Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One Review | Tom Cruise Delivers a Worthy Big-Screen Experience

It is needless to say, the Mission Impossible franchise has been one of those rare movie franchises that only became better with each movie. The seventh installment in this Tom Cruise franchise, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, is one movie that ensures that the franchise’s reputation is maintained. With multiple set pieces that look believably stunning and a fair enough story about good versus evil in an AI-dominated world, this action extravaganza from Christopher McQuarrie is definitely worth the money.

This new chapter in Ethan Hunt’s IMF life revolves around this AI-powered rogue system named Entity that has become a threat to the world. In order to stop this Entity, Ethan Hunt must extract a key that has two parts. Even though Hunt wasn’t sure about what the key was supposed to do, he sensed something fishy and decided to go after the key. With multiple forces getting interested in having their hands on the key, how Ethan and his team manage to get it and what really is the purpose of that key is what we witness in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.

I must admit that the buzz around the stunts of this particular movie was so big that when I finally saw it, it felt a tad short of what I anticipated. The best part is that none of the stunts look too flashy, and hence they blend in with the pacy narrative of the story. And even though it is a much-evolved storytelling style that plays with the gray shades of individuals, the fun elements that make the Mission Impossible franchise unique are definitely there in the content. Tom Cruise is running, driving on the wrong side, jumping out of cars and bikes, running on top of buildings, and yes, the iconic face mask is also there to satisfy the franchise fans.

If you look at the screenplay’s structure, it is basically the travelogue of this key. Christopher McQuarrie and Erik Jendresen are actually adding flesh to this by making the journey intricate and the intentions very complex. In a way, Entity is McQuarrie’s Thanos, but the story here is set in a real-world setup, and hence Enitiy doesn’t feel like a pure fantasy thought. The screenplay manages to place each set piece at crucial junctures in the story. So it never really felt like they decided to create a setpiece just because the movie had Mission Impossible in its title. My only problem was with the editing and cinematography choices, especially for conversation scenes with a minimum of 4 characters. When Ethan meets Benji and Luther for the first time, The cuts have Luther on the left and right of the screen in a very chaotic way. Similar was the case with the tilted angle shots. It felt so random in those conversational bits that deducing a meaning became very difficult. The only possible purpose I could find was they feared the possibility of the conversations being monotonous and hence threw in some distractions through frames and orientation.

As always, the dedication and enthusiasm Tom Cruise show in pulling off unimaginable stunt sequences make the big screen experience so satisfying. As the character has gone through a lot over the years, there is a need to portray the emotional layer of the character in this film, and Cruise does that very effectively, mostly through mere glances and gestures. Hayley Atwell, who makes her franchise debut as Grace, makes an impressive start, and she, in fact, has a considerable amount of screen time. Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg reprised their roles as Luther and Benji, and it was fun to watch their banter in that whole Airport sequence. Vanessa Kirby as Alanna Mitsopolis gets a pretty extensive screen space this time, and the screenplay actually demanded her to play two shades of the same character. Rebecca Ferguson, as Ilsa, has relatively less screen time in this part. Esai Morales is playing the antagonist Gabriel who has some past connections with Hunt, and he will play a crucial role in part two along with Henry Czerny, who returns to the franchise as Eugene Kittridge.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, on the whole, has delivered what was expected from it. With the key in the right hands and some new characters who look like they will be there for a considerable amount of time, Christopher McQuarrie sets the stage for an exciting second part. I am guessing Tom Cruise might do a real deep sea dive at the north pole for authenticity.

Final Thoughts

The seventh installment in this Tom Cruise franchise, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, is one movie that ensures that the franchise's reputation is maintained.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.