Review : Mission : Impossible – Dead Reckoning : Part 1

Direct sequel is just the ticket.


With direct sequels all the rage, no surprise Tom Cruise is not only getting in on the act but giving the others a run for their money. Not to say Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1 ignores the other, fabulous instalments in the now 30-year-old film franchise (itself based on the classic Tv series), but it plants the occasional seeds that blossom into connections with the 1996 film that started it all. Those connections include a villain from Ethan Hunt (Cruise)’s past, an insistent boss too (Henry Czerny), and even an elongated and rather breathtaking train sequence in the third act that would seem to be intentionally designed to serve as a throwback.

At the same time, there’s no mistaking Christopher McQuarrie’s Dead Reckoning Part 1 (a second part is due in a year or so) is a different flavour of shake than Brian De Palma’s original. That film was intimate, smaller in scale and more brains than blockbustery though no less impressive than what’s been served up in these incredibly awe-inspiring last few instalments.

Where the series has changed is in the grand, practically driven stunts and in the fact that Cruise, ever ambitious, now attempts to top himself each film with one in particular he does himself. In this film, it’s a motorcycle-carrying dive from a cliff.

Tackling the very topical theme of A.I, Dead Reckoning sees IMF hotshot Hunt (Cruise) and his usual cohorts (Simon Pegg’s Benji, Ving Rhames’ Luther, Rebecca Ferguson’s Ilsa) out to track down the aforesaid artificial intelligence that threatens us all. If it gets into the mysterious, sinister (Esai Morales) hands all hell will break loose.  With occasional assistance by thief Grace (Hayley Atwell), Hunt is forced to recognize that he may have to risk the lives of his team to complete this seemingly impossible mission.

There’s a slightly convoluted story in tow here, and some small dips when compared to the adrenaline-pumping 6th chapter Fallout, but if it’s incredible action you’ve come to see, fun, ridiculous sequences that make your jaw drop as much as funny bone tingle, and Cruise delivering scene after scene, continuing his reign as the king of cinema, Dead Reckoning is the ticket!

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