Entity’s full might upon the world.
THE GOOD / THE BAD
Borrowing my opening paragraph and this one from my review of Mission Impossible: Fallout…..The Mission Impossible movies have always been a favorite of mine. Of course, the original 1996 film is still probably my personal favorite one (I didn’t really know of or I’ve seeing any of the old TV show from that point), so I went into the movie fresh and really didn’t expect any pre-existing knowledge / opinions on it. Much like what I said above, I thought that the first two sequels (Mission Impossible II and III), I thought they were just okay. Not really great, but not really bad either. I don’t know…. I just couldn’t get into them (even today) as mark them the weaker points of the franchise. Perhaps it was for the reason why the Mission Impossible franchise sort of went quiet for several years until 2011 when Ghost Protocol was released. From there, the Mission Impossible entered a sort of “rebirth” as the overall change in direction of these films took place, finding Ghost Protocol to be more a large set-piece of a Mission Impossible film, which consist of more thrilling action, visual stunts, and (quite possibly) a better and engaging story to tell for a narrative. This movement seemed to put the Mission Impossible franchise back on everyone’s movie radar (including myself) and the following film (i.e. Rogue Nation) continued that trend, further cementing this idea style of filmmaking for these spy action adventure films. Also, it helped that actor Tom Cruise continued to be a part of this franchise from the beginning (and several others), keeping a sort of continuity / familiarity to each of the film’s proceedings. I will have to say that Mission Impossible: Fallout is my personal favorite of the series. Yes, I do like the first film (a lot), but Fallout felt like a great culmination of the franchise, with intense action and thrills, fun spy trope characters, and an interwoven narrative, which felt like both a continuation / follow-up to Rogue Nation as well as a celebration of the franchise with its nods, winks, and references. All in all, the Mission Impossible film series has evolved and for the better in my opinion.
Now, the time has come for Ethan Hunt and his team to embark upon their last mission, which brings me back to talking about Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning – Part One, a 2023 action-adventure film, the seventh installment in the movie series, and first half of a two-part endeavor. Given the amount of success and praise that Fallout received, it was almost a forgone conclusion that a seventh chapter in the Mission Impossible franchise would eventually materialize, with the studio soon greenlighting one sometime after. Of course, Cruise, who would return to reprise his role, confirmed this, but only after he did Top Gun: Maverick. Naturally, the wait for the next Mission Impossible began, with Top Gun: Maverick set to be released in 2020, which would then be followed by Mission Impossible 7. Unfortunately, the beginning and on-going events of the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the project several times, especially during its principal photography and during its scheduled theatrical release date. However, the production moved forward and a few tidbits here and there occasionally (throughout the year) made their way onto the internet, showcasing the various cast members, including most of the players from Fallout reprising their characters, and the on-set BTS footage. Within time, a film’s movie trailer first appeared in summer of 2022 (right before the release of Top Gun: Maverick), which showcased plenty of explosive and exciting footage from the upcoming film. However, more bad news continued to make headway for Mission Impossible 7 (its subtitle now Dead Reckoning – Part One), with the variant pandemic still continue to be prevalent in society, Paramount Pictures decided to delay the movie an entire year; switching from summer of 2022 to summer of 2023. Overall, I was quite excited to see Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning – Part One when it was set to be released on June 12th, 2023. I did get a chance to see the film a day after its release and pushed myself to get my review done for the movie as quick as possible….for you guys to read. And now did I think of this latest MI feature? Well, I really liked it…. a lot. Despite a few minor complaints, Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning – Part One is solid and highly engaging action blockbuster that delivers on its promise of being expansive in its story and entertainment. It may not be the best entry in the franchise, but Dead Reckoning – Part One is still a perfect summer blockbuster on all fronts.
As mentioned, Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning – Part One (referred mostly in this review as DR – Part One) is directed by Christopher McQuarrie, whose previous works include the previous two MI films (Rogue Nation and Fallout) as well as The Way of the Gun and Jack Reacher. Given his background familiarity with both Mission Impossible franchise and working with Tom Cruise (working on most of his recent projects for more than a decade, it seems like the most suitable choice for McQuarrie to helm the follow-up sequel to Fallout and deliver a higher expectation of blockbuster flair and heightened cinematics. To that end, McQuarrie definitely succeeds on that front and in spades. While I may still have personal favoritism towards Fallout over this film (a very slight margin, mind you), McQuarrie manages to cultivate a fantastic sequel to the Mission Impossible lineup that speaks to the franchise pedigree of crazy stunts, action frivolities, and old-fashioned “daring do” of saving the world, but also evolves it further into a much larger tale. Naturally, I’m talking about the movie being presented as the first half of a two-part film endeavor. From personally viewing a lot of two-part films (i.e. Fast and Furious, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Dune, Twilight, IT, Avengers), the idea isn’t uncommon, but sometimes can be handled in a very meandering way, especially with the first movie that merely acts as a “bridge” to the larger and more grand finale of its other half counterpart. Thankfully, such projections of ambition isn’t crushed underneath that notion, with McQuarrie approach DR – Part One with the same type of methods and directorial prowess as he did with his past workings on the Mission Impossible features. Even the movie’s conclusion, while…yes….is a cliffhanger of sorts, still leaves a satisfying point to close the first picture out on rather than just an abrupt one.
Naturally, what makes DR – Part One’s ending feel worthwhile and reward is what proceeded it as the film’s action is top-notched and delivers on the promise of enticing viewers with such sequences of spectacle blockbuster fun and visual razmataz enjoyment. The action in the Mission Impossible movies have always been the series “bread and butter”, especially in the latter films, which allows for more intense scenes of high stakes tension and dramatic fueled jolts of adrenaline. DR – Part One sets a new standard for the feature’s brand of action, with McQuarrie staging and executing such sequences with meticulous details that definitely helps and heightens awareness of Ethan Hunt, his team, and what’s at stakes on their dangerous mission. With a hefty runtime, McQuarrie has plenty of room to orchestrate such action throughout the movie and makes for some awe-inspiring set pieces, including two big ones that bookend the picture (one in the desert and the other in the Alps) are some of the most elaborate and thrilling in the franchise. Again, as customary to its movie moniker namesake, DR – Part One captures the larger action stunts and intricate “thrills and chills” aspects to make these moments feel compelling for some great popcorn entertainment. If anyone viewer walks away from watching this movie, the action nuances that McQuarrie and his team choregraph and present are truly a cinematic feast for the eyes.
Looking beyond the action and their sequences that play out in DR – Part One, McQuarrie makes this latest entry in the series feel like an expansive and grand adventure, with the whole entire narrative feeling like there is a lot at task. Of course, there usually is in every Mission Impossible, with the stakes swelling with each new installment. So, it goes without saying that this latest endeavor equally matches that ambition. While tales of implementing a biological virus, retrieving a stolen plutonium core, thwarting the efforts of nuclear launch codes have been played out in the past entries as the main plot, DR – Part One takes a new stab at the “saving the world” plot for this brand by introducing the enigmatic usage of Artificial Intelligence. Naturally, the film’s A.I. known as the Entity has a little bit of that “movie feeling” within its premise and everything plays out; it’s a bit of a scary notion to make the main threat a self-aware computer program. Of course, this brings up the unmistakable illusions of today’s reality where A.I. usage has started to become more common practice in mainstream media and utilization. Thus, there is both an interesting and eerily feeling of watching the Entity, an artificial intelligence, been the driving force of a Mission Impossible endeavor. Such amenity and omnipresent throughout DR – Part One is quite intriguing and makes for quite an epic journey that Ethan and his team embark one. McQuarrie, along with Erik Jendresen, allow the movie’s script to get entangled in the hunt for the cruciform key (the source to unlocking the Entity) in a classic yet still engaging “fetch quest” or even a “cat and mouse” aspect. It’s tried and true measure of storytelling, but, while it may bred familiarity for some, it still works the feature’s trajectory path, with McQuarrie navigating through tropes (and one or two clunky dialogue moments) for a summer blockbuster tentpole installment that lives up to its hype in entertainment escapism.
Another interesting aspect that the movie’s script utilizes is in the strength and determination of its vast array of female characters. While female players have been used in the previous Mission Impossible installments, the script meticulous puts a larger focus on the women of DR – Part One; giving them the opportunity to shine more. From newcomers like Grace and Paris to returning roles of Ilsa and Alanna, the women of this sequel do shine in the feature, which gives them plenty to do and show off their capability of being slick, cunning, and badass fighters. Some might cry fowl for this indulgences (being too woke), yet it feels like a natural progression in the franchise and does the characters justice. I didn’t find a problem with it and I don’t think anyone probably will. Plus, the idea doesn’t “beat you over the head” with such inclusion aspects as it does in some other modernize films of late. All in all, McQuarrie’s seventh installment in the long-running Mission Impossible films delivers on a lot of fronts, with a gripping and engaging blockbuster project that adheres to the series’ main staples of action stunts and dramatic locales as well as bring a larger narrative into focus that compels (almost demands) a viewer’s attention in seeking out the inevitable follow-up conclusion to Ethan Hunt’s mission in DR – Part Two.
For its presentation, DR – Part One has a great visual flair throughout the film’s proceedings, which showcases an all-firing blockbuster production from beginning to end. Much like the previous entries, this MI sequel goes “big” (as mentioned above) within almost aspect, which includes the production value as DR – Part One boasts the most expensive production budget of the entire series. This, of course, is clearly visible on-screen as the movie has plenty of visual nuances from practical effects to set locations, and even staging action sequences. Every aspect of the film’s presentation is dripping of an action blockbuster that’s awe-inspiring and dramatic flair at the same time, which almost has become customary in the latter Mission Impossible movies (most notable in McQuarrie’s entries). DR – Part One equally matches expectations and then some for some grand background settings for both hero and villains to play around in. Thus, the film’s key “behind the scenes” players, including Gary Freeman (production design), Raffaella Giovannetti (set decorations), Jill Taylor (costume designs), and the entire art direction team for their efforts made on DR – Part One, which definitely has the “best” looking production of the entire Mission Impossible series.
Also, I do have to give credit to the film’s sound editing and mix team for delivering such veracious and popping sound effects throughout the movie. From gun shots to explosions to every punch, the entire sound design for DR – Part One is truly great and definitely brings a viewer into the feature’s bombastic nature of action. In addition, DR – Part One has some incredible cinematography work that is done by Fraser Taggart, which helps build upon the slick presentation that utilizes some clever trickery of camera angles and usage of lightening for a blockbuster visual flair for cinematic purposes. Lastly, the film’s score, which was composed by Lorne Balfe (who had previously worked on Fallout) is quite impressive and definitely adds plenty of cinematic flavor to its soundtrack. Naturally, hearing the classic Mission Impossible theme song throughout the film is great, but Balfe, who has composed some great works throughout his careers, delivers yet another fantastic soundtrack, with plenty of amazing motifs and compositions that range from quiet / subtle character dialogue moments to intense and bombastic action sequences. All in all, great work from Balfe on DR – Part One.
While most of the film is fast-running and spectacular in blockbuster experience, DR – Part One does have a few smaller nitpicks that hold the feature back in a few small areas. Perhaps the one that makes the most sense is in its runtime. Yes, summer blockbusters (nowadays) are being more ambitious and studios are allowing more feature films to have a longer runtime. As mentioned, this latest MI film is the longest in the franchise and, while the extra length helps plot more “to see and do” throughout the cinematic journey, I don’t it necessarily needed the 163 minutes runtime plodding. One scene in particular that involves a very elongated chase sequence through Rome could’ve been cut down significantly and (perhaps) the scene that I got a little bit bored with. Naturally, the scene itself is well-executed and staged correctly to entice viewers with all the usual fanfare for the proceedings of blockbuster variety. That being said, the scene does go on much longer than intended and starts to become redundant halfway through. In truth, the scene felt a bit similar to the chase scene in Paris from Fallout (roughly around the same part of the feature), which (again) felt a bit of a déjà vu feeling. It’s not terrible (it’s still quite exciting), but ran longer than it needed to be and could’ve been trimmed down to a more manageable time; shortening the movie a good ten or so minutes.
Perhaps the other minor point of criticisms is that the movie does have several parts where there is a lot of exposition dumps. Naturally, I do understand that films do need to appropriately place expositional scenes to help us (the viewer) catch-up on what is going on and / or explain certain events that might be imperative to the narrative, but I felt like DR – Part One went a little bit overboard a few times in being both too excessive and too vague. Some expositions are handed with ambiguity and shrouded (Hunt and Gabriel’s past encounters), while other times it unnecessarily spoon feeds explanations that are relatively known, especially if one has watched any of the Mission Impossible movies. Naturally, with such an expanded narrative, one would expect such details to be dotted throughout the movie, but I felt like exposition of certain things could’ve been either toned down or even rearranged in a way that wasn’t so bothersome to the final cut of the feature.
The cast in the Mission Impossible movies have always been a cinematic highlight of these endeavors, with the selection group of acting talents assembled to play these rogue agents of heroes and villains are usually charismatic enough and / or great screen presence to carry their respective characters throughout these episodic missions. DR – Part One is no different and continues the ongoing trend of the franchise, with both those familiar to the series returning to reprise their roles as well as new additions for this installment. Naturally, leading the charge and headlining the picture, is actor Tom Cruise, who once again plays the dare devil and steadfast IMF agent Ethan Hunt. Known for his roles in Top Gun, Jerry Maguire, and The Last Samurai, Cruise has been around for quite some time and has shown moviegoers everywhere his theatrical prowess in various film projects, especially in the action genre. While his off-screen personal views and opinions of the past make draw criticism and ire for some, there is no denying the fact that Cruise has become a suitable leading man throughout his careers and, especially after the success of Top Gun: Maverick, looks to save Hollywood through the blockbuster mainstream variety. This, of course, is also linked to Cruise once again “saving Hollywood” for the Summer of 2023 lineup, with DR – Part One acting as another piece of the actor’s credibility of likeable (and successful) blockbusters. Throughout the entire film series, Cruise has always shined in the role of Ethan Hunt, making for a compelling character that is always on the mission / task at hand and can handle himself in whatever dangerous action that the movie has called for. Thus, Cruise, who continues to be the main focal point of these projects, is quite charming and fantastic in his involvement in DR – Part One, which finds the character aged more (yet wiser) than his earlier counterpart portrayals, yet still knows how to handle any situation. Like in Fallout, Hunt embarks upon a perilous mission that test the character both physically and mentally as he focuses on the task at hand, yet still shows concern towards those who are around him (i.e. his team) within old allies and new accomplices. All in all, I felt Cruise is quite solid in playing the role of IMF agent of Ethan Hunt and still is quite capable of handling the action leading man role, which he masterfully shows off in DR – Part One.
The movie sees plenty of familiar faces that return to this part one endeavor for past films, with actress Rebecca Ferguson (Dune and The Greatest Showman) reprising her Rogue Nation / Fallout character of Ilsa Faust, a former MI6 agent that joins Ethan and his team for the mission to retrieve the key for control of the Entity. Like before, the character of Ilsa is a great addition to Hunt’s team and adds a new dynamic to small, yet solid IMF task force, with Ferguson capable of handling her character with such steely steadfast prowess (eye is always on the mission) and a subtle warmth to the group (most notable to Cruise’s Ethan). In DR – Part One, that same measure and presence is felt and is indeed a great character foil to be utilized, with Ferguson easily slide back into Ilsa with such joyous glee and makes for a compelling character. Plus, like Cruise, she definitely can handle herself in the more intense action scenes in the movie as Ilsa gets some creative sequences of grit and “badass” moments that are a delight to watch. Behind her, actors Simon Pegg (Star Trek and Hot Fuzz) and Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction and Con Air) also return to reprise their Mission Impossible character roles of tech / hacker savants Benji Dunn and Luther Stickell. Collectively, much like Cruise, Pegg and Rhames have been the “bread and butter” of the supporting players in the franchise, with Benji and Luther acting as the “hacker aids” throughout Ethan’s missions. Thus, their involvement in DR – Part One sees them return to that notion and is all the better for it. Perhaps the one disappointment that I had with these two characters is that both roles are limited in the movie, especially with a larger focus on the female supporting characters in the movie. Thus, both Benji and Luther’s appearance in DR – Part One are rather reduced and is a bit of shame, especially since both have become main supporting players in the franchise. To be sure, Pegg and Rhames are still highly effective in their Mission Impossible characters throughout the film’s narrative and still have great on-screen chemistry with Cruise and everyone else. It’s just a shame that they get pushed the backburner in this movie. Hopefully, they’ll get more screen time in DR – Part Two.
In addition, actress Vanessa Kirby (The Crown and The World to Come) also returns in DR – Part One to reprise her Fallout character of Alanna Mitsopolis (aka “The White Widow), a black-market arms dealer / broker and who is also daughter of Max (a arms dealer / broker from first film and who was portrayed by actress Vanessa Redgrave). I do have to say that I like Kirby (love her as Margaret in The Crown) and always make for an interesting character, especially in her physical appearance and in her sultry sounding voice (as well as she delivers her lines). Her involvement in Fallout was fun, but more of a minor supporting character, but, in DR – Part One, she has more focus in the main plot; getting elevated to a more prominent spotlight during the second half of the feature. Kirby is well equipped to have a larger role in the movie and makes for a great addition to the “main players” of the Mission Impossible roster. Also, it’s great to see actor Henry Czerny (Clear and Present Danger and Sharp Objects) return to the franchise to reprise his 1996’s Mission Impossible character of Eugene Kittridge, the current director of both the IMF and CIA. While he hasn’t been seeing since the first film, Czerny certainly hasn’t lost his step within his portrayal of Kittridge and does do a fine reprising the role.
Moving into more of the new characters for the movie, actress Haley Atwell makes her first appearance in the Mission Impossible series in the role of Grace, a master thief who gets entangled in the greater conflict of hunting the cruciform key. Known for her roles in Captain America: The First Avenger, Agent Carter, and Pillars of the Earth, Atwell doesn’t seem like particular individual to be a part of a Mission Impossible (at first glance), but her involvement in the film is actually pretty good. Given the fact that DR – Part One is her character introduction, Atwell gets a lot of screen time, which helps Grace throughout the feature’s narrative. It’s a little bit of “fresh air”, with the movie bringing on a new character and gives a new layer / dynamic to Ethan’s team of which Atwell is up for the challenge in co-starring alongside veterans of the franchise, including Cruise, Pegg, Rhames, and Ferguson. For her part, Atwell is likeable as Grace and has a very “cheekiness” with interacting with Cruise’s more gravitas character of Ethan Hunt. Thus, she is a great foil for Cruise to play off, which introduces some new angles in drama and comedy to make for some compelling work.
For the film’s villains, I believe that actor Esai Morales does a good job in playing the role of Gabriel, a powerful terrorist, an agent to the Entity, and friend / ally to Ethan prior to him becoming a IMF agent. Known for his roles in Ozark, NYPD Blues, and La Bamba, Morales has been around for quite some time and as appeared in several projects on both the big and small screen. Thus, his appearance in DR – Part One is indeed a welcome one that and makes for a convincing main antagonist character (originally actor Nicholas Hoult was to play the role, but dropped out due to scheduling conflict). Morales definitely knows how to sell the character of Gabriel, with just the right amount of wit, villainy, and that “bad guy” charm throughout his performance. Perhaps the only downside that I have with Gabriel is the connection that he shares with Ethan’s past, with the movie’s script somewhat “glossing over” the details in a rather rushed and vague manner. I think this particular aspect is rather weak and I do hope that they play up this character component more (at least flesh it out more) in DR – Part Two. Besides that, I felt that Morales was great villain in the film and definitely fits the antagonist role with both his screen presence and within his character’s prowess nuances to make for a great adversary in DR – Part One.
Behind Morales’s Gabriel, actress Pom Klementieff (Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 and Oldboy) as Paris, a French assassin who works with Gabriel and his endeavors to recover the two halves of the cruciform key. While the character isn’t nothing new or original and basically acting as the “main henchmen / henchwoman” archetype for the central bad guy, Klementieff does a great job as Paris and makes for interesting side villain that is reminiscent of a classic James Bond adversary. Lastly, actor Shea Whigham (Boardwalk Empire and Silver Lining’s Playbook) plays the character of Jasper Briggs, an enforcer government agent for the Community and who is tasked with hunting Ethan and his team. While Whigham is a skilled actor, the character (for better or worse) is to be considered as a “flat footed” beat cop in DR – Part One; finding Briggs to be secondary adversary for Ethan to confront….more of a nuisances than a threat. Still, it’s easy to figure that out from the beginning and definitely has that “cat and mouse” feeling between him and Hunt.
The rest of the cast, including actor Frederick Schmidt (Angel Has Fallen and The Alienist) as Alanna’s brother Zola Mitsopolis, actor Greg Tarzan Davis (Top Gun: Maverick and Greg’s Anatomy) as Brigg’s partner Degas, actor Cary Elwes (Robin Hood: Men in Tights and The Princess Bride) as the Director of National Intelligence Denlinger, and actors Charles Parnell (Top Gun: Maverick and The Last Ship), actor Rob Delaney (Catastrophe and The Man Who Fell from Earth), actor Mark Gatiss (Sherlock and Game of Thrones), and actress Indira Varma (Game of Thrones and Rome) as the heads of the Community, representing the NRO (National Reconnaissance Office), JSOC (Join Special Operations Command), NSA (National Security Agency), and DIA (Director Intelligence Agency) respectfully. While some of these characters have more screen time than others, most of these acting talents are known for their previous works, so it was pretty good to see all of them participate in DR – Part One in their respective capacity.
The super artificial intelligence known as “The Entity” stands as a clear and present threat as top IMF agent Ethan Hunt and his team race to try and find the key to stop the program from falling into the wrong hands in the movie Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning – Part One. Director Christopher McQuarrie’s latest film established the seventh installment in the long-running spy-action series and propels series character Ethan Hunt into a grand mission to save the world in an explosive first half of a two-part endeavor. While the movie does falter slightly in its excessive runtime as well as trying to balance its characters and expositional handling, the film easily overcomes those obstacles and lives up to its own inherit hype for a nonstop action extravaganza, especially do to McQuarrie’s direction / involvement, an expansive tale of “Mission Impossible” aesthetics, a great visual presentation, a terrific soundtrack, and solid acting from the cast across the board. Personally, I loved this movie. It was definitely worth the wait and very engaging (and entertaining) follow-up sequel to Fallout. The action was intense, the thrills were fun, and the story was grand, especially in a satisfying ending for the first half of a two part endeavor. Would I say that it is the best in the franchise? Well, almost. I think Fallout is slightly better (mostly for its character balance), but I still find DR – Part One to be a very close second favorite installment in the series. Thus, it goes without saying that I give this film a very favorable “highly recommended”, especially for both fans of the Mission Impossible series and the more casual moviegoers that are looking for that “summer blockbuster escapism”. With the end of the film concludes, the wait for Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning – Part Two now begins, which has scheduled release date for June 28th, 2024, and promises to concludes the events of this movie and grand fashion that only a Mission Impossible can do. For that, I’m excited! For now, Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning – Part One stands as an outstanding summer tentpole triumph that has plenty of intense thrills, entertaining jolts of adrenaline, and bombastic action to make anyone want to accept this mission.
4.4 Out of 5 (Highly Recommended)
Released On: July 12th, 2023
Reviewed On: July 19th, 2023
Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning – Part One is 163 minutes long and is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some language and suggestive material.