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As usual the stakes are high in Mission: Impossible 7 but the plot, the characters and the excitement verge too much to the bland and predictable to make this a mission you’d like to accept.

Star Tom Cruise and writer-director Christopher McQuarrie famously set themselves one mission when they embark on a new Mission: Impossible film. They want to outdo anything the series has done before. While a successful strategy in the past, in Dead Reckoning, Part One, the seventh instalment, they come unstuck.

I'd forgive the team for coming up with a plot that is needlessly convoluted, cloyingly tethered to the first instalment and stretched out over a needlessly long 163 minutes. After all, that has been part of the franchise's DNA since 1996.

Less forgiving I must be for the lack of imaginative set-pieces, usually Mission: Impossible's main strength. The stunt featured prominently in the film's trailer turns out to be a bit of a damp squib, while hot on the heels of very similar sequences in Fast X and the latest Indy film a Rome car chase and a speeding train fight simply lack the novelty factor.

Worse still are the the picture's main antagonist Gabriel, a character just a twirling moustache away from a Saturday morning cartoon, and the film's lack of balance between action, humour and emotion, all of them drowned out by endless, stodgy expositional dialogue.

And then there is the continuation of the year's worst cinematic trend: all of this is merely a lead-in to Dead Reckoning, Part Two, scheduled to hit screens next year. Oh, the humanity!

release: 2023

director: Christopher McQuarrie

starring: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg


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