Ethan Hunt and his IMF team must track down a dangerous weapon before it falls into the wrong hands.


ETHAN HUNT- It might be very sacrilegious to say this, but I think over seven films and 25 years, the character of Ethan Hunt stands shoulder to shoulder with both the Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig portrayals of James Bond. I often find that when a legendary actor plays a role for a significant amount of time, that role will become somewhat interchangeable with the identity of the legendary actor. (JASON BOURNE, JOHN WICK, JOHN McCLANE, ELLEN RIPLEY) But not with Hunt.

Since the quality of this franchise bumped up with the fourth installation, mission Impossible: ghost protocol, in 2011, Ethan Hunt has displayed far more consistent badassery than either of the James Bonds previously mentioned. This character should be mentioned with the Jason Bournes and the John Wicks. Seriously.

THE JUMP- By the time you see this in the theater, you will probably have been inundated with the image of Tom Cruise flying off of that cliff as the music drops in any of the trailers of this film. I almost wish that wasn’t the case. I almost wish that this stunt would have been a total surprise because, man… What a batshit crazy thing to do. It’s even more impressive when you realize that that wasn’t just something Tommy did once. He did that same jump like SIX MOTHERF****** TIMES FOLKS.

Because the marketing has been done so well for this film, of course, there’s more to the jump in the film than that trailer is showing you. Seeing the jump in IMAX does add a bit of an exclamation point to what you already know you’re going to see. This is the craziest stunt Cruise has ever done for this film series…

And boy, is that saying something.

ESAI MORALES- I’m absolutely convinced that the first season of the television show OZARK netted this role for Morales. If you’ve seen his work on that show, then the smooth operator and menacing type of performance that he gives here will not shock you at all. This franchise has never really been the one to give you good villains. Morales provides a kind of final boss kind of equivalent to Ethan Hunt. And that really could have been miscalculated if you didn’t get the right guy. Thank goodness they did. Significantly contributes to the greatness of this film.

SIMON PEGG- The MISSION IMPOSSIBLE films have always had a problem establishing the team around Ethan Hunt as actual characters with storylines more on that in a second). I’ve always felt that if your character can’t have a storyline in a film like this, at least let them do some entertaining stuff to prop up whatever character needs to be propped up.

Simon Pegg has never really gotten his flowers for being the audience’s voice whenever these action scenes get a little bit too wild. He’s the one with the often hilarious banter with Cruise during the big missions and greatly contributes to this franchise in that manner. Pegg is aces.


THE DEAD RECKONING DRINKING GAME- Look, I know what these MISSION IMPOSSIBLE movies are. They’re spy movies. They’re movies about individuals with expert skills in multiple duplicitous things… like pickpocketing. Pickpocketing happens here and there in MISSION IMPOSSIBLE films, but this was where it flat-out became a plot device.

The drinking game to be had with this film (should you choose to accept it) is to take a shot every time somebody gets pickpocketed. Understand that it happens so often in this movie that at some point in the third act, you may find that it becomes predictable whenever characters are within hugging range that their pockets are going to be picked. And you will be sloshed whilst coming to that conclusion.


WASTED TALENT??- Hayley Atwell is in this movie. She is a new addition to this cast, and she’s extremely good. It’s important to note that she is a definite highlight of this film…. Because she is in it A LOT. I would go as far as to comfortably say that she is the second main character of this particular film, and that just seems kind of weird to me. It seems weird because some individuals have been a part of this franchise for a long time and don’t have a quarter of the screen time and have never gotten the type of storyline.

I understand in the case of Rebecca Ferguson given the fact that she’s filming DUNE: PART TWO, and she’s got SILO on Apple TV. She may have been cut for time. But what about Ving Rhames? He has been here since the original in 96, and I know nothing more about this character than I did when he first debuted.


The first three MISSION IMPOSSIBLE movies are mediocre at best and in some cases, absolute trash (looking at you MI:3). However, since 2011, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE has become what I like to call a caviar-class action franchise. The previous entry of this franchise mission impossible: fallout, is one of the very great action films of the entire 2010s, and even though this movie is not as great as that film was, there will be very, very, few action films of this caliber that will match the inventiveness of the action sequences and the overall charisma of the leading star and supporting cast. Cruise once said he’d like to play Ethan Hunt as long as possible. We should all be grateful for that.


Eli Brumfield

Eli Brumfield in an actor/screenwriter from Seattle Washington, living in Los Angeles.

He is the host of the RV8 Podcast.

He hates the word cinefile, but considering how many films he consumes in a week...and how many films he goes out of his way to see, no matter the genre...he kinda seems to be one.

Latest from Eli Brumfield


PREMISE The insane true story of everyday people who flipped the script on Wall Street and…



July 2023 is really bringing back the summer blockbuster! We kicked off the month with INDIANA JONES 5, this week is the 7th MISSION IMPOSSIBLE movie, and next week we’re treated to two big releases, BARBIE and OPPENHEIMER, or as meme culture has named it, BARBIEHEIMER. While Harrison Ford got us going earlier this month, Tom Cruise kicks it into high gear, and the action never lets up for 2 hours and 43 minutes. DEAD RECKONING PART ONE blends many of the best parts of previous MI films with a very relevant technology-centric plot that is more terrifying than any of Ethan Hunt’s previous missions. 

First, I want to get what I didn’t like about the film out of the way. It’s too long. Not everything needs to be 3 hours long. This is my critique of movies in general lately. There’s a better 2-hour movie here, but this is a bit full of itself. Every MI movie has had many twists and turns revolving around who is and who is not to be trusted: Who’s on Ethan’s side, who’s a mole, and who is just out for themselves. DEAD RECKONING PART ONE is like that x 1000. Every twist is more convoluted than the last, and A LOT of exposition is going on. At the same time, the action hardly stops for a breather. Ethan and his team are racing here, there, and everywhere to save the world. At the same time, simultaneously, one character explains what they’ve figured out so far to another character, and then to another, and another, etc. Someone on my socials joked that every scene features someone saying, “Now let me get this straight…” and they’re not wrong. The developing plot gets harder to follow as the movie races at a breakneck speed. Don’t blink; you might miss something.

This installment is funnier than previous ones, but some humor distracts from everything else happening on screen. The MISSION IMPOSSIBLE movies got lighter the more Simon Pegg (Benji) was part of them, starting with GHOST PROTOCOL. Yes, he’s in #3 a bit too, but that film includes Philip Seymour Hoffman’s absolutely commanding turn as the antagonist, and there’s just not much time for laughs. I love it when movies like this add some jesting and levity between the action and plot twists, but MI:7 has a little too much. As I mentioned earlier, the film is bloated, and cutting out a few jokes would have helped par it down to a more digestible length. 

Ok, let’s get on to what I loved about it because that’s everything else. The cast is bigger than ever, and everyone is incredible. It’s always great to get Ethan, Benji, Luther (Ving Rhames), and Ilsa (Rebecca Ferguson) back together again, but this time around, we’ve also added Hayley Atwell (AGENT CARTER, CAPTAIN AMERICA), Pom Klementieff (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY), and Esai Morales (OZARK, NYPD BLUE) in major roles. Henry Czerny, aka Kittridge, returns from the original MISSION IMPOSSIBLE movie. At the same time, familiar faces Cary Elwes, Indira Varma, and Mark Gatiss show up as government suits who may or may not have Ethan Hunt’s back. Everyone gives a hell of a performance, but I really wish they’d given more to Pom Klementieff. She’s a literal ass-kicking presence here but doesn’t get a ton of dialogue. Tom Cruise has never been more committed to a role – maybe not since MAGNOLIA. And while I’m sure he gives it 110% in every film he does, he just IS Ethan Hunt. His stunt duties here are on overtime as he runs, drives, flies, jumps, and crashes – and lives to do it another day.  

Two new cast members deserve special recognition. To start, Hayley Atwell as Grace. Since first seeing her in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER, I’ve loved her. She’s done both MCU-centric films and TV shows since, but she hasn’t quite broken through to that “A-List movie star” status yet. If DEAD RECKONING doesn’t bring her in, the world is more cold & heartless than I give it credit for. She steals almost every scene she’s in, and when paired with Cruise’s dominating presence, that says a lot. Second to Esai Morales as Gabriel. Morales has had a long career spanning theatre, TV & film, but we haven’t yet seen him in a role like this. Gabriel is Hunt’s true equal. Even Morales and Cruise are the same age in real life – their portrayals here feel like two sides of the same coin. I walked out saying to myself, “damn, Morales is fucking incredible; why hasn’t he been getting the types of roles Cruise has his whole life?” 

DEAD RECKONING PART ONE is packed with so many impressive stunt sequences that I have no idea how they’ll one-up it in PART TWO. The first 6 MISSION IMPOSSIBLE movies have got Cruise in one or two big stunt sequences. This film has a lot of them, each one more wild than the one before. Composer Lorne Balf returns from MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT and delivers his strongest score yet. The music drives the pace, and the pace is always 100mph. Last but certainly not least is director Christopher McQuarrie who has really found his sweet spot in the MI world, directing and co-writing films 5-8. I’ve been a big fan of McQuarrie’s since THE USUAL SUSPECTS won him the Original Screenplay Oscar almost 30 years ago. The MISSION IMPOSSIBLE series can be broken down into two parts. There’s the original trilogy, and then there’s 4-8, which feel like a separate but related series. McQuarrie knows these characters and stories better than anyone, maybe even better than Tom Cruise. There’s a real natural flow to what he’s brought to the franchise, and I’m really happy they’re having him close it out.

Don’t drink too much before this movie starts. There’s not a moment to miss in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – DEAD RECKONING PARTY ONE, now playing exclusively in theatres. 

Jami Losurdo

When not writing film and tv reviews, Jami is expanding her collection of colorful sunglasses, lifting weights, and working her day job as a Digital Advertising Director. An alumnus of NYU Tisch for Film/TV, Jami made Los Angeles her home in the early 2000s and continues her quest to find the very BEST tacos of all time.

Latest from Jami Losurdo


THE CREATOR borrows heavily from the films that inspired it: BLADE RUNNER, THE TERMINATOR, DISTRICT 9,…