top of page


"Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One is a stellar seventh outing for the franchise that once again proves that Cruise is the best at what he does."
Tom Cruise and Hayley Atwell in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 1

The seventh instalment in the hugely successful action franchise. Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One sees Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team (Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg & Ving Rhames) track down a dangerous weapon before it falls into the wrong hands.

It’s very rare for a franchise to consistently improve with each passing instalment, however in my opinion between 2006 and 2018 Mission: Impossible absolutely succeeded in delivering on this, with Fallout securing its position as a modern action masterpiece, and with both Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation, proving Tom Cruise’s dedication to putting his life on the line for series and its audience’s entertainment.

Dead Reckoning Part One (with its follow up arriving the same time next year…hopefully), had a lot to live up to, and whilst it delivers many a thrilling set piece, surprise moment and top performance, it does slightly suffer from its incompletion, as well as a somewhat jumpy structure with an overarching antagonist which does see the franchise begin to dip its toes into even goofier territory, even with its A.I. paranoia centrepiece.

Tom Cruise and Antonio Banderas in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 1

Clocking in at a whopping 2 hours 43 minutes, Dead Reckoning Part One fires on all cylinders from the get go: a submarine sabotage, a gritty desert gunfight, the iconic face mask reveal for Ethan, saving a lot of the big scale action for the second half of the film, instead delivering a belter of an Ocean’s-esque airport infiltration that smoothly introduces the plethora of new players. Seven films in, there is obviously going to be familiar beats and cliches, especially with the rogue A.I. jargon, however there are some satisfying shocks and surprises throughout.

As previously mentioned, the last three Mission: Impossible's have heavily sold themselves around ‘the big stunt’: scaling the Burj Khalifa in Ghost Protocol, clinging onto the side of a plane in Rogue Nation and the double whammy of the Halo Jump and the finale helicopter sequence in Fallout set a high bar. The motorcycle jump is utter madness and is pitch perfectly nailed here. Combining this with the scrappy, destructive, nail biting train set piece is strong note to end on. Tearing through the Italian streets in a Fiat 500 is novel and McQuarrie is a master at crafting tensely chaotic and controlled sequence. However, not only was I reminded of the silliness of Fast X’s Italian escapades earlier this year (albeit with far better effect work), it also does not live up to the chase sequences seen since Ghost Protocol.

Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson and Luther Stickell in Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 1

What can be said about Tom Cruise that hasn’t already been gushed about? Early 60’s and throwing himself into every single stunt, brawl, run and dramatic beat. Recent returning players Ferguson, Pegg, Rhames and Vanessa Kirby deliver as expected. Fans of the first film will be pleased to see Henry Czerny again. Hayley Atwell steals the show as a Catwoman-esque thief with a good spirit, yet not afraid to throw an ally under a bus (or more appropriately in front of a train). Pom Klementieff is clearly having a blast as the mysterious Paris, Esai Morales is a suitably ruthless if familiar antagonist and Shea Whigham’s persistent government agent is a welcome addition.

Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One is a stellar seventh outing for the franchise that once again proves that Cruise is the best at what he does. It may be held back from a few plot structure wobbles and it very much being an incomplete story. However, the action is riveting, the pacing is superb and the performances from both old and new cast members are strong. Bring on Part Two!



bottom of page