So far this summer, we've seen some franchises crash and burn such as Indiana Jones and the Fast & Furious. So does the same apply for the latest installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise? Well, to get straight to the point, this series remains, well, impossible to disappoint.
Let's face it. Tom Cruise knows exactly what he's doing with this franchise in terms of delivering high-octane, thrill-a-minute action and Dead Reckoning Part One proves that both Cruise and this franchise show absolutely no signs of slowing down.
Cruise returns as IMF agent Ethan Hunt, who's on a quest to find a key that's linked to an artificial intelligence known as the Entity. Once the Entity reached self-awareness, its mission was to sabotage military systems and networks.
So once again, Hunt rounds up his old comrades, including Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames), Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), to find the key and prevent world destruction.
Hunt also encounters a former IMF agent named Gabriel (Esai Morales), who has connections to his past. Together the two are in a race to capture the key. Morales' character poses a credible threat to the IMF and he's surrounded by some deadly allies, such as a French assassin named Paris (Pom Klementieff), and he's also in league with Alanna Mitsopolis, aka the White Widow (Vanessa Kirby), from Fallout.
Hunt decides to recruit some outside help in the form of a thief named Grace (Hayley Atwell), who has the necessary expertise to help him and his team complete the mission, but her character has a very ambiguous morality. Sometimes she sticks to the plan and other times she goes rogue.
OK, enough about the plot. The main reason why anyone goes to see a Mission: Impossible movie is to see what kind of exhilarating, full-throttle stunts. Dead Reckoning Part One has no shortage of insanely inspired achievements. An incredible car chase involving Cruise and Atwell through the streets of Rome is perfectly staged with sleek, skillful and efficient precision.
However, for my money, perhaps the most remarkable stunt is the movie is of course the one where Cruise races a motorcycle off a cliff in Austria. This stunt alone is worth the price of admission in IMAX. It's beautifully choreographed by showing us that Cruise and his director/co-writer Christopher McQuarrie have an eye for orchestrating a sequence that relies on an abundance of practicality and a minimal reliance on CGI.
When we see Cruise flying through the air, it's both a comfort and an assurance and the results are one that produce a sense of streamlined, confident admiration.
Dead Reckoning Part One also never forgets to sacrifice story for pure spectacle even though that is kind of the point. The story does feature the right amount of stakes to match the stunts. When the characters feel like they're getting bogged down with a lot of dialogue, there's a good chance all that information will come in handy later during these elaborate sequences. There's also a sense of tension and menace in the exchanges between Cruise's Hunt and Henry Czerny's Kittridge from the 1996 original.
Dead Reckoning Part One already sets up Part Two, which comes to theaters in June of next year. For the time being, Part One proves to be an intense, gripping, riveting, visceral, eye-popping, jaw-dropping summer extravaganza that reminds us why we love these kind of movies in the summer in the first place.
Your mission: See it twice. In IMAX.