The true savior of cinema is back and this time he is achieving the impossible on screen—again. Tom Cruise already saved the theatrical experience once with the release of the global phenomenon Top Gun: Maverick in 2022 and he is back to do it again this summer with Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One. Alongside recent massive blockbuster bombs that were additions to franchises or cinematic universes such as The Flash and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Mission: Impossible continues to prove why it’s the king of the castle.
It’s been five years since the release of the famed Mission: Impossible Fallout (I’m looking at you, Henry Cavill cocking your arms!). In that five-year span, Christopher McQuarrie, Tom Cruise, and every single person involved in the production of this first installment of a two-part mega-story has found a way to up the ante and create one of the most thrilling movie experiences in years. The stunts, score, amd sprinting all combined with an electric ensemble cast creates a movie that has to be seen on the biggest screen possible.
Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One Review: deceptively simple yet devilishly complex
The premise is simple—Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and the IMF must stop an A.I. that has gone rogue. In order to do so, they must find two halves of a specialized key. And so begins the nimble narrative that takes place over 163 minutes (the longest franchise installment yet) but instead feels like half of that. Enthralling at every major set piece, the film opens with a desert shootout that reintroduces Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) into the mix but truly kicks off with an elevated scavenger hunt through the Dubai airport.
In order to find the half of the key that is on track to be sold on the black market, Ethan, alongside his returning supporting team of Luther (Ving Rhames) and Benji (Simon Pegg) have to follow it from person to person through the airport. Grace (played delightfully by franchise newcomer Hayley Atwell) is a professional thief that gets involved and soon realizes, along with Hunt and the IMF, that the rogue AI has essentially consumed a person willing to do its bidding in a man named Gabriel (Esai Morales).
The feel, look, and story illicit callbacks to the very first Brian De Palma-directed installment of the franchise. The sweaty close-ups, the tilted frame of reference, and the underlying theme of Ethan Hunt coming to grips with his past lead the way in keeping this movie close to its origins while remaining fresh and lively. Hunt is forced to face his past and understand exactly why he is the IMF agent he’s come to be.
It’s rather timely that Tom Cruise, the man who is truly one of the last great modern movie stars of Hollywood, and the character he plays in Ethan Hunt, an elite-level covert operative that is one in a billion, are identically faced with the idea of a future without them. A future in which their job can be done by machines that offer greater potential, higher return, and less human emotion—something that keeps both Cruise and the character of Hunt uniquely prized.
Even though this is part one of a two-part super-movie, it doesn’t lose sight of what is at its core—unquestionably impossible action with a dash of team humor and a heartbeat of humanity. In an age of boisterous blockbusters that just can’t seem to fit all the puzzle pieces together, Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One takes even the moments that don’t explicitly move the plot forward and make them as equally intriguing as some of the breathtaking action sequences. That’s something special.
I recently made my way through the entirety of the Mission: Impossible franchise and while I still hold true to the fact that Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation is the best one, I’ve got Dead Reckoning Part One in a very close second. As these movies continue to release and eventually come to a close—Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part Two is slated to release summer of 2024 while McQuarrie and Cruise have plans to create their own adult-oriented action movie in the future—it is a thing of sparkling magic to not lose a single step of intrigue, fervor, and passion. The whole movie is just a damn fun time.
Find the biggest screen possible for Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One
I’ve already secured my tickets to see the film once again on IMAX at the July 10th Fan Event screening that is taking place two days before the official release on the 12th, and I’m counting down the hours until I can see Ethan Hunt jump off of a mountain in the Alps on a motorcycle or quite frankly see him reignite his illustrious magic career Ala Mission: Impossible from 1996. Take your kids, take your parents—hell, take your grandparents to see this movie! Tom Cruise has chosen to accept the mission of cinema savior once again, and he doesn’t disappoint.
'Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One' Review'Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One' Review
- Tom Cruise & company don't lose a beat when it comes to exceptional action.
- Introduction of Hayley Atwell and other newcomers feel completely natural.
- Simple plot put action and heart first.
- Repetitive in explaining the mission at hand.