REVIEW | Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One


Save for a couple of exposition dumps, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is a perfect spy thriller featuring a top-notch female cast and a showcase of Tom Cruise's most daring stunts yet.

Seven seems to be a lucky number for the latest installment of the MI  franchise that started 23 years ago - 57, if we're counting the TV series.  After dusting off the Top Gun franchise last year with Top Gun: Maverick, filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie reunites with Cruise and the protagonist Ethan Hunt to helm a tech suspense film that is relevant.

As AI is all the rage right now, the story co-written by McQuarrie and Erik Jendresen has Hunt and his colleagues face against the Entity, a sentient set of algorithms who could predict every possible outcome. It's not too long interested parties from people bent on world domination to individuals who could place integrity over self-preservation enter the picture.

The premise is nothing new. You've seen this plot from blockbusters like Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and in The Fast and Furious films. Yet Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One makes it more believable with its grounded approach on AI as a manipulative player in global warfare, that is not entirely far from happening in a heavily digital world. It is also an excellent storytelling technique that that film barely shows the Entity, save for about a couple of screensavers. The MI franchise may have found its most eerie antagonist yet.

Cruise is a daredevil on the set and the movie is a good excuse for the actor to show off his stunts, including the much-publicized motorcycle jump off a cliff. It certainly paid off - watching it on the big screen is among the biggest highlights of my cinema experience. 

The movie also features a strong female cast - Rebecca Ferguson, Hayley Atwell, Pom Klementieff, and Vanessa Kirby - each one portraying their characters with finesse and intricacies. Klementieff is a standout assassin, that is a break away from the naive alien empath Mantis she played in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3. There's only a hint of her backstory in the movie which I hope would be eventually revisited in Part Two.

A top-notch action flick with well-thought-out characters and great pacing, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One will make the 160 minutes of your life and movie ticket all worth it.

Rating: 9/10

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is now showing in Philippine cinemas.