Mission Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One parents guide

Mission Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One Parent Guide

The movie is so bloated and the pacing so terrible it manages to feel slow even when it isn't.

Overall C+

Theaters: Ethan Hunt and his IMF team embark on a global chase to keep a deadly weapon from falling into the wrong hands.

Release date July 12, 2023

Violence C
Sexual Content B
Profanity B+
Substance Use B

Why is Mission Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Mission Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some language and suggestive material

Run Time: 156 minutes

Parent Movie Review

As usual, the fate of the world is on the line, and surprise, surprise, it’s up to Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) to save it. This time, a military AI program known as the Entity has gone rogue, acquired sentience, and now threatens to destroy the world one digital network at a time. And, since it’s dangerous to try to control this Entity, every major power on Earth (and more than a few of the smaller ones) are desperate to get their hands on it.

Controlling the Entity requires a key – a two-part key, each of which is the only way to verify the other. Ethan managed to pick up the first part from disavowed MI6 agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) but tracking down the other half is trickier. With the help of his teammates, Luther Stickel (Ving Rhames) and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), Ethan is reasonably confident that the part he needs is going to be in the Abu Dhabi airport for about half an hour as its possessor connects to a different flight. Before he can grab it, it gets nabbed by Grace (Hayley Atwell), a wanted thief who has no idea how dangerous her latest acquisition is. In fact, unless she sticks with Ethan, she’s likely to find herself dead at the hands of any number of insidious government agents. While Grace wastes Ethan’s time, other players are making moves of their own, moves that bring them ever closer to the key, Ethan, and the end of the world as we know it.

Nothing endears me to a film like being forced to sit through half an hour during which the movie does nothing but repeatedly explain the plot and then roll the opening credits. It’s a third of the way through any self-respecting film’s runtime, and we’re just now getting the opening titles. Hardly a rip-roaring start for what is ostensibly supposed to be an action/adventure/thriller. Oh sure, there are plenty of chases – almost exclusively chases, actually. And oddly familiar chases as well. There’s a big one in Rome which has echoes of a similar chase in Fast X, including some of the same set pieces, and a train chase which includes disguises, secret information, the MacGuffin of the film, and a fight on the roof – a la Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. It’s certainly not encouraging that we can’t even make it through a summer without movies echoing one another.

After its drawn-out beginning, the film tries to get back into the swing of things, but the pacing is already shot. I’d like to point out that the previous installment in the franchise, Mission Impossible: Fallout was a full twenty minutes shorter than this movie, and I thought that Fallout was a good twenty minutes too long to start with. With all that temporal mass wobbling around, the film can’t ever quite seem to get a good balance going. Everything feels slow, even when it isn’t. The insult sprinkled among all this injury is that this movie is only Part One. Somehow, the filmmakers have decided that rather than tell one story in a single film, they’ll save on writing and spread the tale over two. This movie already struggles to fill two-and-a-half hours. Do you really think another two-and-a-half is what we need?

Sure, sure, this production hits most of the franchise standards. Apart from the familiar chase scenes, there are the expected hand-to-hand fights, some explosions, a big goofy stunt, and that shot of Tom Cruise sprinting that seems to make it into all his films – I suspect it’s a contractual requirement at this point. There’s a remarkable absence of profanity, with only occasional mild curses, and one shot of an adult character drinking. And while violence is certainly the largest concern, for a film like this, it’s also pretty tame. Parents should be more worried about the attention spans of younger viewers than the negative content of the film. Any kid who can sit through a Marvel movie can make it through this, provided they are able to stay focused.

I’m not exactly a die-hard Mission Impossible fan, but I’ve seen all the films and I think they’re perfectly capable of delivering action, excitement, and intrigue – and this entry could have met that standard. Instead, someone decided to haul this movie down to a celluloid torture chamber and put it on the rack, agonizingly stretching the film far beyond the bounds anyone intended. Knock forty minutes out of this thing and I’d be willing to cut it some slack, but I’m growing increasingly tired of films wasting my time because they can’t be bothered to clean themselves up in editing.

Directed by Christopher McQuarrie. Starring Tom Cruise, Hayley Atwell, Ving Rhames. Running time: 156 minutes. Theatrical release July 12, 2023. Updated

Watch the trailer for Mission Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One

Mission Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One
Rating & Content Info

Why is Mission Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One rated PG-13? Mission Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense sequences of violence and action, some language and suggestive material

Violence: People are frequently involved in car crashes and hand-to-hand combat. Several people are incapacitated by knockout gas. A number of characters are killed or injured with knives. Some background characters are shot, presumably fatally.
Sexual Content: Some adults are briefly seen dancing at a large event in revealing outfits, but no nudity is seen. A woman is frisked in a security context: a man gropes her breasts.
Profanity: There are occasional uses of mild curses and terms of deity. There is an incomplete sexual expletive.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are briefly seen drinking.

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