I think it’s safe to say that nothing really puckers the ol’ butt-hole up like a Tom Cruise action film these days. Just when you think you’ve seen enough of him (and Mission: Impossible movies as a whole), he comes in and reminds you why he is the biggest movie star in the world. Now granted, I have my gripes, but ‘MI: 7’ is undoubtedly one of the best the franchise has to offer.
So, If you’re on the fence about whether or not you should see ‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoing, Part 1’ here are 3 Big Things to consider
1. It makes the same old formula still feel fresh.
Logically, I know that it’s really the same thing in a shiny new package, but ‘MI:7’ actually felt like it set itself apart from everything I’ve seen so far. That doesn’t mean it’s the best in the franchise (cuz it’s not), but it certainly was able to keep my attention better than most action movies with unreasonably high stakes. Perhaps, the reason for that is that ‘MI:7’ makes some bold choices with it’s story. One of which, for the sake of being a spoiler-free review, I will not describe in detail, but will say was unexpected to the point of it almost being head-scratching…but hell, it didn’t not work.
All that being said, If I were to describe this movie to you in detail you’d probably assume it’s the same old ‘Mission: Impossible’, but even if it is, you’re still going to have a good time.
2. Some great callbacks for the nostalgia junkies.
I thought I would never see the day where an audience would cheer when Henry Czerny came on the screen, but here we are. ‘MI:7’ does a fantastic job of using but not over-indulging in nostalgia or callbacks. The use of Czerny’s character Kittredge from the original ‘Mission: Impossible’ is a great example of this. Not only is the character integral to the story and feels authentic, they manage to have him end up on a train talking to the daughter of Vanessa Redgrave’s Max, the White Widow played by Vanessa Kirby, Very full circle, but I didn’t even realize that callback until after I had left the theater.
For most movie franchises almost 30 years in, and films with legacy sequels, it’s hard not to rely on these moment of nostalgia to get people to come to the theater, but ‘MI:7’ doesn’t use it as a crutch. It uses any character or plot device to effectively tell the story. A good example for the rest of Hollywood moving forward.
3. Tom Cruise has still got it.
This is definitely the first movie where I can tell that Tom Cruise is aging, but that doesn’t matter at all. He’s still doing all kinds of crazy sh!t and runs at what seems to be a speed faster than most guys my age that I know (and he’s got 26 years on us). The most important thing about Tom Cruise, which he showed here and last year with ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ is that he knows what people want to see. Yes, we do love the action and the stunts, but he knows those things don’t matter if the story isn’t good or engaging.
‘MI:7’ doesn’t have the best story or plot, but nothing in the movie seems out of place and with that you can forgive a relatively long runtime and other flaws because it will keep you engaged. Here’s to Tom keeping us entertained for at least the next decade.
4/5 Swedish Fish
It would be too drastic to say that the ‘M:I’ franchise has lost a step, because even though it isn’t quite on the level of ‘M:I Fallout’, ‘Dead Reckoning, Part 1’ is a fantastic entry in the series…certainly in the top half of all the films thus far.
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For more of a dive into ‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, Part 1’ check out the latest episode of the the 3 BIG THINGS Podcast on YouTube: