Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One – Review

It’s hard to deny that Tom Cruise is a man in top form right now. Last years surprise sensation Top Gun: Maverick drove audiences back into cinemas in their numbers with its roaring action and incredible set pieces. Just over a year later and he is back with the 7th instalment of the Mission: Impossible franchise. Dead Reckoning Part 1 sees Cruise and gang undertake a globetrotting adventure to fight their greatest threat yet.

To say this was one of my most anticipated movies of the year would be an understatement. The last 3 Mission: Impossible films have all set the bar higher and higher with each new entry, upping the insanity with their incredible stunt work and how many ways they can put Cruise into a near death experience. The first teaser trailer from last year left me gagging for more after seeing the bike jump and promising to deliver on the biggest MI yet.

The film follows the MI team as they try and track down a mysterious set of keys that will give them the power stop an Artificial Intelligence, known as The Entity. The Entity poses a more futuristic, yet incredibly relevant enemy as AI becomes more and more a part of our everyday lives. The Entity soon develops a mind of its own and becomes unhinged, 3 steps ahead of our protagonists and proving none of your favorite characters are safe anymore.

The plot takes us to exotic locations such as Rome, Siberia, and the Alps. The film doesn’t hold back in its creativity of throwing the heroes into thrilling situations. Car chases through historic landmarks, a game of cat & mouse in Birmingham New Street dressed up as Abu Dhabi airport, and an exhilarating finale on a speeding train are all standouts within Dead Reckoning Part 1.

The film takes its time to get to the action, with a slow build-up in its first act, but once gaining its momentum the pacing significantly improves. The 163-minute running time allows the ambitious plot room to breathe, setting up a satisfying conclusion to the first half of the Dead Reckoning story.

The major downside was some of the visual effects during the final act were clearly a little rushed and detract from some of the spectacle and awe the film had built until this point. Perhaps more a common problem with major Hollywood blockbusters all rushing for the big release windows and not allowing visual effects artists the time to perfect their art. This was however only a minor takeaway from an otherwise sensational viewing experience.

For a man now in his sixties, Tom Cruise is ageing like a fine wine, getting better with age. It’s hard to believe at times watching this that it really his him doing the stunt work here, with his daredevil attitude on full display once more. He doesn’t disappoint in his latest outing, and manages to bring together everything great this franchise has achieved in the last 27 years.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1 stands out as one of the best instalments in the long running franchise. It’s high octane action leaves a lasting impact, and wetting my appetite for Part 2 next year.


Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1 is in cinemas now.


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