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  • Writer's picturePatrick Mooty

FILM REVIEW: Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One

Everything you could want in a summer action blockbuster

Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One sees Tom Cruise going up against his most difficult opponent yet: a summer of overhyped and underwhelming blockbusters. But also a sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) known as the Entity that can rewrite data in real time and promises to win the next global conflict for anyone who wields it. Naturally, all the superpowers of the world want it, and it is up to Cruise and his team to make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands and to save the summer movie season.

The seventh film in this ever-improving franchise, Dead Reckoning remarkably makes yet another case for being the best Mission: Impossible yet. From the beginning, the film is Hitchcockian in its tension, establishing the villainous plot and emphasising, maybe for just a tad longer than necessary, the stakes at play. After that, the film proceeds to one-up itself with each scene, piling one seemingly impossible scenario on top of another, and another, and another, all mixed with just the right amount of self-aware melodrama and humour to have a laugh, and the right amount of genuine stakes to take it seriously.

Cruise is on top form as the protagonist Ethan Hunt and as the producer of this movie, delivering all the high-octane, adrenaline-filled action and breathtaking, practical stunts that you could want in a summer blockbuster. Supporting him are Mission: Impossible regulars like Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg, the latter of whom provides a lot of comedy without compromising the stakes. Welcome newcomers include Grace, played by Hayley Atwell, a thief in over her head who is able to go head to head with Cruise for the majority of the film, and a silent assassin named Paris, played by Pom Klementieff, who is brutal, scary and winds up being more interesting than the actual villain played by Esai Morales. As enthralling the threat of the villainous scheme is, the actual villain is just your standard bad-guy-in-suit who could have been played by anyone, despite the dark connection that he and Ethan supposedly share.

The film sometimes gets confusing with all the different moving parts and changing allegiances, but the stakes and the consequences of each individual set piece are wisely never in question. At a 2-hour-43-minute runtime, and in a climate where films are becoming irritatingly longer, this one did not feel its length. There are certainly sequences that could’ve been trimmed for time, but you would be losing out on another entertaining set piece.

In short, Cruise has done it again! Likeable characters, high stakes, a jovial tone, incredible set pieces: Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning is everything you could want in a summer action blockbuster, and all with a Part Two still to come.

Rating: 9/10

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