Christopher McQuarrie – Mission Impossible – Deadly Reckoning – Part One – Reviews

Saga of Mission impossible has always built its fascination on the constant dialogue between past and present, a past of cold wars and analog espionage that has now become aware of its inevitable anachronism in relation to time moving towards an increasingly dynamic and unpredictable future.

So it was already in the first legendary chapter Brian DePalmawhich relied on a nostalgic narrative and scenographic system, which today we would define as a predecessor, cut off from the rest of its peers of that time, but already from the second acrobatic chapter (mission impossible 2), John Woo sensed the hyperkinetic potential of his actor-producer-head-guru, where the choreographed construction of macro action sequences took precedence over the plot, which had to remain simple and simple.

He noticed JJ Abramswhich in its chapterMission Impossible 3) wanted to bring back a taste for storytelling on more central and secondary tracks, on that charm that De Palma created at the table, and on that pure 90s aesthetic and winks at Hitchcock. It was almost half a gaffe, given the DNA of a saga that has improved over the years and is therefore almost unique in a Hollywood landscape that usually drags its franchises along and produces them by inertia until inevitable collapse due to general disinterest.

Tom Cruise. A still from Mission: Impossible: The Wage of Death, Part One (2023). Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Abrams at least contributed to the resurrection of the franchise, which is already from the next chapter (Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol) made a new revolution by inserting much more irony and returning to design sequences, more and more on the edge for its protagonist. Because, first of all, Mission impossible is a physical and mental test for Tom Cruise, and at the same time – especially since Ghost Protocol and beyond – becomes an epic narrative of his public and media figure, a first-person account of an extraordinary will and productive power that is unparalleled today (next to it, we place the John Wick saga for its invented).

And only from Ghost Protocol comes on board, no wonder Christopher McQuarrie, called upon by Cruise to rewrite the script and promoted from the next chapter to full-time director-screenwriter of the saga. Never, as in the next two films of the cycle, has such a stylistic-narrative union been achieved between staging and narration, between spectacle and dialogue with the audience. Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation AND Mission Impossible – Aftermath take these concepts to the extreme by deeply transforming the image and meaning of Ethan Hunt, a reckless hero who decides to completely destroy himself in order to put himself at the service of what is no longer just a team, but a family, a vital support group in the impossibility of establishing other types of relationships ( see brackets on bankruptcy of relationship with Julia Michelle Monaghan).

That’s why the simple hug between Hunt and Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) is more authentic than all the love and sentimental relationships that the protagonist has had throughout his story, because they are built on experience, on the maturation of the character, who has now come to an agreement with myself in front of the outside world, on an awareness that immediately changed the sign of the saga.

Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson. A still from Mission: Impossible: The Wage of Death, Part One (2023). Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Here because Mission: Impossible – Paying for Death – Part One almost minimizes even the irony that has been characteristic of recent releases, in order to finally come to terms with a world that is now a mystery in the eyes of one who has seen it quickly change before his eyes, helpless and inert, like one who knows that The end is not only near, but inevitable.

McQuarrie, this time fully interested in highlighting the incongruity that is becoming more and more obvious, shows us Ethan Hunt, who is constantly late, always one step behind his enemy, who with a successive metamorphosis (from Ghost Protocol further, also going through that modern treatise that it was Top Shooter: Maverickwritten by McQuarrie himself) becomes truly invisible and intangible, indecipherable and devoid of all empathy, because it is stripped of all its humanity, moving from the cold and cynical logic of Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) to the pure probabilistic and dastardly calculation of the Entity, an icy artificial intelligence capable of exploring the human soul and predict the weaknesses of a world that has now become one with its technological counterpart.

Tom Cruise, Hayley Atwell. A still from Mission: Impossible: The Wage of Death, Part One (2023). Director: Christopher McQuarrie

It’s true that Mission: Impossible – Paying for Death – Part One suffers from the same problems of any diptych divided into two parts, i.e. a certain lengthiness aimed at the maximum possible lengthening of a discourse constructed in such a way as to extend over two films, and not just one, as a result of which in some cases it seems redundant and the creation of certain passages and pawn characters aimed at advancing the narrative (the new addition of “Grace” by Hayley Atwell and “White Widow” by Vanessa Kirby, is less of a focus here than in the past), but wonderful action sequences distributed throughout the duration (monster , 163 minutes of pure spectacular ecstasy) do their job well and keep up the pace without weighing down or offending the viewer’s concentration, this is due to the palpable physicality, the true trademark of the saga, and exploration into the ultimate gimmick that now lends itself to the marketing department with shocking naturalness.

Sean Pegg, Ving Rhames, Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson. A still from Mission: Impossible: The Wage of Death, Part One (2023). Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Possibly the Hollywood franchise that tells the real time (real and cinematic) better than any other, with Mission: Impossible – Paying for Death – Part OneMcQuarrie and Cruise are once again lucid and smart enough to feed a discourse that feeds on contemporary sentences, to rework them in a spectacular way and, why not, even break the habit of building an imaginary bridge with the past of the saga itself. (That is what Henry Czerny’s restoration of Kittridge aims at).

Everything is changing and getting more and more elusive, Ethan Hunt knows it very well and Tom Cruise knows it too, but both of them (now almost alone) are unwilling to sell what was for a future that seems as uncertain as it can be. , fraught with irreversible threats and sensationally, that in the same historical period Christopher Nolan asks exactly the same questions through his historical biopic Oppenheimer. But we’ll talk about that later…

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