Synopsis: Ethan Hunt returns in this much anticipated seventh instalment of the Mission Impossible series and he must track down a terrifying new weapon that threatens all of humanity if it falls into the wrong hands.
‘What can I run really fast over this time?’ asks Tom Cruise in the first production meeting for Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning. Well, this is what I anticipate happens in these meetings, and of course, as always, we do get to appreciate some iconic Tom Cruise sprinting in this seventh instalment.
It’s been five whole years since the frenetic energy of Mission Impossible: Fallout, one of the most exciting action films ever released, so everyone’s eyes have been on this latest instalment. How could Fallout be beaten? Mission Impossible Fallout was a perfect film because it combined incredible storytelling with amazing action and stunts. MI7 Part One certainly doesn’t beat Fallout, but it gives it a good run.
MI7 grips from the get-go, with its brand new threat to the world and the re-introduction of our much loved MIF characters, Ethan (Tom Cruise), Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson), Benji (Simon Pegg) and Luther (Ving Rhames), along with one of the series’ most iconic characters introduced in Brian De Palma’s Mission Impossible in 1996, Agent Kittridge (Henry Czerny). For fans of the franchise this is a joy to behold (Czerny, like Cruise barely aging a day in almost 30 years), although Angela Bassett’s Erika Sloane was very much missed. I do hope she returns in MI8. Kittridge was a much missed character and it was an absolute thrill to have him do the “your mission, should you choose to accept it” instruction on this occasion. Speaking of which, I always love the little nods that remind you that even after six missions, Ethan is no stickler for rule breaking and never fails to entice the passwords out of his hesitant secret mission Deliveroo drivers.
The stunning locations, fantastic action sequences and spy paraphernalia hook you in and don’t let up for much of the first half of the film. Aside from an obvious mask reveal scene (which is rare for a Mission Impossible film), it keeps you on the edge of your seat, and the pace does not let up. The introduction of Hayley Atwell’s Grace is so much fun, she’s an interesting, morally ambiguous character and her chemistry with Cruise is very reminiscent of old spy capers. A cat and mouse airport scene is shot to perfection and is much more comedic than on previous occasions; Benji and Luther are excellent as the comedy duo in Ethan’s ear. We move to Rome, and the action sequences again are beautifully shot; McQuarrie and Cruise know what the core audience want here, and it certainly delivers.
It’s so important to see more women in this Mission Impossible film, compared with the others. Vanessa Kirby and Pom Klementieff are fantastic, although it’s disappointing to see so much less of Rebecca Ferguson’s character. It’s difficult not to speculate that this is because she has been replaced by a new ‘love interest’ in Atwell’s Gemma. But this is incredibly disappointing as Ilsa Faust has become one of the key players in the Mission Impossible franchise after Rogue Nation and Fallout and it feels wrong. An important plot point which then occurs in Venice just feels rushed, and it is perplexing that co-writer Christopher McQuarrie who wrote both Rogue Nation and Fallout went down this route, but perhaps this will all make sense in part 2.
You don’t need to pick a side though. The Mission Impossible franchise is what summer blockbusters are all about, and this action spectacle is to be seen to be believed on the big screen. Although some peculiar plot decisions are made, it’s a huge amount of fun.
This reviewer can’t wait to see what Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two has in store.