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"Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One" doesn't bode well for "Part Two."
With more plot holes than a colander, "Dead Reckoning" blows its bloated budget with a seemingly AI generated script that constantly repeats itself, as if to put a fine point on its manifold shortcomings.
Spectacle replaces storytelling.
This film's budget could have fed the people of Nicaragua for a couple of years.
So much for Nicaragua.
An extended pre-credit submarine sequence lays the groundwork for a silly McGuffin involving a pair of fancy keys that, when locked together, enable entry to an advanced AI system that threatens to take control of all humanity before you can sneeze.
Tricky mask disguises pulled from the original '60s era television series, that gave the movie franchise its basis, make for some fun character reversals.
Entertaining too are good old fashioned suspense sequences involving car chases, and a speeding Orient Express train that experiences serious problems with gravity involving a missing bridge.
Watch out for falling pianos.
Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt doesn't interact in person with his team much. He's too busy running a maze of plot points that necessarily involve jumping, flying, and falling.
"Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One" is a fine excuse to sit in an air conditioned movie theater for a few hours in the midst of summer, but it's not as good as any of the franchise's predecessors.
Hopefully, the filmmakers have already shot part two of "Dead Reckoning" because Tom Cruise doesn't look like he'll have enough gas in the tank for anymore additions to this flailing spy thriller franchise.
Baked, battered, and fried; stick a fork in it. It's all uphill from here.
Rated PG-13. 163 mins.