'Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One' Movie Review

Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg in Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One movie review

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE fans will get their money’s worth in the seventh outing of Ethan Hunt’s (Tom Cruise) spy adventure in DEAD RECKONING PART ONE, even with a familiar story that hits the same beats from one movie to the next, and a questionable villain. However, this is possibly the funniest installment of the franchise.

Ethan Hunt accepts a new mission to track down a new weapon that threatens the world order. The spy and his IMF team traverse the globe in search of an invisible enemy and its handler (Esai Morales).

Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, and Vanessa Kirby return along with newcomers Hayley Atwell, Pom Klementieff, Shea Whigham, Cary Elwes, and Greg Tarzan Davis.

Luckily you won’t feel the 2 hours, 43 minutes running time with the numerous settings, action pieces, and introduction of numerous characters. The pace is steady as the story advances and action sequences keep you entertained.

Tom Cruise delivers his usual performance but with more comedy. There are more moments of levity than ever before. A majority of the fun stems from Hayley Atwell’s small-time pickpocket character Grace. Grace constantly outsmarts Ethan. Atwell is a stand-out as a charismatic thief who brings a different kind of energy to the team.

Hayley Atwell and Esai Morales in Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One 

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY’s Pom Klementieff also stands out from the crowded cast as a lethal assassin while looking cool in her 80s’s inspired gear.

The weakest link in the seventh MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE action may be the villain. The early previews and trailers suggest Esai Morales is the main antagonist, but he’s merely the middleman for the real threat - an AI. The invisible enemy knows your every move based on it running algorithms to predict the character’s behavior which in itself is sort of cool, but it makes for an awkward setup. An AI enemy isn’t new. EAGLE EYE (2008) starring Shia LaBeouf and Michele Monaghan had a similar invisible villain, and you’ll get a Skynet sort of vibe from the TERMINATOR movies as well.

Morales is a formidable low-key nemesis with his soothing voice, but he doesn’t feel as much of a menace compared to past villains. Perhaps that will change in DEAD RECKONING PART TWO, but it’s great to see the actor finally gets his due in a major blockbuster movie. Morales’ villainous role on Ozark was perfection, and his television roles of late are memorable.

Pom Klementieff in Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One

One outcome of the movie was disappointing. A character’s fate is hinted at in one of the trailers so it wasn’t a total surprise but it still hurt. To avoid spoilers, this development will be further discussed after the movie’s opening.

The MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE movies under Christopher McQuarrie’s direction improved greatly starting with ROGUE NATION. The streak is still going strong although this latest entry feels a bit recycled in terms of story beats.

Regardless MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE DEAD RECKONING PART ONE delivers on the thrills, action, and the Tom Cruise charm that guarantees repeat customers as long as he keeps making these films.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE -DEAD RECKONING PART ONE is in movie theaters on July 12.

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