Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One can’t be easy to follow up on the stellar Mission Impossible: Fallout. And, yet, here we are with the film series continuing to impress in its seventh entry. It follows very much in line with the progression of John Wick, where each film manages to astound even further.
It shouldn’t surprise many what works so well with Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. It has all the daring stunts, spy twists, and intense action sequences that always make these movies such a rush. The best way to describe that allure with this entry is that there’s more good stuff.
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One – More of a Cyber Thriller
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is again tasked with foiling another terrorist plot. This time, however, it’s not so much a group harboring nukes but an artificial intelligence. With the location unknown, the AI, referred to as the entity, can access all the world’s data and intelligence.
With the literal keys to this kingdom being sought, Ethan must swipe them before they fall into the wrong hands. But with the entity being highly predictive, it will take extra smarts to defeat such a mastermind. Or just luck, with Ethan, apparently has in spades when missions often go awry.
A Cunning Villain
Acting for the entity is Gabriel (Esai Morales), a long-time rival of Hunt that knows how to hit him where it hurts. He knows how attached Hunt gets to his cohorts and how they keep returning even when he pushes them away. He also has the aid of an entity that can predict Ethan’s every move and choice, making him extra dangerous.
Considering all the villains at play, the deck is stacked high for Hunt in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. Alanna (Vanessa Kirby), aka the White Widow, returns seeking total domination again. The assassin, Paris (Pom Klementieff), works alongside Gabriel and speaks more with fierce fighting than her mute and painted face. And plenty of intelligence operatives may or may not be more trustworthy.
Strength in Numbers
Hunt isn’t alone, however, as his usual band of allies pitch in with the globetrotting adventure. Luther (Ving Rhames) and Benji (Simon Pegg) still have impeccable character and timing as the tech operatives behind the scenes. Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) returns as the agent who can’t let go of Ethan.
Grace (Hayley Atwell), a thief who stumbles into this dangerous plot, is the latest addition to the group. She is not as adept at Hunt’s career of car chase and spy masks, making her an excellent outsider addition to the group. She constantly asks if she’ll make it out of the next spy mission alive, and Ethan’s gotta give her the harsh truth.
The Stunts Still Rock
But the biggest draw for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is clearly the stunts, and they do not disappoint. The big set piece is clearly when Cruise runs a motorcycle right off a cliff and descends toward a moving train. It’s absolutely stunning watching this stunt unfold with the camera holding firm on the adrenaline-injecting money shot.
Prior to this sequence are plenty of notable moments with aspects we’ve come to expect from the series. Cruise gets his obligatory rooftop sprint during a tense airport scene. He’ll do more fast-paced running through the passages of Venice.
One of the sillier sequences finds Ethan and Grace handcuffed inside a Fiat. Driving away from the bad guys turns into a ridiculous chase of mishaps and destruction. See if you can spot what anime may or may not have been referenced for this scene.
One of the ways that Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One director Christopher McQuarrie keeps this seventh entry so fresh is by gaining your attention with more than theatrics. While all the stunts and fights are incredible, they mean nothing if we don’t care how this will all turn out. Ethan could lose it all, and it’s easy to believe it.
The unpredictable nature of the AI’s speculation on his motivations and actions makes this mission more challenging. The loss of life is solidified by how the villains so quickly toy with the agent. So even though we know the unstoppable Cruise will return for Part Two, there’s still that skin-tingling feeling when he battles atop a train or makes last-minute jumps.
Conclusion: Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
For as far as the franchise has come, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is vying for the top spot of this legendary spy franchise. It has all the same twists, thrills, and genuine intensity from Mission Impossible: Fallout, and maybe a little more. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two can’t come soon enough.
Did you see Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One in the theater? Was it better than previous entries? How would you rank it? Let us know in the comments below.
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is currently playing in theaters everywhere.