Mission Impossible: Dark Reckoning Part One (Tom Cruise, Hayley Atwell, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Esai Morales, Henry Czerny) – It’s not usually a good sign when a movie has three titles, like Mission Impossible or Dark Reckoning or Part One. I suppose we now know that there will be a sequel to this sequel that is part of a sequel to a TV show.
Tom Cruise reprises his Ethan Hunt role for the seventh time. Determined to show that he can run as fast as ever and to put his life at risk as much as possible in stunts that are truly death-defying, Cruise certainly doesn’t phone it in. His physicality at age 60 is more than impressive though his charming, good looks are more than a little rough around the edges. Are those sags, wrinkles, and Botox injections under that make-up? If so, it hasn’t slowed Ethan down.
He is still saving the world from his perch as the leader of the Impossible Missions Force, the super-secret strike team of the CIA, which is still run by Eugene Kittridge (Henry Czerny) as Cruise’s combination boss/antagonist. This movie’s premise is too ridiculous to describe. But that never matters to MI moviegoers.
All we must know is that the world is in danger from artificial intelligence acquired by The Entity and personified by Gabriel (Esai Morales). Paris (Pom Klementieff) works for Gabriel, and she is a killer, a formidable foe for Ethan and his gang (Luther played by Ving Rhames, Benji portrayed by Simon Pegg, and Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson). Now MI fans may have thought that Ilsa died in the last movie (I think) but … au contraire. Anyway, Ethan has to kill The Entity but, for reasons we find out in a long-winded speech from Luther, not kill Gabriel. That’s in Part II.
Now to the 2 hours and 43 minutes of high energy, fast, loud action sequences. Here goes: chase on foot; chase in cars; chase on a motorcycle; chase on a train. Fight with guns; fight with knives; fight with swords. Big finale! That’s it.
To several of my friends who love action movies, you will love this. To those who want human drama, there are Ethan’s relationships with three different women – the one we thought was dead, the thief who steals the “key” that serves as the MacGuffin (look it up) everyone is trying to acquire; and the killer whose life Ethan spares.
As summer movies go, MI7 is a welcome antidote to 100-degree temperatures, reruns on TV, and BS from our thrice indicted, twice impeached, once convicted (so far) sexual predator and democracy destroyer.