‘Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One’ – Terrifically tense
The daring crew of highly skilled agents known as the Impossible Missions Force is once again called upon to save the world. This time, they are facing off against an artificial intelligence called The Entity, that takes the very tools the team has come to rely on, and turns them into liabilities. The characters are isolated, the threat is prescient, and the stakes have never been higher.
An outlandish story that feels ripped from the headlines, Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One arrives amid strikes from actors and writers in the American film industry, focused in part on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to create works of fiction. In a similar fashion Ethan Hunt and his team rebel against the supercomputer that holds the world hostage.
For a franchise that’s been largely focused on chemical warfare, information exposure, or a good old-fashioned nuclear bomb, the pervasive threat of predictive AI is unique. Some viewers may find the obstacle difficult to swallow, but the film creates a personal connection utilising faces from Ethan’s past. Even if you don’t buy into the science of this fiction, Dead Reckoning ensures emotion is at the centre of its story.
As the man who can do it all, Ethan Hunt is faced with the limits of his abilities, but it’s a limit that gets pushed repeatedly. Once more Tom Cruise devotes his time in front of the camera to performing the kind of stunts that are wickedly entertaining but incredibly stressful. Watching the 61-year-old man ride a motorcycle off a cliff should be cause for a one-way ticket to a rubber room, if it wasn’t such a testament to cinema.
While Cruise no doubt takes centre stage, the characters both old and new are putting in the work. Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames are the series two thumping hearts and Rebecca Ferguson captivates with nothing but a steely eyed look. Newcomers Haley Atwell as the in-over-her-head thief, and Pom Klementieff as the mesmerising murderous maniac, shine.
In a year of tremendous action, Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One simply outclasses them all. It’s full of heart, relatable characters, and manages to deliver a plot that is delightfully silly, yet nerve-wracking. It’s a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat adventure that ought to be seen on the biggest screen you can find.
Rating: Big Screen Watch
Damian Levy is a film critic and podcaster for Damian Michael Movies.