Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One Plays It Safe by Being on Cruise Control

In Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team embark on their most dangerous mission yet: To track down a terrifying new weapon that threatens all of humanity before it falls into the wrong hands. With control of the future and the fate of the world at stake, and dark forces from Ethan’s past closing in, a deadly race around the globe begins. Confronted by a mysterious, all-powerful enemy, Ethan is forced to consider that nothing can matter more than his mission — not even the lives of those he cares about most.

Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One

With more astonishing stunts than ever before, Tom Cruise continues to reiterate his passion for filmmaking as well as his love for entertaining audiences on the big screen. Following the immense success of late-stage Mission Impossible films, Cruise and company cracked the code on exactly what the audience wants out of these films. Blending the exhilaration of Ghost Protocol with the immense world building of the last two entires, Dead Reckoning delivers a worthy Mission Impossible follow-up.

Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, the latest entry in the Mission: Impossible franchise is the longest one to date, mostly due to the screenplay’s need for excessive exposition. The film spends a great deal of time setting up the film’s omniscient antagonist, as well as an interesting idea that the protagonists will have to resort to 1960s-era analogue technology. However, these storytelling threads barely converge as the film goes from one elaborated set piece to the next. 

When not overwhelmed by exposition, Dead Reckoning Part One is a globe-spanning adventure enhanced by an impeccable cast. Cruise is as ageless and committed as ever, with Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg working as a charismatic pairing in support. Rebecca Ferguson showcases her versatility as an action star once again, and her chemistry with Cruise remains a highlight in the film. Hayley Atwell, a newcomer to the Mission: Impossible series, is an excellent addition to the series, although her introduction seems to come at the expense of one of the best characters in the series. 

In many ways, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is as old-school as an espionage thriller can get. Harkening back to an era of action filmmaking that isn’t drowned by excessive special effects, the latest Mission: Impossible film delivers some of the best action sequences in recent years. Although Dead Reckoning Part One feels safe due to the filmmakers’ decision to stick to a formula that’s on “cruise control”, its world-threatening stakes, ensemble of beloved characters, and epic set pieces leave an anticipation and curiosity for the inevitable continuation.