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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

🏆 Mission: Impossible (2023) - Dead Reckoning Part 1

Updated: Mar 29

Rating: ★★★½☆(3.5/5)

Released 07-12-2023

Watched 07-17-2023

Reviewed 07-18-2023

Viewed in Theater - Using Cinemark Movie Club

"We live and die in the shadows, for those we hold close, and for those we never meet."

Mission: Impossible—Dead Reckoning Part 1 is a movie that knows what it is and understands its audience. It's a quintessential Mission: Impossible flick, complete with action-packed sequences, tense moments, and the occasional touch of humor. And yes, you get your Tom Cruise fix, defying death and age in his usual daredevil fashion.

Ethan Hunt, played by Tom Cruise, and his loyal IMF team, featuring Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, and Vanessa Kirby, are back again to save humanity from an all-powerful, unknown enemy, "The Entity." New additions to the star-studded cast include Hayley Atwell, Esai Morales, and Pom Klementieff, who each bring their own charm and flavor to the franchise. The group dynamic sizzles and crackles, offering enjoyable banter and teamwork.

The plot revolves around a race against time to track down the tool needed to stop a rouge AI – two parts of the same key. Though it's far from being the most innovative MacGuffin in cinematic history, it nonetheless propels the story forward and gives the team a purpose. However, the notion of a Rogue AI being the core threat feels somewhat impractical, and the treatment of it feels a tad too over the top, even for our times when complex tech narratives are more in vogue.

The real star of the movie, besides Cruise, is the D-box theater experience. Watching the movie in D-box elevates the entire experience, adding an extra visceral layer to the high-octane car chases and breath-taking stunts. Each jerk, each swerve, each plummet was felt, making it not just a movie but a veritable roller-coaster ride. I'd add half a star just for the D-box experience alone, making the overall 'ride' a 4-star viewing.

One could pose the question, "Is Tom Cruise really acting if the part he's playing is a self-centered narcissist?" That's an intriguing thought and certainly a valid one. Cruise's portrayal of Hunt is perhaps closer to his public persona than he might admit. However, in this installment, the character shows an unexpected depth and a shift in priorities. Hunt is seen to care more about his friends than himself, a rare and welcome departure from his usual modus operandi, which adds a touch of emotional depth to the adrenaline-filled blockbuster.

Mission: Impossible—Dead Reckoning Part 1 might not reinvent the wheel of its franchise or explore new territories in storytelling, but it remains an entertaining watch, especially in a D-box theater. It's a solid action-adventure film that delivers what it promises with its thrilling sequences, camaraderie among the cast, and a little twist to its central character. While the film could do with a little more innovation, it's a fun-filled ride that fans of the franchise should not miss.

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