Mission Impossible—Dead Reckoning: Part One Packs in Action Amid Drag

Mission Impossible—Dead Reckoning: Part One still of Grace (Haley Atwell) and Ethan (Tom Cruise).

Dead Reckoning: Part One doesn’t earn its runtime, but at least it’s not as gripe-worthy thanks to a comical cast and impressive action sequences.

Following the recent tortuous trend of bloated runtimes, Mission Impossible—Dead Reckoning: Part One, at the very least, has more entertaining moments. Though the dialogue sometimes delved so heavily into cliched responses, it inspired laughs from the audience. With moments of hearty laughter, it makes the predictable moments bearable. Dead Reckoning: Part One doesn’t earn its runtime, but at least it’s not as gripe-worthy thanks to a comical cast and impressive action sequences.

Directed by Christopher McQuarrie and written by McQuarrie, Bruce Geller, and Erik Jendresen has Tom Cruise return as Ethan Hunt alongside his ragtag crew. His mission, should he choose to accept, is to stop the team sent to retrieve an A.I. device that could have deadly consequences in the wrong hands. Isn’t that always the ultimate danger? Action-packed drives these films, and, like its predecessors, Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One has high-octane action, complete with impossible stunts from our lead. Like his character, Tom Cruise shows no signs of slowing in that department. 

Dead Reckoning: Part One Has Outstanding Action

Like the Bond films, the scope of the action traverses various countries and locations. There are chase scenes in airports via cars and an epic train scene. The action, for the most part, does not disappoint. Tom Cruise doing his stunts is always a sight to behold, and you wonder how the team pulled it off. 

The fight sequences for the women also deliver, except for one scene that felt less like a fight and more like stunt choreography. Fights need to feel natural, and, at that moment, it does not. Unfortunately, the film’s threat, the dangerous A.I., remains elusive. Characters talk about the danger repeatedly, but Dead Reckoning: Part One never displays its might.  

Acting and Dialogue Too Womp-Womp

Mission Impossible—Dead Reckoning: Part One still of Ethan (Tom Cruise) and Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson).
Tom Cruise and Rebecca Ferguson in Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning – Part One from Paramount Pictures and Skydance.

Tom Cruise always delivers great performances, even if his action characters start to bleed together from all his films. Old enemies crop up, and seeing Esai Morales is wonderful. Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg are funny. There are moments of slapstick, some land, and others do not. The airport scene is especially comical. However, Dead Reckoning: Part One relies on pre-established connections with the characters and story so viewers will adore it. But the best part is the women in the film after the action. 

Rebecca Ferguson will always be Rose the Hat to me. I loved her in this film. Hayley Atwell as Grace is delightful, and her character’s criminal talent is almost magical. She’s a welcome addition. Pom Klementieff, playing Paris, is terrific too. The women in the cast deliver but feel underutilized at times. Also, seeing the “silent yet deadly” Asian character is exhausting in its commonality and disrespect. Not every action film that has an Asian woman as a side character needs to have her silent or have little dialogue. Suicide Squad already pulled that and Sin City long before that. 

Dead Reckoning: Part One has some outstanding moments, mainly thanks to the action and its cast of women. Unfortunately, not all of it delivers. The dialogue is forgettable, and the stakes are unknown. But fans of previous Mission Impossible films will enjoy it. This movie would not be the one for newcomers to dive into the series and fall in love. Mission Impossible—Dead Reckoning: Part One has jaw-dropping action that inspires awe. While entertaining with solid chemistry, parts of the movie feels flat.

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