Tom Cruise – Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part I – Movie Review by Efe Teksoy


Cinema Writer/Film Critic Efe TEKSOY; wrote the action and adventure film “MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE-DEAD RECKONING PART ONE”, for America’s Los Angeles-based Internet Newspaper @alaturkanews.


Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, produced by Paramount Pictures, Skydance Media, TC Productions (a Tom Cruise production), and Truenorth Productions, is the most expensive movie in the series with a budget of 291 million dollars and one of the highest budget movies of all time. Premiering on the Spanish Steps in Rome on June 19, 2023, the 7th ring of the series was directed by Oscar and BAFTA winner Christopher McQuarrie. The first of the story, which is split into two parts this time, sort of returns to its roots, making references to the classic spy-thriller elements and Hitchcockian Voyeurism-surveillance motifs of master director Brian De Palma, who started the series in 1996. In particular, we see that the story is framed by De Palma’s signature adrenaline-charged dark chase scenes and the “wrong (innocent) man” plotline trying to prove his innocence. Unlike the first six films previously shot on 35mm film, this time it’s the first in the series to be shot entirely digitally, with the sequel Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two (2024). With 163 minutes (2 hours and 43 minutes), the longest movie in the series to date, the opening credits don’t appear until the 28th minute of the movie. The producer and lead actor of the movie, Tom Cruise, who does not use stunts in dangerous scenes, pushes the limits of action cinema by performing one of the most risky and challenging action scenes of his career in this movie.


Legendary agent Ethan Hunt and his IMF team track down a dangerous weapon called “The Entity”, the most powerful rogue artificial intelligence known before it falls into the wrong hands and gets dragged into an impossible mission.

Stars; Tom Cruise, Hayley Atwell, Simon Pegg, Angela Bassett, Vanessa Kirby, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Esai Morales, Pom Klementieff, Henry Czerny, Shea Whigham, Frederick Schmidt, Greg Tarzan Davis, Mariela Garriga, Cary Elwes, and Indira Varma.


On September 6, 2020, on the first day of shooting Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, Tom Cruise drove a motorcycle down a mountain. He jumped off a custom-built ramp in a custom-built Honda CRF 250 on Norway’s Helsetkopen mountain, some 1200 meters above sea level. Then he plunged up to 1200 meters into the valley below before opening his parachute almost 150 meters above the ground. When he landed, director Christopher McQuarrie and his Mission team and his small team of actors, and their co-stars in the movie, gathered to watch the groundbreaking scene in the safety of the video, took a deep breath. Then Cruise stood up and repeated it seven more times to make sure the image was perfect. Regarding this scene, Tom Cruise says: “Every time I jumped off the ramp, it was dangerous. He was risking my life. And we wanted to minimize that risk. We have a saying in the Mission Impossible movies; ‘Don’t be safe. Become a master.” He says this, of course, knowing the extensive training systems and rigorous safety protocols that cover every aspect of the production. The acrobatics scene was by far the most dangerous scene of Cruise’s career. His surprising attempts in previous Mission films include hanging out of the world’s tallest building (Burj Khalifa in Dubai, in Ghost Protocol) next to a swaying, flying Airbus A400M (Rogue Nation) and 25 from a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III. jumping from a thousand feet and opening his parachute just 2,000 feet from the ground and being the first person (on Fallout) to do the first HALO (High-Altitude Military Parachuting) in a movie.


In veteran actor Tom Cruise’s motorcycle jump, which is now standard practice, Ethan Hunt jumps off the cliff as long-planned, escapes the motorcycle, and performs a high-risk BASE Jump in the six-second gap before he crashes. After rehearsing for a year in England, when the cameras went on the tape, he did 500 free jumps and 13,000 motocross jumps, ready for the most dangerous aerobatic scene he’s ever done on screen. In reality, however, the scene had been in Cruise’s mind for much longer than that. He says: “I used to do my own jumps when I was a little kid. I used to build ramps to jump over garbage cans with my bike.” When it came to the actual shooting, each scene was also rehearsed down to the smallest detail. An example of Cruise’s constant pursuit of mastery is the speedometer. Or it was the absence of a speedometer. He says: “When I jumped off the ramp, I had to be at a certain speed (in the BASE jump). But the bike couldn’t have a speedometer because the ramp was too narrow and if I looked down I would have fallen off the ramp. So I had to measure the speed of the motorcycle with the sound and vibration of the engine and by feeling the molecules in the air all over my body. That was the level of mastery I was not supposed to achieve.”


Every great agent movie needs a great villain. And in Esai Morales’ mysterious Gabriel character, Cruise and McQuarrie thought they had found perhaps the most compelling and complex character in the entire Mission series. In two episodes, Gabriel is an enigma that focuses on finding a key that gives the holder control of an all-powered weapon. Someone who takes pleasure in the pain he creates. A ghost from Ethan’s past before he joined the IMF, a messenger with a dark vision for humanity’s future. Without Gabriel, Ethan may never be the person he is today. What makes Gabriel a fearsome opponent, Morales says, is the combination of his philosophical threat and the avenues he’s willing to use to go after him. Even scarier for Ethan Hunt and his crew was that Gabriel didn’t play alone. Realizing his true potential, with Pom Klemetieff’s portrayal of Gabriel’s ruthless, implacable and mysterious rival Paris, who made her acting debut with a very lively, physical and natural performance in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, McQuarrie rethinks her first appearance, rewrites the scenes, It caused her to change her preferences and rework her costume. Director McQuarrie says: “Pom is a natural disaster. She’s a truly outstanding, dedicated athlete, actress, artist, and truly dedicated to the physical side of the business. A character that speaks little until it is absolutely necessary in the story. she doesn’t approach anything indirectly. she approaches directly, which causes her to guard himself against the toughest characters in the series. It will be a gift for the audience to see this side of her because it is totally unexpected.” We can say that the character of Paris is very different from the character of Mantis, the highly empathetic member of Klementieff’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Klementieff has long wanted to be in a Mission movie. “It was my dream to be in this series. Before I was selected for the movie, I was training martial arts. When marking my training on my calendar, I would sometimes write “mission impossible” instead of writing “dangerous scenes training” or “martial arts lesson”. I used to do it for fun, but it was also a way of wishing for the kinds of movies I wanted to act in.”


Dead Reckoning  Episode One continues the long-standing Mission tradition, adding to the coveted new, dynamic, challenging cast of characters. A notable example is Hayley Atwell’s Grace. Describing the character as “a stranger, a chaotic natural disaster”, McQuarrie has wanted to cast Atwell in one of his films ever since he saw Alexi Kaye Campbell at the new London screening of The Pride in 2013. He says: “She was someone Tom and I talked about for over a decade. We were looking for a place where she would display her magnificent, natural talent and presence correctly. It’s one of the things I love most about the movie, and I hope the audience is impressed, too.” Atwell’s months of physical training in martial arts gave her an edge in fight choreography. And building her character together was one of the key reasons Atwell accepted the roles, as were all the new members of the Mission family. Atwell; “Tom and McQuarrie told me they were looking for players who would really enhance the environment they created in Mission, try different things, and see results. It’s about being open to stepping out of your comfort zone.” says.


McQuarrie is legendary, the story of the Deadly Reckoning in two films, taking audiences around the world, taking them from adventure to adventure. A master director who lets the locations shape the stories and vice versa, the process of writing his scenes around the venues adds a truly authentic, international flavor. Deadly Reckoning For Part One, those places include the fascinating deserts of Abu Dhabi, the labyrinthine streets and canals of Venice, the historical capital Rome and the great mountains of Norway (replacing the Austrian Alps), each location on the screen as if it were another character in the story. were different from each other.


With this country in mind, Abu Dhabi offered many possibilities for production. First, a brand new airport terminal, Midfield Terminal, was still under construction when they filmed inside, but when it opened it became the world’s largest international airport terminal. Constructed asymmetrically to reflect the sand dunes around it, the airport provided unparalleled access and a unique opportunity. The filmmakers were delighted with the exquisite location of the capital of the United Arab Emirates, the high-tech city combined with the stunning desert landscape. The UAE sands The deadly showdown served an important purpose in Part One. It was filmed at this location in 12 days in February 2021. Especially in the desert region of Liva, aka the Empty Zone. It’s not just rugged dunes, it’s also a salt plain where production designer Gary Freeman and his team built an abandoned mining town in just five weeks. This place was also the setting for the scene where Ethan Hunt crosses the desert on horseback and finds Ilsa Faust attacked by the mercenaries in his pursuit. Master director McQuarrie says: “When we decided we were going to shoot in Abu Dhabi, we started rolling down a hill. One thing led to another.” Therefore, at the same time in Abu Dhabi scenes, regardless of their order; Two Osprey V-22 Raptors (high-speed long range, cutting edge helicopter) and a pack of Spanish and Arabian horses. The helicopters were procured through Tom Cruise’s relationship with the US Department of Defense and allowed him to enter the country where he was allowed to enter the country by the UAE military, airport authorities, air traffic control. As for horses, Tom Cruise himself recreated all his scenes on a magnificent thoroughbred horse named Zeus. Cruise never used a stunt double in Ethan’s scenes on Zeus’ back, and the two bonded very well. The director calls shooting a big sandstorm scene “difficulty after difficulty”. The Special Effects team, responsible for producing the scene, was led by Neil Corbould and Keith Dawson, who used a combination of massive V8 fans and unbridled imagination that could only succeed on a Mission Impossible set. Gormley says: “The most important feature was the jet engine. I thought they were crazy, but in the end, they were right. It was indeed a jet engine in a giant forklift truck held up by concrete weights so it wouldn’t take off. It created its own sandstorm as soon as it was started and it was extremely effective in this regard.”


The cast and crew arrived in Rome on October 4, 2020, to shoot a car and a motorcycle chase through the ancient streets of the Eternal City. Director McQuarrie says: “Rome is notorious for being a compelling city to shoot with all its traffic and cobblestones. Everything that gives character to the city is also unpredictable as you try to do drifts and straps. While trying to drift in one direction, the cobblestones on the streets say, ‘No, you are going this way, not there’. Moreover, this wasn’t just any car chase. It begins with Atwell’s Grace stealing a police car and Ethan following her on her motorcycle. They experience a thrilling gunfight at Foro Imperial before they find themselves handcuffed to each other escaping in a BMW M5 Race and then attempting to co-pilot a bright yellow Fiat 500 with a modern, electric, high-performance engine. For the first time ever, the filmmakers managed to shut down the streets of Rome, including one of the city’s most famous streets, Via dei Fori Imperiali, where the crew shot for two days (some shots were taken at night, but never during the daytime for a big chasing scene). They achieved an important milestone with their style and everything was shot completely hands-on. McQuarrie says it’s a turbocharged nod to Cruise and his crew to Federico Fellini‘s La Dolce Vita.


After filming for nine days in the Italian capital, the team moved to Venice for two weeks starting October 21, 2021. The director and Cruise had wanted to shoot in the city for 14 years. But they preferred to keep the action out of the water mostly, wanting to avoid the way it was portrayed on the big screen and focused on Venice’s gothic architecture and fed on its ambiance. While the Rome scenes were shot in daylight, in Venice all of the action was shot at night, with most of the main characters at a midnight premiere at the Duke’s Palace. The former residence of the Duke of Venice (the largest official), built in 1340, is one of the most famous sights in the city. BAFTA-winning director McQuarrie says: “But we wanted to shoot in a way that had never been done before. That’s why we emphasized the importance of light and color by introducing digital projectors that make the Duke’s Palace a character in its own right. We wanted the building to feel alive rather than just a structure. Our genius head of light Martin Smith and our cinematographer Fraser Taggart have succeeded in creating an extraordinary world in which we can move very fluidly.” Says. All stunning reds and blues from the tower of St. Mark’s Basilica adorned. The filmmakers thought equally fast in the scene for which the series in question is famous when it comes to Mission’s pedestrian chase, where Cruise is chased by Agent Briggs and Agent Degas furiously through the Venetian maze. Director McQuarrie has this to say about what they can expect from Cruise’s performance on foot this time; “The atmosphere of the scene is always determined by where we shoot, rather than trying to force the atmosphere into a movie. We put the conditions we are in into the film.” A total of 55 electricians transported their materials with 20 small-load barges and carried the equipment necessary to illuminate the various locations of the pedestrian chase through the Venetian canals, working day and night, hand-carrying them to the embankment (no vehicles are allowed in the city). The chase culminated in Ponte Minich, a beautiful bridge in Sestiere Castello.


Among the filming locations, of course, is Norway, a country located in the west of the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. The production returned to the fertile Scandinavian nature that replaced Austria in the story of the Dead Reckoning Part One, where they shot the pivotal scene in Mission: Impossible Fallout, three years ago. This time the venue was much more generous. The gorgeous early autumn scenery provides the perfect backdrop for the film’s key third episode. The episode features Tom Cruise’s dizzying motorcycle jump scene and the thrilling train scene with nearly all the movie’s major characters.




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