Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One REVIEW – Dead Good

Few things are certain in life, but it seems like we can always depend on Cruise and team to deliver a fantastic M:I film.

Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One
Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One

Considering all the movies from big franchises that have been released this year, I don’t think it’s controversial to say that the Mission: Impossible series is probably the best of the lot. From the first movie to this most recent one, every single one of these films are just spectacular blockbusters. I’ve always walked out of each one super hyped, with a sudden zealous need to revisit all the previous entries just so I can experience that exhilaration all over again. While Dead Reckoning isn’t the best Christopher McQuarrie M:I film, it’s still a fantastic time at the movies.

In this film, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is given a mission to track down a key that is in Ilsa Faust’s (Rebecca Ferguson) possession. He accepts the mission, yet at the same time we know that Ethan has never been a blind follower. Further investigations lead him to discover the existence of an A.I Entity, and how all countries around the world are eager to gain possession over these keys so that they can control said Entity. Ethan, on the other hand, is the only one who wants to destroy the Entity instead of control it. So it’s a race against time to get there before everyone else.

The man working with the Entity is Gabriel (Esai Morales), a villainous man tied to Ethan’s past. His involvement fuels Ethan even more, but also makes him afraid for his friends working with him. The team is back again, with Luther (Ving Rhames), Benji (Simon Pegg) and Ilsa. As action-packed as everything is, I also love the humorous moments between Ethan and his team – they add levity to the proceedings as well as help the viewers manage the escalating tension.

New to the fray is Hayley Atwell’s Grace, a petty thief who’s in over her head with the entire situation. Cruise might be in his 60s, but damn that man has charm. That first meeting between Atwell and Cruise is something right out of a rom-com, and there’s also his megawatt chemistry with Ferguson, not to mention the light flirtation and innuendo going on with Vanessa Kirby’s White Widow. The women really bring their A game here, and besides Cruise, they are the main draw in Dead Reckoning.

But the one who truly steals the show is Pom Klementieff as Paris. She’s part of Gabriel’s crew, and even though she barely says anything for most of the film, she has such a magnetic presence. You can see how Paris thrives off the chaos that ensues as she hunts down Ethan – it’s a performance with such unhinged exuberance, reminiscent of Harley Quinn.

The film’s pacing isn’t always as tight as it could be. There are some moments that lag, which are particularly concentrated to the earlier part of the film, as they set the context and the players involved. Once the team gets together, things move more smoothly. I like that even though this is part one, it feels like a proper film that can exist on its own without part two. Dead Reckoning also feels like a spiritual successor to the first M:I film. There’s the return of Henry Czerny, who’s great and should have been in more M:I movies, as well as greater reliance on the face masks and sleight of hand.

The action set pieces are great, mainly because there’s always a sense of jeopardy infused into them. Even though we know Ethan Hunt isn’t going to die because there’s a part two, the movie still manages to make us fear for his life. Also, Ethan may be safe, but we fear for his team, so there’s proper stakes for each action scene. I’ve never been able to stand action scenes that just assault us with noise but give us nothing else to sink our teeth into. It’s never been like that for the M:I franchise, so kudos to McQuarrie and Cruise for delivering an action blockbuster that makes going to the cinema a worthwhile and entertaining experience.

Needless to say, I can’t wait for Part Two.

READ NEXT: Ranking The Mission: Impossible Movies From Best To Worst

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Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One
With thrilling action sequences, a talented cast and a fearless leading man, Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One is an absolute blast. One of the best action movies you'll see this year.