"this is part one of a two part story, so knowing that going in gives the film some freedom in the sense that it can tell its story and you know there is more to come"
Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning: Part One is the latest entry in the ever expanding film franchise led by Tom Cruise, it marks the seventh outing for him as super spy Ethan Hunt, a character he first took on in 1996 with the original Mission: Impossible and Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning: Part One is a solid follow up from the incredible Mission: Impossible - Fallout from 2018.
First I’ll address it, this is part one of a two part story, so knowing that going in gives the film some freedom in the sense that it can tell its story and you know there is more to come and it does that beautifully; it’s a complete story, it doesn’t just fade to black or cut the scene mid sentence, or any of those tropes that annoy a lot of cinemagoers when the end comes.
The film is incredibly well paced and you don’t feel its nearly 3 hour runtime, it is so well acted that you just go a long for the ride with these fully formed and lived in characters.
A standout for me is the addition of Hayley Atwell as Grace, and no spoilers; she’s not your damsel in distress, she’s competent as a character and works well alongside Cruise’s Hunt. It was also a treat to see Vanessa Kirby back as Alanna Mitsopolis aka the White Widow, she's just incredible in the role and this further shows her as a force to be reckoned with as a powerhouse actress.
There are many call backs to previous entries, including the return of Henry Czerny’s stern Eugene Kittridge from 1998’s Mission: Impossible and the weaving in of Gabriel, the main antagonist (played superbly by Esai Morales) is done flawlessly, he’s a believable villain with so much menace in everything he does, and the overarching menace is very poignant to what’s going on in the world today, but as it isn’t in the trailer and I don’t know if it has been talked about, I won’t spoil it.
In true Mission: Impossible fashion, there are jaw dropping stunts, this time Hunt free falls off a mountain on a motor bike, just another day in the office for him and a thrilling train sequence that will get the heart pounding, see it on the biggest screen possible; I saw it in IMAX, so that's a good way to go.
All in all, Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning: Part One is a wonderful entry in a franchise that to date spans seven films, and if Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning: Part Two is just as good if not better, then I will have to jump into the camp that declares this the best film franchise ever.
Christopher McQuarrie who has written and directed the Mission: Impossible films since Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation deserves special kudos, he’s incredible and this further proves that the franchise is in good hands, and with how good Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning: Part One is, the future of the franchise seems set in stone.