Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One
Rating: ** ½
Am I allowed to say this? I didn’t like the seventh film in the MI series.
There, I said it!
The film is shallow and selfimportant. And the two ‘key’(pun intended) stunt sequences(all about two halves of a key) are done with such solemn derringdo that it feels like we are being obliged with them. Like, ‘Well, guys, this is what you expect.So here you are.Enjoy.’
Enjoyment and glamour are first-cousins. You can’t assume either in your personality. Either you are glamorous or not. Entertainment too cannot be thrust on the audience. Pavlovian responses to the MI series have long stopped. The if-it-is-MI-it’s-got-to-be-fun line of thought has been discarded.
We want solid proof of why this action Franchise must continue to thrive. The new instalment, I am afraid,provides no proof of the pudding. It plods along.Like a train with no brain.
And yes, tragically Tom Cruise has begun to appear bone-weary and, again dare I say it, aged. He still gives us heartstopping stunts. But it is all a little like an aging dowager insisting on singing for her friends at dinner when her voice has begun to crack.
Luckily, there are no cracks in Cruise’s personality. He is still agile and still the handsomest and most charming superstar in the universe. So all Cruise watchers can breathe easy.
I wish the plot allowed itself breathing space.It hurls through basically three suspense action interludes: the airport chase sequence, the handcuffed car chase and the climactic train thrills(which reminded me of two Dharmendra starrers Yaadon Ki Baraat and Sholay).
Take away the three above-mentioned sequences and what have we got? Practically nothing except a bunch of selfimportant agents, rogue and double-rogue ,discussing basically how to destroy the world in a highly technical jargon which we are not meant to understand beyond the basics.
A lot of of the most crucial drama(droll and undistinguished) involve masks and double identities. The talented Vanessa Kirby gets to do a Seeta Aur Geeta on board the Orient Express.
Seriously? Masks and masquerades went out of style with Cyrano . Mission Impossible thinks it can create a futuristic killer-actioner out of nostalgia.It gets high marks for ambition, practically zero for originality in execution.
The most interesting character is that of a coldblooded female assassin played by Pom Klementieff. She dies with tears trickling down from the corner of her eye. And we don’t feel anything. This is neither the time nor place to get emotional.
There is love too. Oh yes, Our hero Ethan Hawke falls in love with a globally wanted thief and imposter named Grace, played by Hayley Atwell who sports a startled look right through the lengthy film. Maybe she was the only member of the cast who was honest enough to admit to herself that she didn’t know what flock was going on.
Incidentally—and this is not a spoiler—Ethan and Grace’s chemistry doesn’t show on screen. Just goes to show,Tom Cruise is in love only with himself.