Seventh installment of the franchise, the idea of which on paper sounds as simple as a log: Tom Cruise does life-threatening stunts. You might wonder how, with such a premise, can anyone or anything still surprise, especially considering the first film came out in 1996, and Tom Cruise clearly hasn’t aged younger during that time (although he tried very hard)? And we’re not even considering the TV series; that’s ancient history.
However, coming out of the theater, I’m like:
- Wow, it’s been almost three hours already?
- How does it make such a simple action movie?
First and foremost, the film knows its worth and doesn’t try to overreach: it’s pure entertainment, and it will entertain you to the fullest, living up to its name in every scene. I can almost see a room full of screenwriters spending countless hours coming up with 10,000 ways to make the main character’s life even more complicated. Literally, every scene here is an uninterrupted flow of challenges and new obstacles that rain down on the main character and the audience like a cornucopia of surprises. Let me give you a simple example to illustrate, so I’m not just speaking in empty words, especially since this example is incredibly vivid.
So, our main hero, Ethan Hunt, needs to extract an arrested individual from the police building – a task that’s not exactly a walk in the park, leading to a chase scene. You might think, how many of these movie chases have we seen already? It must be terribly boring… Wrong! Why settle for the child’s play difficulty of a simple police chase for our super-spy when we can add a ton of fun to it:
- The person doesn’t want to be extracted and is actively trying to escape from Ethan.
- There are also secret agents in the building who want to capture our main hero.
- An alarm is raised, and it seems like the entire city’s police force is mobilized, at least 30 cars for sure.
- Another unknown faction gets involved, armed with guns, and they’re chasing our heroes in an armored vehicle.
- Ethan himself, by the way, is unarmed.
- One of his arms is also immobilized.
- And his vehicle isn’t a powerful sports car but a small and cute little car. Vroom-vroom.
- Oh, and guess who’s behind the wheel? Not Ethan, but the person they’re trying to rescue, who drives horrendously or, at the very least, lacks extreme driving skills.
- Cameras all over the city track the main characters’ whereabouts; there’s no hiding on the streets.
- And it’s also Italian streets, meaning they’re narrow and winding, with plenty of outdoor restaurants, a plethora of pedestrians, tourists, and moms with strollers. This pairs exceptionally well with point number 8.
- Let’s block the road as well, just for fun.
- And, to make life more exciting, let’s handcuff poor Ethan to a car that has stalled and is about to be hit by an oncoming train.
That’s how it goes throughout the entire movie. Absolutely! Every! Single! Scene!
The second component of success: complex moral choices. Choosing between surrendering and heroically defying the enemy is something even a fool can do. But how about deciding which of your two charming love interests should die? And this isn’t the kind of choice where the clever main character can save them both; you’ll actually have to watch as someone dies. And both of them are written interestingly, with flair: one is a newcomer, the other we’re already familiar with from past films in the franchise. It won’t be an easy choice. And there’s more than one complex choice of this caliber in the film.
Since we’ve mentioned characters from past films, I’ll also highlight another interesting aspect of the new “Mission” – previous films influence the plot, … but watching them before seeing the new one is not at all necessary. This is actually a very wise move on the director’s part, as even though I’ve seen the previous films in the franchise, their plots and characters have somewhat faded from memory over the years, and here, by the way, characters from as far back as 1996 make appearances. However, the screenplay is structured in a way that makes everything clear to both the new viewer and the viewer with a not-so-great memory.
By the way, there’s an abundance of characters here, and although the majority of them don’t overshadow Tom Cruise (and he is, no matter how you look at it, a genuinely talented actor), they hold their own as well. The antagonists genuinely pose a threat, not just through their actions but also their appearance, reactions to events, and even subtle facial expressions. Ethan’s companions are no less impressive, and they have their own chemistry, fears, desires, they make tough decisions, and in general, they turn this film into an actual movie rather than just a stunt show. I’d like to highlight the Asian girl, who, in essence, doesn’t speak throughout the entire film (apparently, that’s her character’s fate), but the charisma with which she shatters people’s faces and destinies is something to behold. Absolutely captivating.
However, the main virtue of this film, which sets it above all the others in the series, is the main antagonist. Terrorists, saboteurs, rogue agents – these are all small fry; it’s time for Ethan Hunt to go up against a GOD. Well, not literally, of course. It’s not like Jesus, sitting on a cloud, suddenly decided to have a showdown with a secret agent. In this case, the “God” is an artificial intelligence that effortlessly and rapidly infiltrates any digital device, acquires any necessary information, and performs billions of calculations per second. It’s an all-knowing force that can even predict the future – a worthy adversary for the agile guy with a gun and an artificial face (I’m talking about the character, not Tom Cruise… although…). And let’s not forget how heavily Ethan’s team has always relied on computers, satellite communication, and their gadgets.
In general, the theme of religion in a non-religious sense runs as a thread throughout the entire film, and it’s not a coincidence that the object pursued by the entire world throughout the movie resembles a crucifix. Even the intermediate boss, with whom Ethan clashes this time, behaves less like a saboteur or a criminal. He’s not interested in money or power. He’s a believer, and he believes in a God from a machine.
For all the magnificence of this new “Mission: Impossible,” we can forgive even the somewhat drawn-out and, let’s face it, boring exposition that spans a whole 30 minutes of the runtime, where all the important information is conveyed through… dramatic pause… conversations between two guys. Yes, on screen, it’s just as exhilarating as it sounds. And there are also some logical inconsistencies, like the fact that the Wicked God, who can effortlessly hack the spy satellites of all the world’s nations, somehow didn’t think to hack the car’s autopilot, with one of the heroes sitting in the passenger seat. But we can overlook that.
But can we forgive the fact that the film was divided into two parts? That, in fact, we only have half of the movie right now?
Well… yes, we can. In reality, despite the “Part 1” in the title, the film is a complete work in itself. All current conflicts are resolved before the final credits, and the second part only carries over the most crucial, juicy conflicts. By the end of the viewing, you won’t feel like something was left out or that it’s too little; everything is in order here.
In general, I recommend watching it, especially since the film has just made its way to our cinemas (shh, don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret). On the one hand, it’s a classic film from the “Mission: Impossible” series, featuring stunts, familiar characters, disguises, and the classic “pa-pa-pa, pa-pa-pam, pa, pa, pa, pam, pam-pam-pam” – it’s all there. But at the same time, the franchise is evolving, delving into interesting themes, and creating a genuinely dynamic and engaging plot that’s enjoyable to watch for three hours straight, without breaks. If you haven’t seen the previous films in the series, no problem; you’ll still enjoy it just as much.
What else do you need for a great summer blockbuster? Maybe for it to come out in the summer, but we can’t control that. We got it when we got it, and we got enough. Watch it if you haven’t already, and if you have, well, let’s sit together and wait for the second part. I’m genuinely curious to see how they plan to top all of the above that I mentioned earlier.