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  • Writer's pictureRob Ervin

Alex Reviews "Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning, Part One"

Dead reckoning is the process of calculating position based on estimating distance and direction that something has travelled. Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One is the best movie of 2023 and cannot be predicted on the heights it should go with mere estimation.

Tom Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt in his penultimate outing as the leader of an IMF team that always seems to be at odds with the world they consistently save. Joining him in this installment are Ving Rhames (the only person besides Cruise to appear in all eight M:I films), Simon Pegg (who joined up in the third movie in the franchise), and Rebecca Ferguson (who started with the sixth installment, Rogue Nation). Opposing this team is an enemy that no person or government could be prepared to combat.

Even at 61 years old, Tom Cruise is the best action star on the planet today. That continues to be true with Dead Reckoning Part One as his ability to deliver in moments of still as well as JUMPING OFF A CLIFF ON A MOTORCYCLE without ever breaking consistency is still awe inspiring. Nobody should be able to crush a highly demanding role for 27 years, but here we are still watching Tom Cruise run better on film than anyone ever has while delivering blockbuster after blockbuster.

Rhames and Pegg show that the support chemistry is still on fire as their interplay with each other, Cruise, and the environment maneuvers swiftly between hilarious and deadly serious as well as any duo could. It should feel disjointed by how quickly they can believably shift tonal delivery is a credit to both of these wildly talented actors.

While Ferguson seems to play a more limited role in many aspects of the film, she pops off the screen any time Ilsa Faust comes into focus for the picture. She always seems at her best in these roles she can come crashing in like a wave, make an impression, and drift back into the narrative.

Part of the dynamic that sees Faust become a more secondary character is the arrival of Hayley Atwell (Captain America) as Grace, a talented individual whose actions pull her into a more dangerous world than she ever realized existed. The comedic beats between Cruise and Atwell are shockingly lovable while there is pure chaos and destruction around them. The brilliance of their performances was in the ability to always present more than the scene would show in lesser hands. Comedy balanced with real fright, while still being both very capable and damsel. It is a feat I’m not sure we will see in another film. It was such a layered performance that it is still my biggest takeaway from a film with some of the best action sequences I have ever seen.

Regular Cruise confidant and collaborator, Christopher McQuarrie takes a third turn writing and directing Mission: Impossible. I may be a little biased, but I am unsure there is a person working today who could handle making pictures of this scale that are this well written and so awesomely constructed. Roughly four separate times, we are treated to what would be the climatic scenes of another movie, but the difficulty level of doing that while blending intimate and impactful shots is staggering.

While each film in the series seems to start with “Facing their most Impossible mission yet…” the premise for Dead Reckoning is truly terrifying to me. The balance of terror, action, comedy, and excitement makes me upset for theater goers that there is only going to be nine days of premium format showings. Do not wait! Go see Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One as soon as possible! I will see it repeatedly until Part Two comes out!

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