Wow! Wow! Wow! Tom Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie have outdone themselves with this latest chapter in the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE franchise. Seriously the best series in movie history, this new offering, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - DEAD RECKONING PART ONE, is as nerve jangling and entertaining as all the episodes which have come before, with even more spectacular stunts --- if that is even possible.
Ethan Hunt (Cruise) has a new mission and this one is more perilous than ever. The Entity, an all-powerful AI system, has gone off the rails. There are two interlocking keys which can control it --- and, as one would expect, every superpower --- and those that aren’t --- is after those keys. Hunt has been tasked by the former director of IMF (Impossible Missions Force), Eugene Kittridge (Henry Czerny), to find them before they fall into the wrong hands.
Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), who’s worked with Hunt before, has one of the keys. The second is supposedly in Abu Dhabi, so Hunt, Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) attempt to acquire it there, but it is stolen by a rather accomplished thief named Grace (Hayley Atwell). To muck up the works further, Hunt and his team are being pursued by Jasper Briggs (Shea Whigham) and his partner, Degas (Greg Tarzan Davis), who work for the agency known as “The Community”.
Next stop --- Venice, Italy, where Grace has made a deal to sell the key to Alanna Mitsopolis (Vanessa Kirby), aka “White Widow”. And Alanna has promised the keys to Gabriel (Esai Morales), a terrorist who wants The Entity for himself. A lot going on here --- and this is only Part One!
Cruise has certainly gone above and beyond --- literally --- in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - DEAD RECKONING PART ONE. The mind-blowing stunts, car chases, train disasters, etc., make for an exceptionally thrilling experience. Heck, David didn’t fall asleep once! (Not even a nod.) Who doesn’t love Rome, especially when Hunt and Grace are flying down the famous Spanish Steps in a bright yellow Fiat Pop?
McQuarrie, who co-wrote the screenplay with Erik Jendresen, never takes his foot off the gas pedal. The action is fast paced and endless. And the humor is equally nonstop. Cruise has managed to maintain the same persona from one MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE film to the
next --- he never disappoints. He’s a master at creating thrills, which is why this franchise has been so incredibly successful.
As always, Pegg and Rhames are brilliant, complementing Cruise’s dedication to making these adventures real --- and fun. And Morales fashions a great villain. But in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - DEAD RECKONING PART ONE, it is the women who stand out. Ferguson and Kirby are fantastic, both contributing a great deal to the overall intrigue and excitement. Atwell is a significant addition to the cast --- she’s beautiful, exceptionally fit and possesses a glorious --- and sly --- smile. A smaller role, but no less important, belongs to Pom Klementieff, who plays Paris, an assassin employed by Gabriel. She’s perfect.
If you are a fan, you simply must see MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - DEAD RECKONING PART ONE on a big screen, preferably IMAX. It’s just too much for anything smaller, plus the enjoyment of feeling your seat shake along with parts of the action --- and Lorne Balfe’s amazing score. Not something you want to miss ---
Opinion: Strong See It Now!
All right, we all knew Tom Cruise was a little crazy with stunts in prior films, especially the MISSION IMPOSSIBLE franchise. But in the latest entry, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - DEAD RECKONING PART ONE, he improbably outdoes himself.
Holding onto an airplane that has taken off? Child’s play compared to this thriller. How about hanging from a railroad car about to lurch into a canyon? Or riding a motorcycle to the top of a high cliff, jumping off while shedding the bike, then parachuting to the Austrian Alps? (reportedly rehearsing it six times to get it right!)
Part 2 is due in June 2024. What could Cruise possibly do for an encore? MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - DEAD RECKONING PART ONE runs nearly three hours but the time flies by. It is immensely fascinating, features beautiful femme fatales (Rebecca Ferguson, Hayley Atwell, Pom Klementieff and the wonderful Vanessa Kirby), a true villain (Esai Morales), plus Ethan Hunt’s buddies (Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg) to add just enough comic relief.
If “Mission Impossible” creator Bruce Geller was still with us --- he died in 1978 at age 47 --- he would undoubtedly be wildly impressed with this latest MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE effort. Co-writer and director Christopher McQuarrie (Oscar winner for Best Screenplay of THE USUAL SUSPECTS and writing nominee for last year’s TOP GUN: MAVERICK) has paired with Erik Jendresen to provide a top-notch script that never fails to entertain.
Opinion: Strong See It Now!