Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One [8/10]

Bond, Bourne, Mission Impossible … ludicrous plots, over-the-top stunts, wafer-thin characterization, and headache-inducing music … why on earth do we watch them? Because, when they’re on song, they create a splendor of elemental striving, action, plot twist, and spectacle. The previous MI jammed a migraine into my head but Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One, this time directed by Christopher McQuarrie, ticked all the required boxes admirably. Tom Cruise looked and spoke like an older person but damn, he still came across as the stalwart, unstoppable hero. The action scenes, especially one with Cruise on a motorbike over mountains, were heart-pounding. The musical score, even though it was the same theme song reiterated in multiple variations, still evoked drama. The storyline, involving an evil AI and a pair of keys and our hero’s longtime foe, was stoopid but believable in the moment. Ethan Hawke’s backup team provided much-needed comic flourishes. Best of all, this Mission Impossible moved, pell-mell and irresistibly, providing three hours of dumb pleasure. Viewer, I savored.

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