At The Movies With Josh: Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part 1

You know how people sometimes say: “The trailer was better than the movie”? Well, in this case, the mini-documentary I saw on the motorcycle stunt Tom Cruise did, was better than the movie. A few years ago at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, they showed how Cruise had to ride at 60 mph, going over a 4,000 foot cliff, and not deploying his parachute until he was 500 feet from the ground. He did the jump three or four times and it was mind-blowing. Unfortunately, the stunts and car chases were the only interesting thing going on in this. Even the train stuff wasn’t anything you haven’t seen before. We saw fighting on top of the train in the last Indiana Jones movie a few weeks ago (and done better in a previous Mission: Impossible). And watching a train dangling from a cliff as people try to escape…just not all that interesting anymore.

This is the 7th in the series, and each time Ethan Hunt gets a tape that self-destructs, I always wonder – do his bosses not realize he could have had another recording device nearby? That’s always been my pet peeve in movies. When a bad guy is dictating how things are going to be done, and the other person doesn’t just have a small tape recorder going in their pocket. 

There’s a scene early on that has also been a pet peeve of mine. A bunch of dignitaries are sitting around, talking about how an A.I. virus is destroying computers and causing wars and needs to be stopped. The camera shows one person in the room, and they explain why it’s dangerous. The camera shows another person, and they mention a scenario that can happen. This went on for each of the people and I wondered – who talks like this? Wouldn’t a group of people talk over each other, or one person have more to say on it then another? Doing it the way they did here is like a first-time screenwriter was taking a stab at a script (and that’s what most of the story felt like). In fact, it feels like AI spit out this script. I know, I know. Ya come here for the stunts and craziness, not the story. But this is the reason I’ve hated so many of the “Fast and Furious” movies. I don’t think it should be that hard to give us a movie with great car chases and explosions, and a decent story (The Italian Job, Ronin, James Bond, Bullit, and Mad Max immediately come to mind).  

Luther (Ving Rhames) and Benji (Simon Pegg), the two hacker buddies, are along for the ride. They’re not given a lot to do.There’s a hitman [side note: should we call it “hitperson”?] Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), and a new partner Hunt shouldn’t trust – Grace (Hayley Atwell). Her character was good, but made this feel even more like a James Bond movie then the usual.

My favorite addition to the cast is Esai Morales as the bad guy Gabriel. He’s such an underrated actor (and a class guy; I once talked him into calling my mom, who’s in love with him, when she was in the hospital and he spent almost an hour on the phone with her).

Grace and Ethan have to get a two-part key (much like how Indiana Jones needed two parts of the dial in his last movie). This will take control of the “entity” and every government wants it, knowing they can then rule the world. So you’ll get dumb dialogue like “Whoever controls the entity, controls the truth.”

There are a variety of things in this that younger viewers may dig, but having seen so many movies over the years – trying to dodge bad guys in an airport, or a shoot-out in a sandstorm where you can barely see, or knife fights in an alley (okay, that one was kind of cool)...I’ve just grown bored of them all.

It is a weird coincidence that, for a movie that wrapped a couple years ago, we have submarines exploding and AI taking over. It’s just a shame so much exposition is going on, and characters that weren’t all that interesting. The film is derivative, and feels like a weaker Christopher Nolan film.

Sure, it was fun seeing the car chase with a Fiat, and two characters handcuffed together like Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier in “The Defiant Ones.” Yet a few times I kept thinking of other movies. When Hunt is over Gabriel, I thought of Esai Morales’ better movie – Bad Boys (not that one), where Sean Penn is over him in the final fight.

The score, which was annoyingly loud, had a sound effect that reminded me of the sounds we heard of the aliens in “Edge of Tomorrow.”

I’m sure everyone will love the film, but it just didn’t do it for me. I need more than cool stunts. I think I have franchise fatigue with this series. I can only see so many rubber masks be taken off of characters that are different characters.

2 stars out of 5.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content