MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE DEAD – RECKONING PART ONE is a top shelf spy action blockbuster. There’s plenty for people to quibble with about how it compares to its six predecessors, but to me it’s another strong variation on and evolution of a series that has managed to go for 27 years and still feel special each time out.
After only a few weeks of release, conversation in movie lover world has already moved on, except to note that DEAD RECKONING is unlikely to make back its huge budget in theaters. I’ll be sure to send a sympathy card to the bean counters, but I appreciate this case of a movie going overbudget to (on top of COVID delays) allow leeway for the filmmakers to tinker with it and take the time to try to meet their enormous ambitions. Director/co-writer Christopher McQuarrie has a weird, partially improvisatory way of building these that other filmmakers shouldn’t copy, but it sure seems to work better than rushing everything to meet a deadline.
Part of the magic of these movies is their mixture of simple and complicated. They’re simple enough that they can advertise this as the one with a motorcycle jump and a train crash and know we don’t need more than that. And boiled down the premise is as simple as that a nefarious A.I. known as “The Entity” has infiltrated all databases around the world, including the entire knowledge base of every intelligence agency, threatening to mix it all with bullshit to destroy our whole civilization’s understanding of reality, so various parties are fighting over two literal keys they believe lead to the only way to get at The Entity. Everyone wants to control it, except Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise, LOSIN’ IT), who wants to destroy it. (read the rest of this shit…)