Wednesday, November 15, 2023

[Blu-ray Review] — "Mission: Impossible: Dead Reckoning—Part One" is a Thrilling Train Ride

For those who, like me, have been living under a rock, Mission: Impossible: Dead Reckoning—Part One is now available on digital, *4K UHD, *Blu-ray, and *DVD (* paid link). More specifically, the Tom Cruise-starring action film was released in theaters over the summer and landed on physical media on October 31, 2023. I was handed a copy before Halloween, and due to my hectic schedule, I'm only now writing my "review."

Mission: Impossible: Dead Reckoning—Part One (PG-13; 163 minutes) is the seventh installment in the long-running film franchise that debuted in 1996, which sparked from the 1966–1973 television series. Dead Reckoning—Part One, as the title suggests, is divided into two parts, with the second set for 2025; however, that date is subject to change. Part 1 took a little longer to complete due to COVID-19, while Part 2's filming got delayed due to this year's SAG-AFTRA strike.

In Dead Reckoning—Part One, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team (Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, and Simon Pegg) embark on their most risky assignment yet: find a "key" to a world-ending weapon before it falls into the hands of the wrong people. When confronted with a mysterious, all-powerful adversary, Ethan contemplates that nothing is more important than his mission—not even the lives of the people he loves the most.

Anyone who buys the film digitally (free with 4K UHD and Blu-ray) can delve further into the mission thanks to comprehensive, action-packed additional features. Go behind the scenes of the exotic filming locations, delve into spectacular footage not seen in theaters, learn about the intricacies of the filmmaking process with director Christopher McQuarrie and editor Eddie Hamilton, and much more! 

The bonus content includes:

  • Commentary by director Christopher McQuarrie and editor Eddie Hamilton—McQuarrie and Hamilton take viewers through each compelling scene with in-depth commentary.
  • Abu Dhabi—Explore the exotic filming locations in the desert and at the international airport and discover how each thrilling sequence was shot. 
  • Rome—Take a behind-the-scenes look at the thrilling car chase through Italy's historic capital, as Tom Cruise's driving skills are pushed to the limit while handcuffed to Hayley Atwell!
  • Venice—See the breathtaking city of Venice as it's never been shown on film. Plus, witness the cast's dedication and commitment to their training as they prepare to get "Mission Ready."
  • Freefall—An extended behind-the-scenes look at one of the biggest stunts in cinema history. Watch never-before-seen footage of the rigorous training as Tom launches a motorcycle off a cliff.
  • Speed Flying—Join Tom and the crew as they explain the various training techniques involved in pulling off the dangerous speed-flying stunts in the film. 
  • Train—See how the climactic train sequence was captured on film. From building an actual train from scratch to crashing it using practical effects, you don't want to miss this!
  • Deleted Shots Montage—Director Christopher McQuarrie and editor Eddie Hamilton share some of the breathtaking, never-before-seen footage that didn't make the final film. 
  • Editorial Featurette: The Sevastopol—Director Christopher McQuarrie and editor Eddie Hamilton take viewers through the intense opening scene.

The narrative of Dead Reckoning—Part One is as straightforward as it gets: Tom Cruise and his team (the good guys) must prevent the evil guys from obtaining a "key" that would unleash global devastation. Yeah, there's not much going on with the storyline, but I don't watch Mission: Impossible movies for the plot—I watch them for the intense action flicks, and there's enough of them in this one, including a long train sequence at the conclusion. The film is mostly one lengthy chase sequence, with a few conversational bits thrown in for good measure. The intense action moments make the 163-minute runtime feel much shorter; in fact, the time rushes by and feels closer to two hours.

Overall, I preferred Mission: Impossible: Dead Reckoning—Part One over John Wick: Chapter 4 as the best action film of 2023. From start to finish, it's a thrilling train ride—yes, that's a pun. ╌★★★★★

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