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July 12, 2023 / Paramount Pictures Canada

Starring: Tom Cruise, Hayley Atwell, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Esai Morales, Pom Klementieff, Mariela Garriga, Henry Czerny, Shea Whigham, Greg Tarzan Davis, Charles Parnell, Frederick Schmidt, Cary Elwes, Mark Gatiss, Indira Varma, Rob Delaney

Directed By: Christopher McQuarrie

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.

Written By Darren

Rating 5 out of 5

Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One continues Tom Cruise’s death defying stunt extravaganza in what is without a question the most exhilarating and exciting blockbuster of the year, making it not only one of the best Mission: Impossible films but one of the most outstanding action films ever created!

For nearly thirty years, Tom Cruise has been portraying IMF agent Ethan Hunt and performing some of the most breathtaking stunts ever captured on film, resulting in one of the greatest action series of all time. He’s scaled the Burj Khalifa, driven a motorcycle on numerous occasions in a manner that would have killed any normal person, and piloted a helicopter in one of the most exciting chase sequences I have ever seen in 2018’s Mission: Impossible - Fallout. But in typical Tom Cruise fashion, he has once again outdone himself with the action he and director Christopher McQuarrie have cooked up for the seventh entry in the series. While it does not eclipse the all-time best standard set by the previous entry (though when combined with next year’s second half, it could very well be the greatest Mission yet), it comes incredibly close and conjures up one wild experience that demands to be seen on the biggest screen you can find.

When the world’s most dangerous weapon with the power to destroy humanity as we know it goes missing, Ethan Hunt and his team of IMF agents are tasked with securing the weapon before it falls into the wrong hands. But with an all powerful enemy working against Ethan and a shadowy force from his past working against him, Ethan faces his most impossible mission yet where he will have to risk not only his own life, but that of his own team, as the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

As with every Mission: Impossible film, the draw of the film is the stunts and action sequences. With a lack of CGI as Cruise and the rest of the cast perform these intense hand to hand fight sequences and outrageous stunts that audiences could not dream up in their wildest dreams, Dead Reckoning Part One delivers unparalleled action on every front. Each set piece is a thrilling, heart pounding experience that outdoes the previous while showcasing a different aspect than all other sequences in the film. The Rome sequence is one of the most exciting car chases caught on camera showcasing excellent precision driving from Cruise and Atwell and some truly wild moments. The entire Venice sequence is a nail biter, tapping into a John Wick intensity with the hand to hand combat and delivering a truly heart pounding experience that results in one of the film’s most unforgettable and shocking moments. But it is the big motorcycle cliff jump that kicks off the third act which is the moment of the film you won’t ever forget. It’s easily the most death defying stunt ever captured on camera. Your jaw will hit the floor as you fly off that cliff with Cruise, freefalling into a base jump, which only begins a truly spectacular sequence that sets the bar for every action sequence going forward in cinema… or at least till Cruise once again out does himself in Dead Reckoning Part 2!

From a story perspective, this film is half of the plot as the scale of the story that is being told is massive. It’s easily the biggest story of the franchise, crafting a captivating plot and a globe-trotting adventure featuring artificial intelligence and connections to Ethan’s past before joining the IMF. It’s ambitious, rivaling the stakes of the previous installment with an emotional underpinning that will cause you to hold your breath in fear throughout the film, though you never feel cheated by the entire story not being told. There is a clear beginning, middle and end to the half of the story that is being told in this film, and you are not left on a cliffhanger, even though with the length of the film it feels like the film will end mid action sequence as there is no way it could possibly fit in anything else. Instead, the film ends at a logical position, having set the stage for the second half of the story and preparing for the big finale that will be released next summer, never for a moment wasting a second of its one hundred and sixty three minute runtime. With today’s concerns over artificial intelligence, the plot is more haunting than it would have been had the film been released on schedule two years ago, as it’s not hard to imagine that we are far off what the film is cautioning against.

The entire franchise is technically flawless, and the standard of excellence is continued throughout the latest entry. The cinematography captures the scale of the action sequences while putting the audience right in the middle of them alongside Ethan and his team. Real life locations pop right off the screen and take audiences on a whirlwind adventure, especially as various sets are destroyed in a glorious fashion in front of your eyes. Lorne Balfe, returning for composing duties from Mission: Impossible - Fallout, energizes the entire film with an epic musical score that boosts the adrenaline in every action sequence with that classic Mission: Impossible theme to make every moment feel like a true spectacle on the big screen. This film truly demands to be seen on the biggest screen with the best projection and sound system you can find, as anything less would not display the technical prowess of this film.

While everyone comes for the action, the cast does an incredible job. Cruise, as always, is excellent as Ethan and is the action star that this franchise needs. Returning cast members Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg continue their great performances, especially Ferguson who gets some well deserved standout moments during the film. Vanessa Kirby gets a far larger role as the White Widow and a larger piece of the action this time around, and as always she is wonderful. Esai Morales is good as the film’s villain Gabriel, operating in the shadows to progress the plot, though it is clear he is being saved for a larger role in the second part. Though, it is newcomers to the franchise Hayley Atwell and Pom Klementieff who steal the show with two dynamite performances. Atwell is marvelous as Grace, bringing an innocence to the franchise as a woman who gets tangled up in Ethan’s latest mission. Bursting with personality and charm, Atwell instantly demands your attention when she is on screen, and it will be impossible for you to  walk out of this film not in love with her and believing that she is a massive star. Her chemistry with Cruise is sensational, fueling the film’s story and providing a great new main character for the franchise going forward. Klementieff, on the other hand, is easily the most chilling henchman of the series. The emotionless and sociopathic energy she brings to the role instantly sends chills down your spine, combined with a ferocity in the action sequences that makes her a brilliant rival for Cruise, showcases Klementieff’s range as an actress and begs the question why she is not in more films.

There is only one man who can continue to one up himself and deliver exhilarating theatrical experience after theatrical experience, and that man is Tom Cruise. His mission has always been to showcase why films are made for a theatrical setting, and it is a mission he will always choose to accept and deliver an experience unlike anything you have ever witnessed. And once again, he does just that Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One alongside his frequent collaborator Christopher McQuarrie as they deliver one of the most outstanding action films ever made. Displaying brilliance in every aspect of the film, Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One is without question the best film of the year so far thanks to a thrilling story, Hayley Atwell’s electrifying performance, and an unrelenting intensity created by the jaw dropping stunts and unbelievable action sequences that proves there is nothing Tom Cruise cannot and will not do in the name of creating the greatest cinematic experience he can dream up!

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