Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One – Enjoyable Despite the Tropes

Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One

After years of delays, Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One is hitting theaters. The first part of a series that comes in at just under three hours is already getting rave reviews and will no doubt shatter summer box office records – but is the movie everything that fans are saying it is?

Dead Reckoning (part one mind you) follows Ethan Hawk and his crew on a mission that could help save the world. The usual Mission: Impossible type of story. It’s something that only they could do, and it will of course require the face-altering masks and technology that their merry band of (former) criminals can come up with on the fly. The movie will take you all over the world and to the darkest underbelly of society as the crew tries to find two parts of a key, and hopefully stop an evil plot that could end life as we know it.

Esai Morales and Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One from Paramount Pictures and Skydance.

There does seem to be a trend in this Mission: Impossible movie, as well as the others throughout the film – there are only two types of women in Ethan Hawk’s life – good and evil. And you can tell them apart just on their appearance alone. All of the women who are good and stay in his life are brunettes who are more conservatively dressed and wear more natural makeup. Even if the characters may seem like they could be bad in the story, if they’re styled this way – they not only will end up being on his side but eventually a love interest type story. Whereas women who have blonde hair, often unkept or greasy in appearance, who wear more alternative styles and harsher makeup – must and always are evil. It’s so obvious it’s painful, and even as a casual viewer, you may wonder what’s going on.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One also has another painful trope as well – that women are automatically bad drivers. And we’re not talking bad as in can’t parallel park, we’re talking disastrous. The movie introduces Haley Atwell as Grace into the Mission: Impossible world. She’s a master thief, a double agent – and is such a bad driver that Ethan Hawk can follow her by looking for the destroyed cars along the road. It’s a simple, and reductive trope and stereotype – and honestly doesn’t add to any part of the movie.

Shea Whigham in Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One from Paramount Pictures and Skydance.

But, Dead Reckoning does deliver on the basics. It has everything that fans are going to be looking for. There’s action, fight scenes, Tom Cruise doing some ridiculous stunt without a stuntman. And despite a long run time of 2 hours and 43 minutes – the movie doesn’t seem to drag at all. It moves at a nice pace and keeps your attention throughout. And although the movie may fall into some traps and tropes that the whole series has been built on, it’s still interesting enough to watch once or twice.

As someone who isn’t a huge fan of the series in general, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I actually enjoyed the film. Sure, we can pick it apart for all of the issues it has, and its disconnect from reality – or we can just sit back and watch an action film for what it’s supposed to be. Get ready for Tom Cruise to run – a lot. But if you’re already a fan of the series, you knew to expect that.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is in theaters everywhere starting Wednesday.

Overall Rating:

Four Star Review

About Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One

Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part 1

In Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team embark on their most dangerous mission yet: To track down a terrifying new weapon that threatens all of humanity before it falls into the wrong hands. With control of the future and the fate of the world at stake, and dark forces from Ethan’s past closing in, a deadly race around the globe begins. Confronted by a mysterious, all powerful enemy, Ethan is forced to consider that nothing can matter more than his mission – not even the lives of those he cares about most.


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