Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One

It’s hard to believe that the cinematic adaptation of a 60s TV hit is almost thirty years-old! But here we are! Dead Reckoning PT1  makes the seventh entry into Tom Cruise’s action magnum opus. The man is now in his 60s and, whether you like his work or not, always ALWAYS gives you 1000% bang for your buck.

"a solid action film"

Let’s get to the latest challenge of the Impossible Mission Force. Seems Cruise and Director Christopher McQuarrie have decided to tackle the downsides of AI in this one. A two-part key from a lost at sea Russian Submarine is the object every government, arms dealer, bounty hunter and person of nefarious intent’s desire. It is the only means of controlling an artificial intelligence that is covertly but systematically gaining control of the entire world. From global finance to information sharing, the Entity is a faceless machine, now sentient , that spells doom for us all. That is, of course, unless Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his usual team of IMF super spies get the key.

The characters in this one are a mixed bag. There are returning actors, like Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg and Rebecca Ferguson that give you a sense of continuity and also a sense of jeopardy, because one of them doesn’t make it. Cruise is, as always, a manic, always running and imbuing urgency lead: thrilling to watch, on point in both character and action. The main bad guy (?) Esai Morales was a bit meh for me. Understated and (at least as yet) underwritten. There is a history with Hunt type deal that has never been mentioned before in the series and comes across to me as unearned. Considering Ethan has had a wife and consequences of that relationship shown in previous entries, this set up seems weak, even uninteresting to me.

The runtime of 163 minutes is excessive. Similar to my issues with the fourth John Wick, the undeniably stellar action starts to lose its efficacy when the bloody scenes keep going and going and going. A roller coaster works best with peaks and valleys, there are scenes like a car chase and an ascent to Cruise’s well-publicised big stunt that begin to drain one’s patience—that’s not a good effect for the fine and hard work on display.Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One

This whole entry, from production design to stunts to tone leans heavily into the Wick’s franchise wheelhouse. I want more intrigue and thought with my IMF adventures that manic energetic set pieces. This is a very busy film. Busy in the amount of characters, both franchise mainstays and new. Busy in plot, with many an angle and player informing upon a fairly simple premise. Busy in action, because it barely comes up for breath. It’s one half of a longer narrative that will only prove its worth once we see the pay off.

Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning PT1 is a solid action film. It’s thrilling set pieces and solid performances are worth the price of admission, but its the victim of being one half of a story. It’s got the burden of a lot of dangling potential. Will that story be worth of the already long run time? We’ll have to wait until next year to see.

3/5 stars


Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One

4k details divider

SteelBook / Limited Edition / 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital 4K

Home Video Distributor: Paramount
Available on Blu-ray
- October 31, 2023
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
: English; English SDH; French; Spanish; Danish; Dutch; Finnish; Norwegian; Swedish Forced subtitles
English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; French: Dolby Atmos; French: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1;Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 4K Ultra HD; Blu-ray Disc; Blu-ray disc extra features; Three-disc set
Region Encoding: 4K region-free; blu-ray locked to Region A

One thing certain to match the film's excitement and intensity levels is this Steelbook/Limited Edition 4K UHD + Blu-ray + Digital 4k from Paramount. This release was produced with tender loving care and it shows. We give this one a strong recommend to add to your physical media collection.

The red steelbook case featuring unique black graphics front and back opens up to reveal its three discs: a 4k disc containing the film plus bonus materials, a Blu-ray disc with the film plus special features, and a blu-ay disc chock-full of more extra features. Also included inside is a digital redemption coupon that is booger-glued to the outside of the steel case.


Spectacular! That's the only way to describe the 2.39:1 Dolby Vision HDR10 4K UHD presentation. If you thought the Top Gun: Maverick image quality couldn't be beat, you were wrong. If this one isn't better than Maverick, it's certainly on the same level, with impressive clarity and resolution throughout, while the perfectly-saturated colors remain consistent through the entirety. I'd be making it up if I were to say I noticed any flaws, even in the film's darkest scenes.

This kind of film, with unbelievably big action set pieces, dangerous stunts, and globe-hopping locations sets itself up to reveal its movie making flaws. Yet Paramount doesn't drop the ball. It delivers a flying gorilla dunk on all past 4K releases and sets a new bar for the future. 4K UHD doesn't get any better than this.


The Dolby Atmos track is absolutely cracking! There will not be a single corner of the room that doesn't get plenty of action from the fully immersive track. Lorne Balfe's soaring musical score takes charge most of the time... that is, when motorcycles, trains, and planes aren't shaking the room while bullets whiz past your head. Dolby Atmos, I love you! Also included is an English Language Dolby TrueHD 7.1 track


Paramount didn't scrimp on the special features section either. With an audio commentary and more than 30 minutes of bonus material on its own Blu-ray Disc, M:I fans have plenty be giddy about.


  • With director Christopher McQuarrie and editor Eddie Hamilton.
  • Isolated Score Track - watch the entire film with only the score, no dialogue. Not sure we're on board with this trend but others are doing it too, most recently with the Cujo 4K release. perhaps we just haven't yet discovered the perfect use

Special Features:

  • Abu Dhabi
  • Rome
  • Venice
  • Freefall
  • Speed Flying
  • Train

4k rating divider

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 5/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

4.5/5 stars


Film Details

Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One

MPAA Rating: PG-13.
163 mins
: Christopher McQuarrie
Bruce Geller; Erik Jendresen; Christopher McQuarrie
Tom Cruise; Hayley Atwell; Ving Rhames
: Action

Memorable Movie Quote: "Our lives are the sum of our choices."
Theatrical Distributor:
Paramount Pictures
Official Site: https://www.missionimpossible.com/
Release Date:
July 11, 2023
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 31, 2023
Synopsis: Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team embark on their most dangerous mission yet: To track down a terrifying new weapon that threatens all of humanity before it falls into the wrong hands.


Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One