Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One – REVIEW

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‘Stop us looking like a pair of lazy ass grifters!’ screamed Meghan & Harry at their PR team. It is of, course, Mission Impossible, one that is beyond even Ethan Hunt’s IMF team  but the latest film in the franchise is the two-parter Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One with a story that takes on the growing sense of the world’s unease with AI and here it’s a system called The Entity which becomes sentient as seen in a tense opening scene set aboard a submarine which holds the key to Ethan and his teams mission. And it is literally a key, a two part key that interlocks and will give the holder access to the weapon that every country in the world wants.

So Ethan and the gang are back as they go after one half of the key on a person in an airport. It’s where Ethan encounters Grace (Hayley Attwell) a master pickpocket with a list of high level offences who is also after the key. And to up the ante further a team of CIA agents pursue Ethan whilst at the same time Benji (Simon Pegg) is trying to defuse a nuclear device and Luther (Ving Rhames) is trying to co-ordinate the teams actions from his laptop. It’s one of two brilliantly sustained and tense sequences that writer director Christopher McQuarrie has assembled in his third outing at the helm and now seems to be as much a staple to the franchise as Cruise & co.

This latest film sees more strong willed powerful women in the mix. Hayley Attwell is the lead, and looking like Victoria Beckham’s sister) as the independent woman and successful in her own arena of crime and yet soon finds herself out of her depth as the stakes rise. Rebecca Ferguson returns as the shady and here slightly extraneous to proceedings Ilsa whereas Vanessa Kirby as The White Widow revels in the role as an intelligent woman who can run rings round any man. And then there’s Pom Klementieff as Paris a kind of indestructible henchman to the villain of the piece Gabriel (Esai Morales). As ever is Ethan who finds himself once again on the wrong side of the CIA and he is as resolute and determined aided by Ving Rhames whose role is little more than performing technical wizardry on his laptop and Pegg as ever provides the light relief (there’s a decent running joke about the series use of masks) as the key passes back and fore between the parties.

This latest film is of epic length, running at 160m this is the longest entry in the franchise but holds the attention with a plot that is more coherent than previous entries. But as has now been the case since the fourth film the emphasis on the stunts which Cruise himself does and the one that has seen the most attention is him riding a motorbike off the edge of a cliff which is part of a bigger sequence yet loses some of its power through owing behind the scenes footage having been promoted so heavily. The action sequences are as thrilling as we’ve come to expect – a car chase through Rome, a city which must be keen to ban Americans driving in the city after the recent Fast X had Vin Diesel and co charging round the city chasing a giant rolling bomb and best of all is a steam train set piece that homages ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’ and is edge of the seat stuff.

With the last entry ‘Fallout’ having been the most successful to date and setting the bar high Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One doesn’t top it but is almost on a par.  But with an end line telling us that, ‘The key is just the beginning’ the film misses out on an end note cliff hanger to really have audiences hooked into and heighten expectation for the second part of the story that we should see  next summer

‘Your mission should you choose to accept it….’ now will be for the film makers to try and top Part One, a film that. Like Top Gun Maverick confirms that Tom Cruise is arguably the world’s only box office A-lister

related feature: Story behind the Shot – Mission Impossible Rogue Nation

related feature: Those Mission Impossible Fallout problems solved…..

related feature: ‘Con Air’ director Simon West talks about the mak ing of the film with an all star cast!

Here’s the Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One trailer…..

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