Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One – artificial Intelligence is the key. A weak plot is held up by action scenes that Tom Cruise takes to the next level.
Where do these types of movies go to create ultimate challenge? Fast and Furious has played with a program taking over the internet and taken a car into orbit as a consequence. OO7 keeps tackling dangerous new technology. Mission Impossible with its “IMF” has to find the most impossible task that state governments cannot do.
Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One takes on artificial Intelligence (AI). By doing so it takes the ultimate challenge to the next level: a sentient technology. The double bonus is that firstly the challenge is take on something that is everywhere but nowhere to be seen. Secondly, right now it is the Zeitgeist – chatgpt is the word of the moment. The plot is suitably absurd: all the states want control of this sentient AI, as a means of controlling each other. So, by refusing to comply with them (because the AI should really be killed not controlled), Ethan Hawke takes on the world.
The problem here is that you cannot really make a movie about something you cannot see. So the cop out is that the whole two and a half hours is a car/train/bike chase to capture the keys that turns the AI on and off. This is the movie’s weakness – the key could be for anything. The AI pops up occasionally during the movie to remind you it knows everything about everything but otherwise this is a formulaicly-driven plot.
The Fiat 500 car chase in Rome typifies how this movie takes a comical approach to a serious subject (in a way that Jason Bourne was darkly serious) and pulls it off. Watching the two characters drive whilst in hand-cuffs requires to you to suspend your belief in what you are watching but it is what you want to watch.
The main bad guy, Esai Morale exudes so much charisma – he is way too charming to be disliked as the liaison with the AI. Shea Whigam is the given the thankless task of hunting down Ethan Hawke on behalf of the US Government – it added another layer of entertaining farce.
Sadly the film score did not tug my emotions like in Fall Out. What the movie will be remembered for is, not the film score (not in the league of Fall Out), or the abstract plot, but the stand out action scenes. To watch Tom Cruise perform his own stunts left me speechless and just amazed.
The moment when Ethan Hawke has to drive a motor bike off a cliff to reach a train are breathtaking as we are taken over the edge with him. The train scenes – both in the tunnel and after the bridge is blown up – make the final half hour fly by. The palpable fear on Grace’s face is something we all related to and thanked Ethan Hawke for staying courageous.
As is to be expected this movie takes us round the globe – a a fight scene in an Arabian desert, a chase scene in Abu Dhabi airport, then attending a party in Venice, then another chase scene in Rome, and finally the Orient express in Europe – the only reason is for action scenes at the Spanish Steps and so on.
Finally,whilst it is a welcome return for Vanessa Kirby as the White Widow, and Rebecca Ferugson as Ilsa,, they are eclipsed by the new but equally seductive yet cunning but vulnerable Hayley Atwell as Grace.