The chemistry is good

Cruise Mode — Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning

Riley Riley

Like him or loathe him Tom Cruise makes exciting movies and the latest Mission Impossible instalment is one of them.

What’s it about? What’s it always about — fearless Tom saving the world of course (in secret).

Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One is essentially about AI or artificial intelligence of the malevolent kind and the threat it poses to mankind in the wild.

Cruise, in case you didn’t know, does all his own stunts and in one scene in the movie we watch as he rides a motorbike off the top of a massive 1240 metre-high cliff, plummeting towards earth, before opening his parachute, base-jump style.

The stunt is part of an attempt to board a moving train as it speeds along the valley floor.

Sure, it’s a little far-fetched. Well, nigh impossible actually — but it is after all a movie and we are there to be enthralled.

Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One is the seventh film in a franchise that dates back 27 years to 1996.

Dead Reckoning sees Cruise reprise his role as Ethan Hunt, whose IMF team is called on to match wits with a powerful rogue AI known as “the Entity”.

An ensemble cast features Hayley Atwell, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Esai Morales, Pom Klementieff, Mariela Garriga and Henry Czerny.

Filming began in Italy in February, 2020 but was brought to a halt because of COVID.

It resumed later that year and wrapped in September, 2021 with other locations, including Norway, the UK, Italy and the United Arab Emirates.

With an estimated budget of $291 million, it is one of the most expensive films ever made and the most expensive so far in the franchise.

And, get this, while filming in Italy, after 12 staff tested positive for COVID, Cruise paid £500,000 out of his own pocket to rent an old cruise ship on which the cast and crew could isolate.

As the action unfolds we find a Russian submarine tricked into firing a torpedo at itself as it tests a new form of self defence based on artificial intelligence under the Polar Icecap.

Originally designed to sabotage digital systems, the Entity has achieved sentience or self awareness and has gone rogue.

It infiltrates the major defence, military systems, and intelligence networks of the world and it becomes a race against time to retrieve a special key that can be used to bring the Entity under control.

World powers race against time and each other to protect their national security and harness the Entity by using the key, though what the key actually does remains unknown.

The IMF force is tasked with finding the key first before it falls into the wrong hands.

The film sees the return of Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell who is part of the team and Henry Czerny as CIA as director of the IMF and CIA, both of whom were in the original film.

The other members of the team are Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn and Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust.

Leading lady is Hayley Atwell in the role of Grace, a slippery burglar, cum con-artist who finds herself working with Hunt as the bad guys close in.

Atwell is probably best known to readers as Agent Peggy Carter from Marvel’s Avengers franchise.

 Dead Reckoning unfolds at a break-neck pace and the 2 hours 43 minutes is over before you know it.

In reference to the parachute stunt, Cruise said it was by far and away the most dangerous thing he’d ever attempted.

In a video he reveals that he trained for the stunt by making more than 500 skydives and 13,000 motocross jumps over a 25-metre mound, as well as training for a year in base jumping.

A practice ramp was constructed in a quarry in the UK, filled with plastic bags to break his fall, before taking on the actual leap off the Helsetkopen in Norway.

Cruise performed the stunt six times for the cameras.

Christopher McQuarrie, who wrote and directed the film, said that Cruise, who insists on doing all his own stunt work, put everything from the plan to the stunt team together.

“This is far and away the most dangerous stunt we have ever attempted,” McQuarrie said.

“The only thing that scares me more is what we have planned for ‘Mission 8.’”

Dead Reckoning Part Two is scheduled for release on June 28, 2024.


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Time out score

Final thoughts . . .

You mightn’t like Tom Cruise the person but you have to respect his work.


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