An absolute masterclass in producing an enjoyable action movie. Cinematography was great, the story was paced extremely well, and the casting of ALL roles was absolutely perfect. Cruise, Pegg and Rhames were awesome as always, Whigham and Davis were great additions, but the power quartet of Ferguson, Atwell, Klementieff and Kirby, really went above and beyond in making this movie perfect. Not to mention the chilling confidence of Morales as Gabriel, who practically oozed tangible danger. From the pre-opening credits scene to the final act, you will be on the edge of your seat - especially during any fight scene that involves Ferguson or Klementieff - and whilst there are moments that the tempo slows down to advance the story, it is always completely captivating. The single, solitary, disappointment comes as the credits roll, and you remember you're going to have to wait until next year to see how it ends.
The Movie Mob
**Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning (Part One) boasts some of cinema's most stunning stunt work, but it came at the cost of character development and a solid story.** Man…. I wish I loved this movie more than I did. Don't get me wrong, it's a solid action movie with jaw-dropping stunts (some of the best in the series), but as a Mission: Impossible movie, it felt like a small step backward for the franchise. Fallout had mind-blowing action sequences and stunt work, along with developing Ethan's relationship with Ilsa, providing closure with Julia, showing the lengths Ethan would go to protect those closest to him, and battling an imposing villain. Dead Reckoning: Part One stretches the movie across two films only to seemingly showcase action spectacle after action spectacle while sacrificing character development. Characters I have grown to love over a decade of films felt sidelined, ignored, or wasted. Hayley Atwell's new character chewed up most of the screen time, and while she was fantastic, I wanted to see more of the original team. The new villain had an inconsistent ability that confused more than intimidated. There were some important emotional moments that I just didn't feel the weight of when I definitely should have. Part Two might tie everything together and make me enjoy Part One more in retrospect, but unfortunately, I left wanting more from this one.
Manuel São Bento
FULL SPOILER-FREE REVIEW @ https://www.firstshowing.net/2023/review-mi-dead-reckoning-part-one-is-a-summer-blockbuster-in-its-purest-form/ "Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One delivers precisely what it set out to do: stunningly frenetic, relentless on-location action with adrenaline-charged energy levels. A 163-minute runtime rarely feels this light, thanks to the contributions of the sublime cast – Hayley Atwell is outstanding – and the truly memorable score that elevates all the otherworldly set pieces. It has the "problem" of being the first of two parts, with some unnatural, repetitive exposition scenes that get in the way of its progress, in addition to a somewhat generic, ambiguous narrative around A.I. Nevertheless, it's a summer blockbuster in its purest form, as you'd expect from the icon Tom Cruise, to whom we owe our allegiance." Rating: A-
In the interest of full disclosure, I’m often somewhat skeptical about films that include the word “part” in their titles; I frequently feel that such offerings have difficulty standing on their own, unable to complete their stories in a single vehicle. So, admittedly, that consideration was on my mind as I screened the first half of the final installment in this long-running action-adventure franchise. To its credit, director Christopher McQuarrie’s latest has a lot going for it – an intriguing plot with a strong cautionary tale message for us about the potential dangers of AI, an array of superbly staged action sequences, the welcome addition of some much-needed comic relief (something this series has often lacked) and a fine cast of supporting performers (especially the expanded role of Vanessa Kirby, who was woefully underused in the franchise’s previous release). However, with that said, there are some elements that could use improvement. For starters, the picture is simply too long; with a runtime of 2:43:00 (and this is just the first half of the story!), the film is definitely bloated and could stand some judicious editing, especially in the action sequences, several of which begin to try one’s patience after a while. Then there are certain aspects of the narrative that are predictable, formulaic, and, at times, implausible (particularly in the picture’s overlong final act train adventure sequence), qualities that are not as apparent (or at least better hidden) in previous outings. Finally, there are the underwhelming performances of the IMF crew (Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames). The leader of the pack (Cruise) comes across more like someone whose presence is designed largely to carry the plot rather than serve as a genuine, actively engaged protagonist, and his two colleagues are underused, seemingly playing sidekick roles rather than participating as key characters (unlike previous installments in the series). All told, this is by no means a bad picture, but it could have been better, especially with it being the series finale. It makes me wonder if the full story of “Dead Reckoning” might have been better executed in a single, slightly longer offering than as two separate feature-length releases. That might have solved the issues noted above, and it may have eliminated that nagging “part” problem I wrote about, allowing the picture to stand on its own two feet as a single vehicle. We’ll have to wait another year to see how it all plays out, but I can’t exactly say I’m holding my breath about it.
I'm not really a great fan of Tom Cruise. Yes, he does his own stunts and is as fit as a fiddle, but as an actor - well don't let's have too many scenes that require him to actually put his heart and soul into them. Luckily, there are only a few such scenes here as the rest of this is an enjoyable, quickly paced, continuation of the MI strand with this time, an elusive antagonist that reminded me a little of the "Forbin Project" (1970). The military have created the perfect intelligence that is locked into the sonar dome of a state-of-the-art Russian submarine. Seems though, that this dome isn't that impregnable and when a cleverly manipulated catastrophe hits the sub, it soon becomes clear that this gadget has, and is rapidly honing, a mind of it's own. The only way to stop it is to obtain the two conjoining parts of a cruciform key - and then discover the location of the sunken wreck, if there is to be any hope of thwarting it taking over the world. The story is more the stuff of "007", I thought, but it is a good, solid and well written story - and one that resonates well on a planet where technology and communications are pervasive across all aspects of our lives. Together with Ving Rhames and the (always annoying, sorry) Simon Pegg it falls to "Ethan" (Cruise) to ally with his deadly pal "Ilsa" (Rebecca Ferguson) and the nimble-fingered "Grace" (Hayley Atwell) to stop the key from falling into the hands of the enigmatic "Gabriel" (Esai Morales). End-to-end action; trains, planes and automobiles, parachutes and just like in "Fast X" (2023) poor old Rome comes in for a bit of a pasting - as does Venice and the Orient Express would now present even "Hercule Poirot" with an insurmountable whodunnit challenge. It's entertaining and serves well as a vehicle for the star, setting up the concluding part which, of course, leaves the plot here having to be a little undercooked and a touch predictable. Better than I was expecting and well worth a big screen outing.
Spectacular cinematic action let down by an incoherent story and shallow characterisations. As is almost always the case with the MI franchise, the latest offering dishes up spectacular, highly polished, explosive action. Regrettably it comes at the price of a coherent story and rounded characterisations. The story feels like it was made to accommodate the excess of exposition. Its a jumbled mess of poorly articulated ideas, that is, unsurprisingly, difficult to follow. Its not helped at all by an over abundance of peripheral characters. They simply add to the confused jumble and just as unsurprisingly, are never given the chance to display any depth of characterisation. The results a film I personally found frustrating to watch. It boiled down to a series of action plot devices, including car chases and train wrecks. Certainly, some thought went into these sequences but because there is an absence of a solid story and believable characters, to cement the whole thing together, they don't amount to much, on their own. In short, polished action but for me, lacks the key factors that bind any film together, including a decent story and characterisations. In short, I can't really recommend this one, in spite of being a fan of the franchise.
Louisa Moore - Screen Zealots
The Tom Cruise “Mission Impossible” franchise is one of reliable quality and equally dependable “forgettable-ness.” I’ve seen every film, yet my memory is fuzzy when I try to recall what happened in any of them. And while it’s almost a given that “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” will somehow sadly meet a similar fate, it’s still one of the best of the bunch. Not one thing disappointed me about this seventh installment in the series, an exciting and entertaining ride that gets almost everything right. This is an absolutely terrific action movie that overdelivers, and I loved every minute of it. World class field agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) works as a field agent for an elite, top-secret branch of the CIA called the IMF (Impossible Mission Force). His team, including associates Luther (Ving Rhames), Benji (Simon Pegg), and Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson) have become close friends, and they’re a well-oiled machine when working together. They regroup to embark on a dangerous mission to track down a new weapon that threatens all of humanity. The entire world is at stake, and Ethan must find a device before it falls into the wrong hands while dealing with some dark skeletons of his own past. In order to get the most enjoyment out of the film, it’s best not to read too much about the plot. What works so well about the story is that it has a modern angle, and the motivations of the villains are extremely strong. The stakes are high and there’s a very real danger, which adds to the overall excitement. As one character puts it, they’re fighting “an enemy that’s everywhere and nowhere.” It’s smart, sophisticated, and polished in a way that tends to evade your typical summer blockbuster. There are a few high tech, double cross, master of disguise elements, but they aren’t used as a distracting gimmick (as they sometimes have been in previous MI films). The high-concept action scenes are energetic and absolutely thrilling, making for some very clever and inventive spectacles. From a dramatic footrace through the canals of Venice to motorcycle jumps in the Austrian Alps to an epic car chase through the streets of Rome, there’s never a dull moment. There’s an inspired, extended sequence on a runaway train that will go down in history as one of the most creative and fun action scenes of the year, if not ever. There are plenty of strong female characters in the story, including the new addition of Grace (Hayley Atwell), a crackerjack larcenist, and Paris (Pom Klementieff), a fierce bodyguard who gives off strong Harley Quinn vibes. This movie, simply put, is packed with badass women. Seeing the gang reunited is always fun, and Pegg and Rhames have created characters that feel like old friends. There’s excellent work from the supporting cast too (Vanessa Kirby, Esai Morales, and Shea Whigham). Cruise is starting to show his age, but he’s still one of Hollywood’s greatest working superstars. His performance is reliable, charismatic, and believable, which is exactly what it needs to be. It’s clear that this is a movie that’s older and wiser and in turn, it’s made with more mature audiences in mind. Nothing is dumbed down, the emotional meter runs high, and the level of style and poise is unexpected and welcome (and to be commended). This is a classic espionage thriller that achieves a balance between artistry and pleasure, which is no easy feat. “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning” is the first part of a two part saga, but the finale isn’t so open-ended that it leads to frustration. Instead, it’s more of an excitement-based cliffhanger that’ll leave you salivating for the second half. This is a movie that could stand alone, but I’m awfully glad it doesn’t.
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