MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – DEAD RECKONING PART ONE. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to save cinema
Cinema, understood as an institution inviting to large-screen film screenings, is in a crisis from which it has not fully recovered since the pandemic lockdowns. Despite a few huge hits (such as Spider-Man: No Way Home, Top Gun: Maverick or Avatar: The Way of Water), it’s hard not to notice that productions that have so far attracted viewers en masse (such as Marvel films or the next adventures of the Toretto family) or had great potential to do so (like Michael Keaton’s Batman or Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones), are now huge financial failures.
So it’s no wonder that perhaps the last true icon of cinema: Tom Cruise, who has never committed himself to any television or streaming project, took the mission to save this institution personally. For months, it has been promoting the films of competitors, encouraging them to visit cinemas, but also co-creating powerful, passionate shows that beg for the biggest screen possible. The latest installment of the Mission: Impossible series is such a title, and a line of dialogue from this film, in which one of the characters addresses Cruise’s hero with the words: “you are playing four-dimensional chess with an algorithm”, is an excellent meta-commentary on the current state of cinema and mission Tom Cruise…
And so, to meet the doubts, Ethan Hunt in the seventh installment of the series does not fight with agents of foreign services or terrorists, but with a self-aware digital entity, which quite strongly takes the brand into the technothriller region and makes it extremely topical in the context of today’s world.
Of course, all this with a grain of salt characteristic of the series, but when the protagonists have to face the artificial intelligence that controls the cameras, databases and is able to imitate not only human behavior, speech, but also voice, it’s hard not to feel the unpleasant shiver of anxiety.
However, the theme of the film is not a key element in this case. During the screening, the perfect word for the film I was watching (but also the previous installments of the series directed by Christopher McQuarrie, especially the perfect Fallout) appeared in my head: action opera.
In Dead Reckoning, in the end, you don’t even need to understand the dialogues. They are merely carriers of successive meticulously planned action sequences. It is enough to feel the right emotions accompanying the protagonists, and McQuarrie builds this very efficiently even without words.
These sequences are – once again – real little works of art. For each of them there is an implementation idea, in each you can see a passion far from even a gram of routine. The creators are rarely even satisfied with limiting themselves to a simple module, such as a chase, escape or defusing a bomb. Usually sequences are multi-layered, they intersect with successive concepts, minor sub-sequences. Sometimes their tone is extremely sublime, and sometimes it is based on good and surprisingly frequent humor. And also in numerous, kaleidoscope-changing locations. On the perfection of music, editing, stunt performances of actors and industry specialists.
And if I am able to understand that such a convention may tire someone, especially since for the first time the title mission does not find its culmination in the finale, because the latest chapter of Agent Hunt’s adventures was divided into two parts, I spent almost 3 hours of the screening (without one quarter of an hour) and didn’t even feel tired for a moment.