Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning: Part One
Posted on July 11, 2023 at 4:11 pmB +
|Lowest Recommended Age:||Middle School|
|MPAA Rating:||Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some language and suggestive material|
|Profanity:||Some strong language|
|Violence/ Scariness:||Extended and intense peril and violence with many characters injured and killed and some graphic and disturbing images|
|Date Released to Theaters:||July 14, 2023|
The only cumbersome element of Tom Cruise’s latest is the title: “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning: Part One.” Every other bit of its almost three-hour run time is taut, limber, and a thrill ride.
Really, what more do you want to know? There’s a McMuffin, of course, Alfred Hitchcock’s term for whatever it is that our hero(es) are after, to be described very briefly. All we need to know is that the fate of the world depends on its being in the hands of the good guys and not the bad guys. And that is so powerful that many, many bad guys are after it. You know how from the very beginning of the “Mission: Impossible” television series there was that instantly iconic message about “your mission, should you decide to accept it,” and “as always, should you or any of your IM Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.” Well, this is so ramped up that if any of them are caught or killed, it’s game over and they might not be any Secretaries left to avow or disavow.” Got that? Then buckle up, my friends, but because the rest is going to come at you very fast.
Okay, so there’s the Thing, and this being 2023, that Thing is an AI that has gotten out of hand and can no longer be controlled by humans. It can access and distort any source of information we rely on, from news media to bank But it is not very cinematic chasing after thumb drives, so it turns out that what our heroes have to track down is two old-fashioned bejeweled gold keys that look like they were crafted by artisans in the Middle Ages.
The supporting cast is very strong, with Vanessa Kirby returning as The White Widow and Rebecca Ferguson as Isla Faust. Hayley Atwell plays a new character and if I tell you she’s a clever pickpocket who is sometimes a good guy and sometimes not and you say, “Wait, didn’t we just see Phoebe Waller-Bridge doing the exact same thing in ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny?'” I will just say, “Shhh, sit back and enjoy the action.”
Of course Tom Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt, who 30 years ago was given a choice — prison or off-book black ops for the CIA. This harks back to another 1960s television series around the time of the first “Mission: Impossible” era, “It Takes a Thief,” with Robert Wagner, but why waste time on original ideas for the story or the dialogue (even clunkier here than in the previous entries); we’re here for the stunts, and they are never less than spectacular. You know that crazy scene in the trailer when he drives his motorcycle off a cliff? It gets crazier after that. And then it gets CRAZY. My heart was still thumping half the way home from the theater.
Parents should know that this film has extended peril and violence
Family discussion: What is the best way to make sure AI does not get out of hand? How does Ethan think through problems when his plans do not work? Is the choice he had to make a fair one?
If you like this, try: the other “Mission: Impossible” movies and the two “Top Gun” movies