Cinemas are in a weird place. The window that films are in cinema for before they are on streaming or rental is the smallest it has ever been and it in ways has ruined what it means to go to the cinema. But even in a sea of hopelessness, there is a beacon of light here to save cinema. That beacon of light is Tom Cruise. Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part 1 is cinema. It is a cinematic experience like no other. It is thrilling, gripping, tense, surprisingly funny, beautiful and awe-inspiring. Dead Reckoning at its core is a spy film, it’s a film about what the future of operations, spies and warfare could be. It’s the closest the films have been to being a spy film since the original. But even then, it feels more like the original in more than just the plot. The way the film is even shot has this De Palma style to it that feels refreshing. I do love it when filmmakers take risks and change the presentation between films and Christopher McQuarrie has done that with each of his MI films. His direction is strong and has improved from film to film.
In the same way, the villains have improved and it’s safe to say that Esai Morales as Gabriel is the strongest film the franchise has had. He is intense, scary, and weirdly calm. Esai Morales is truly fantastic as the villain and skyrockets to being the best villain in the entire franchise. The rest of the cast is still incredible. Tom Cruise just lives and breathes Ethan Hunt and Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames are still great as their respective characters. The newcomers are also solid. Hayley Atwell is great as Grace a thief that enters a world, she is not quite ready for and Pom Klementieff is also great as Paris. Who is a badass right-hand woman to Gabriel. But we can’t talk about Mission Impossible without talking about the action. Action has made this franchise the massive hit it has become, and Dead Reckoning continues that train both metaphorically and literally. The action is stunning, from practical car crashes to punch outs shot with great coverage to the famous bike stunt. Every action scene feels like you are watching a blockbuster action film. My only real issue with the action is the CGI. You can tell when the actors are on a green screen and while compared to other big franchise films where it was deal-breaking this is so infrequent that it’s more of an annoyance than an issue. But I feel what helps the action work so well is the score. Lorne Balfe composes a score that creates momentum and adds to every scene it is in. It’s expertly composed and mixed perfectly. Simply put, the film would not have worked without the music. Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part 1 is a masterpiece. It is an action blockbuster like no other and is the blockbuster of the summer. I don’t see any film this year topping its scale and brilliance any time soon.
Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part 1 is in UK cinemas starting July 10th.