Early Reviews for ‘Mission Impossible—Dead Reckoning Part One’ Hail It As the “Best ‘Mission’ Yet”


The best movie of 2022 wasn’t the biggest superhero film or the Oscar darling, it was a nine-minute featurette on the Paramount Pictures YouTube channel about Tom Cruise riding a motorcycle off a cliff. The marquee stunt of Mission: Impossible–Dead Reckoning Part One set the tone for what fans could expect from the seventh installment in the franchise. Of course, with a set piece that big it’s worth wondering whether the rest of the two-and-a-half-hour film can keep up—thankfully early buzz from the Dead Reckoning premiere in Rome is overwhelmingly positive.

Collider’s Perri Nemiroff praised the film effusively, noting that the movie offers “some of the most well-defined and exhilarating set pieces photographed in ways that truly make you feel like you’re in the middle of the action.” She also spoke highly of Hayley Atwell, who seems to be emerging as a fan favorite from early screenings, writing that Atwell gives one of “the most captivating performances/arcs, and just a hugely enjoyable character to watch.”

Atwell is no stranger to major franchises, having played Peggy Carter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2011, but joining Mission Impossible is an entirely different task. She told ET Canada she spent five months learning how to drift in a car for one stunt, which People film editor Nigel Smith spoke very highly of, saying that “it reinvigorated my love for the summer blockbuster.”

“What ends up being the case is this is a consistently inconsistent character, which I’m delighted about because I wanted to elevate her. I wanted her to be more than a femme fatale, or an ingénue, or an ice queen. I wanted her to have nuance,” Atwell explained.

Film critic Scott Mantz dubbed it “the best Mission yet,” while emphasizing that despite being the first chapter of a two film saga, “It’s a complete movie that stands on its own.” Other writers like Screenrant’s Joseph Deckelmeier mentioned how Dead Reckoning sets up an eerily timely antagonist. “With the AI being the villain, this feels like a cautionary tale,” Deckelmeier wrote. While the exact details of the plot have been kept predictably under wraps, director Christopher McQuarrie did explain to Empire in November what the title meant.

“There are many things emerging from Ethan’s past. ‘Dead reckoning’ is a navigational term. It means you’re picking a course based solely on your last known position and that becomes quite the metaphor not only for Ethan, but several characters,” McQuarrie said.

And if you’re afraid that watching the motorcycle jump featurette will diminish Dead Reckoning’s impact, fret not—apparently here’s a train sequence in the film that is equally thrilling. The scene, which involves Cruise’s Hunt fighting someone atop a moving train, was such a herculean undertaking that McQuarrie told Empire, “If we’d known the challenges, we’d never have done it.”

Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning was slated to begin filming in February 2020, though it was delayed several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Leaked audio from the set saw Cruise admonishing crew members who did not strictly follow the COVID safety rules, and, according to The Wrap, principal photography didn’t finish until April 2023. (Both Part 1 and Part 2 were filmed back-to-back.)

Dead Reckoning premieres stateside on July 12, featuring Cruise, Atwell, returning co-stars like Ving Rhames and Vanessa Kirby, as well as Henry Czerny reprising his role as IMF director Eugene Kittridge for the first time since the original film came out in 1996. Dead Reckoning Part Two is slated for release on June 28, 2024. At this point, all we can hope is that Cruise jumps a motorcycle

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Early Reviews for ‘Mission Impossible—Dead Reckoning Part One’ Hail It As the “Best ‘Mission’ Yet”

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