Mission Impossible : Dead Reckoning Part One Review

New vs old makes for a nostalgic yet high-energy experience.

Tom Cruise has something to prove and from his blockbuster movies released in the last couple of years, this is no exception. But that isn’t to say his stunts make this Mission Impossible instalment a good film. In fact for all the good there is in this film, its downfall is they have tried to split it into two. This creates far too many toilet breaks and slows the momentum of the film.

Ethan Hunt is tasked with his biggest mission yet. It’s not a person he’s stopping, nor a physical item he’s finding. He’s fighting modern warfare, AI. 

With his team supporting him all the way, Ethan’s job is made all that little bit harder when he finds out he’s not the only one with that mission. In steps Grace, who is a common theif with skills she hasn’t even realised 

As Ethan does, he makes the best of a bad situation and recruits Grace for her skills and to help the mission.

Together they must bluff their way through a trade all the while being pursued by relentless thugs. To make matters worse, any form of their usual tech they rely on has had to be forfeited. The result is winding back the clock and bringing out aged analog tech, which comes with its own problems.

Dead Reckoning is a clever nod to all the aged spy tv shows and films many have grown up with. Fights on trains, the classic glitzy gala where the deal goes down. It’s a blend of old and new giving the film something for new audiences and the die hard fans.

It’s this that also makes the film a tad dated and slow. With all the old tech and style, it doesn’t bring anything new. It has just rehashed old ideas with better CGI. It should be said, while the film does tend to feel a bit flat and unoriginal, what you’ve come to expect of the Mission Impossible franchise continues, epic fight scenes in impossible circumstances.

Back to the point of the toilet breaks. The film finds itself going into this anxious energy as you wait to see how a circumstance will pan out. Only for the film to slow right down, almost to a halt, to have some sort of deep and apparently meaningful conversation. This makes the film seem disjointed and slows its pace. 

If you think back to the last instalment, Fallout, there were so many twists and turns and epic scenes there was hardly a moment to stop and think. At this point, it can only be assumed Dead Reckoning Part 2 will hold this type of energy as it wraps the film up.

Tom Cruise knows how to push the boundaries for himself and the franchise. The most epic scene in the film is the one that has been promoted at almost any chance, riding a motorcycle off a cliff. This sadly is the only boundary pushing stunt in the film. It is hard to see Cruise as anyone other than Ethan Hunt as he embodies the persona and doesn’t fault after all these years of playing the character. From a little side eye to a nod, Cruise drops into character and evolves across the films.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is exactly what you have come to know for the franchise. High energy, secret agent world saving antics. Where this film fails compared to its predecessors, is in its pace. It manages to grab you so tight only to drop you before you realise. This in turn makes it a rather disjointed and sometimes hard to focus film. But, there’s no denying, when it has you, it has you.

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