“Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part 1” explodes onto the screen with heart-pounding action, mind-bending twists, and more Tom Cruise running in another thrilling instalment of the iconic franchise. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, this latest entry successfully maintains the franchise’s reputation for delivering high-thrill action, leaving us on the edge of our seats from start to finish.
The story starts with Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his trusted IMF team are travelling across the world to find two keys to stop a ever-growing sentient AI from taking over the world, or from it falling into the control of any particular country. From the first explosive set piece to the final nail-biting climax onboard the Orient Express, the film expertly weaves together espionage, heart-stopping stunts, and an abundance of unexpected turns that keep viewers guessing. Along for the ride this time is Hayley Atwell as Grace, a jewel thief who gets entangled in the AI key retrieval plot and must join or stop Hunt from achieving his goal.
Tom Cruise once again showcases his commitment to the role of Ethan Hunt, demonstrating why he is synonymous with the franchise. His intense physicality and unwavering dedication to performing his own stunts elevate this movie. Whether he’s scaling towering skyscrapers, engaging in adrenaline-fueled Italian Job-style car chases, or engaging in hand-to-hand combat, Cruise’s energy and presence never waver, showcasing just what a powerhouse he is and why critics and audiences love watching his movies so much.
Supporting Cruise is a talented ensemble cast, each bringing their unique flair to the film. Rebecca Ferguson delivers a standout performance as the enigmatic Ilsa Faust aka The White Widow, who combines strength and vulnerability effortlessly. Simon Pegg’s Benji Dunn provides the much-needed comic relief, injecting humour into tense situations without overshadowing the film’s serious tone. Additionally, Ving Rhames and Pom Klementieff are the standouts in the supporting cast here, delivering some serious stakes and hand-to-hand combat action scenes that are among the highlights of the movie.
Director Christopher McQuarrie once again proves his skill in crafting exhilarating action sequences that push the boundaries of what’s possible on screen. The set pieces are meticulously choreographed, with McQuarrie’s confident direction ensuring maximum impact, even when the stakes are low and conversation between characters brings the film to a bit of a halt. Whether a high-stakes heist in a heavily fortified facility or a breathtaking chase through narrow city streets, the action sequences are a masterclass in tension, visual spectacle, and practical effects (I cannot tell you how nice it is to see practical effects over the over-reliance of CGI we have witnessed this year so far).
While “Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part 1” is undeniably an adrenaline-fueled thrill ride, the film also takes the time to delve deeper into the personal lives of its characters. It explores the emotional toll of a life lived on the edge, highlighting the sacrifices made by the IMF team and the consequences they face. While these moments do bring the film to a bit of a halt in relation to story and keeping things moving, it does allow for the action sequences to have maximum impact and for us as an audience to build a connection with all of the characters.
The film’s only minor drawback lies in its complex plot, which can occasionally feel convoluted as layers of double-crosses and shifting loyalties unfold. There is a point in the middle of the film where several conversations are happening and it’s a little confusing as to who is siding with who and why the AI hasn’t predicted all of the moves they were going to make. This ensures the film remains engaging and these moments are almost like some relief after the complete assault on your senses during each action scene.
Overall, “Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part 1” is a thrilling addition to the beloved franchise, delivering everything fans have come to expect. With breathtaking action, compelling performances, and a riveting storyline, this instalment sets the stage for an eagerly anticipated follow-up. If you think the motorbike off the side of the mountain is the biggest action set piece in this film, you are sorely mistaken and in for many surprises in this film. Cruise shows no sign of slowing down and his commitment to making films made for the big screen engaging and breathtaking deserves to be celebrated. Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part 1 could have easily been a phone-in after the spectacular previous film Rogue Nation, however Cruise and McQuarrie have pushed harder and delivered the best movie in the franchise to date.
Mission Impossible : Dead Reckoning Part 1 is in cinemas Saturday July 8.
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