Sunday, July 9, 2023

Impressive quartet of women helps put latest 'M:I' into Cruise control

See Tom. See Tom run. See Tom jump. Simply see Tom Cruise, back for a seventh time as very secret agent Ethan Hunt in "Mission: Impossible -- Dead Reckoning Part One," get the summer blockbuster job done -- again -- but truly not without the mighty contributions of four sensationally smart, strong, and swift females.

Their characters all steal scenes with stunning regularity, whether playing with or against Cruise's master of manipulation in trying to outwit a brilliantly mysterious threat to the world or joining him in an assortment of entertaining, if occasionally inane action hijinks.

Franchise fans will recognize Impossible Missions Force collaborator Ilsa Foust (Rebecca Ferguson), here opening proceedings with a cool $50-million bounty on her lovely head and, arriving much later, the wily White Widow (Vanessa Kirby), back from 2018's "M:I -- Fallout" and still scheming as effectively as ever. 

It is a pair of "Mission" newcomers, though, who become even more watchable in the personas of a thief extraordinaire named Grace (Hayley Atwell) and the chief villain's henchwoman, Paris (always-fab Pom Klementieff from Marvel's "Galaxy" gang). Certainly, you will agree, especially during a couple of kick-ass moments down the stretch.

Hunt's often humorous sidekicks, Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), show up regularly, too, nicely doing justice to the classic, old TV show that started it all, even if this whole lengthy shebang actually begins with a chilling, pre-credits sequence involving none of the specialist regulars.

That intrigue occurs on a supposedly invisible and invincible Russian submarine, whose captain describes it as "the most fearsome killing machine ever devised by man." Regardless, and despite a few moments of long-winded, bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo interrupting various other thrills from there, perhaps neither he nor we seriously have seen anything yet. 

Believe it, returning director/co-writer/producer Christopher McQuarrie has much more "Reckoning" in store here -- and likely then some in "Part Two," already set to debut on June 28, 2024.

Rated "PG-13" by MPAA: intense violence/action sequences, some language, and suggestive material; 2:43; $ $ $ $ out of $5

("Mission: Impossible -- Dead Reckoning Part One" opens in theaters on July 12, with "Fan Access" screenings also slated earlier.)

Already new in theaters this weekend: "Insidious: The Red Door," "Joy Ride," "The Lesson," and "Sound of Freedom." Streaming only: "The Out-Laws" (on Netflix).

No comments: