Uplifting the Voices of Princeton Day School

The Spokesman

Uplifting the Voices of Princeton Day School

The Spokesman

Uplifting the Voices of Princeton Day School

The Spokesman

Have a Listen!

Check out senior Sam Cohen’s playlist!

(Photo/Wikimedia Commons)
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“Mission: Impossible” Returns: Review of “Dead Reckoning Part One”


Real stunts and practical effects are at the forefront of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One’s advertising. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, this film centers on agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) as he, for the seventh time in a row , attempts to save the world from impending doom. Tom Cruise is famous for his adventurous and perilous stunts, but at an age of 61, one might imagine physically demanding tasks, such as paragliding off a mountain after jumping from a motorcycle, to be unthinkable. But this was exactly what he did, and the YouTube video uploaded by Paramount Pictures detailing the preparation and performance of the stunt has gathered over 18 million views as of October 19th, 2023. In a world with advanced technology, powerful CGI, and stunt doubles, actors who commit to performing dangerous, practical stunts themselves are distinctive and memorable within the superhero-dominant action movie sphere.

However, Dead Reckoning was a box office failure. It had a final box office gross of$567 million, which may look extremely impressive for any ordinary movie. However, this film had the biggest budget in the series to date, with pandemic related production problems pushing it to a tremendous $291 million, exceeding the previous movie in the franchise, Mission: Impossible – Fallout by more than $100 million. In addition, all Mission: Impossible movies since Mission: Impossible III had grossed more than $600 million when they ended their theatrical runs, so considering all of that, this was not the intended result the cast and crew had in mind.

The movie itself has 2 hours and 43 minutes of runtime, and it’s only part one, so its length might seem intimidating. However, the movie is tense, fast, action-packed, and most importantly fun, keeping the audience engaged by moving at a brisk pace. Particular scenes combined with the unrelenting soundtrack build up agitation and which left me on the edge of my seat, frantically attached to the breakneck momentum of the action on-screen. The practical stunts were, as I expected, an electrifying delight to witness. Junior Brandon Richmond observes that it “was very exciting… to see Tom Cruise doing what he always has done”. Despite its lengthy runtime, this movie made good use of its time, establishing the main plot and motivations of the parties involved, while by the end of the movie also concluding some major characters’ arcs.

Dead Reckoning cannot truly be considered a half-movie, but I would not go as far as to say that it is complete, either. My opinion of this movie will vary depending on how Dead Reckoning Part 2 (coming out in June of 2024) handles the payoff of many of the mysteries that were set up in this film. Without giving out too many spoilers, the main antagonist is the most threatening and expansive one yet, and seems almost impossible to defeat. It is an AI that has access to digital data from across the entire world, which is especially dangerous when considering that technology plays a big role in Mission Impossible movies: wireless communications, camera hacking, etc. Although the objective is clear, the path towards it is certainly not. I’m curious as to how the second part will handle this. Hopefully it will lead to a satisfying conclusion to Ethan Hunt’s character arc, and the returning characters from earlier movies are given closure, too. Right now, I recommend this film more than almost all other modern films if you’re looking to be thrilled and entertained. But otherwise, I suggest waiting for the second part to release, then watching both for the complete experience.

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