Summer Blockbuster: Mission Impossible?

Summer Blockbuster: Mission Impossible? July 13, 2023

Good morning, Mr. Cruise.

The summer 2023 box office blockbusters with a few exceptions have been lacking in audience appeal. Several franchisee tentpole movies have faded and fizzled with movie goers. With the continuing writers strike going on in Hollywood, film lovers going to the cinema for summer escapist entertainment is dwindling causing financial setbacks for the major movie companies.

Your mission, Tom, should you decide to accept it, is to make another Big Blockbuster as you did with Top Gun: Maverick and save Hollywood.  As always, should you or any of your film crew make another dud that loses money the studio will disavow any knowledge of your movie making. This film reflection will begin in five minutes and 55 seconds. Good luck, Tom.

The original Mission Impossible TV series premiered in 1966, the same year Adam West’s Batman landed in cinemas and lasted till 1973 when I was 2 years old with 171 episodes. In 1988 the show was revised lasting till the year I graduated High School in 1990 with 35 more episodes. 6 years later in 1996 when I had returned home from living in California, Mission Impossible went where many TV shows had gone before, to the big screen.

When I saw the first film in the franchise I remember hating it. MI was about a covert team that got in and out of a impossible situation without anyone being the wiser that they were actually there to perform some sort of espionage. They worked together as a team and there was not one central character that the show revolved around. The movie centered around Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt and the plot was predictable and cliché. MI2 and MI3 were letdowns as well. It wasn’t until 2011’s MI #4 that it started to get good. Really good. This film review changed my opinion of the franchise.

Brad Bird’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is so preposterously entertaining that it makes watching other recent Hollywood action spectacles feel like work. What in the last few years even compares to it? With the lone exception of the latest mega-blockbuster from one of Hollywood’s canniest veteran filmmakers—James Cameron’s Avatar—I can’t think of another recent action spectacle that looks so good or that handles action so well
Deacon Steven D. Greydanus-Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011) – Decent Films

Now 57 years after the original TV show premiered and  27 years after the first film was released and 12 years after the first good MI film we have come to MI # 7 or Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One  released during the very lackluster 2023 summer blockbuster movie season.

So How Does MI7 Compare To Other Summer Movies?

Just like Elemental brings the personas of Water and Fire together in a believable sweet romance, MI7 brings the fire of Tom Cruise and others grand acting personas with the cool non-watered down script writing of some of the writers of the original Mission Impossible TV series, other MI movies and other Tom Cruise feature films including Edge of Tomorrow and Top Gun: Maverick. Like Dreamworks Ruby Gillman, Paramount Pictures has released their summer Kraken at the theaters.

Like The Little Mermaid, you want to be a Part of That World MI takes place in. It also starts Under the Sea with a submarine being sunk by a rogue Artificial Intelligence that has become sentient. Pending copyright, a terminator crossover is potentially set up or possibly the Matrix, both with A.I. that feel threatened by humans. Tom Cruise’s Ethan goes up against an A.I. much like Betty Gilpin’s Sister Simone goes up against A.I. in Mrs. Davis. MI7 has considerably less profanity and vulgarity and no blasphemy but no cool nuns and the A.I. in Mrs. Davis, also named Mrs. Davis, has a  personality. But Grace can do sleight of hand just as well as Sister Simone who is a former magician which is very useful for propelling the action along.

The macguffin in MI7 are two parts of a  key that when combined unlocks the secrets to controlling the rogue A.I.. Hunt and crew spend the movie trying to find it.  Whoever controls the A.I. controls the world. The A.I. will invade the world  undetected like the Skrulls will invade world undetected in Secret Wars.  The macguffin in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny are two parts of a device that will detect time fissures, allowing for possible time travel. The Nazi’s want to find this device, go back in time to assassinate an certain individual which will allow them to win WW2. Jones and crew spend the movie trying to find it. The macguffin in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts are two parts of a key called the  Transwarp Key, which can open portals through space and time. Whoever controls the device can go to any part of the universe it wants. The good guy Transformers known as the Autobots and their human companions spend the movie trying to find it.

Indiana Jones # 5 has the advantage of having its hero have a cool iconic look with the hat, leather jacket, and whip. MI7 has the advantage being in a better paced and more enjoyable film. Part of the reason probably is due to the fact that the main protagonist is bursting with enthusiastic fervor and not being a washed up grumpy older action hero who is separated from his wife whom he married in the last film and who also drinks too much.

Both films have awesome movie themes that play just at the right time.

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 has Pom Klementieff reprising her role as the empathic alien Mantis. Well MI7 has her as well. She plays a tough kickass chic named Paris who hunts Ethan Hunt through the streets of Rome, chasing his little MI yellow Fiat with her big bad armored Humvee-like SUV. Ethan is handcuffed to Hayley Atwell’s (Marvel’s Peggy Carter) professional burglar Grace the whole chase, upping the danger.  The are also being chased by American government agents sent to capture Ethan and the very competent grand Rome police force.

The Fiat gets stuck in a subway with a speeding train hurling towards it.
Indiana rides a horse into a subway trying to avoid some Nazis.
Ethan rides a horse into a sandstorm.

While Ethan and Grace are trying to avoid Paris in Rome, another franchise utilizes the ancient city for another fast paced car chase in Fast X. Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his gang of Fast and Furious drivers try to stir a big metal bomb ball away from the public while racing through the streets of Rome. The bomb was released by a villain named Dante played by Aquaman’s Jason Momoa. Little did the crafty Romans know that one day their city was to be used for big action set pieces in a medium that captured the beauty of their city on a IMAX size screen. Indiana Jones meanwhile, has a car chase in In tangier in a tuk-tuk.

Ethan Hunt is like Batman in that he has cool gadgets and even though he is older still can kick butt.
Ethan Hunt is like Supergirl in that he seems indestructible and can fly through the air.
Ethan Hunt is like the Flash in that he can run. Or in reality it is Tom Cruise who can run. Perhaps faster then the Flash.
Ethan Hunt is like Spider-Man in that he has cool masks that hide his identity and can cling spider-like to moving trains.

He has a fight with the main villain on top of a moving train at high speeds towards a blown out bridge.
Indiana Jones has a fight with the main villain on top of a moving train at high speeds with Nazis on board towards a blown out bridge.
Although Indiana gets to punch Nazis and has to escape a train full of them, MI7 has the overall better train fight sequence. Trying to escape different train cars before they fall off a bridge provides one of the best finales in any recent movie.

Although Tom Cruise has ties to a weird religion, Scientology, his films are top notch non-weird entertainment. Jim Caviezel (Jesus in the Passion of the Christ) who plays the real life Tim Ballard in Sound of Reason has made a very good movie that is getting rave reviews from audiences and critics alike about the serious issue of child sex trafficking. You can enjoy the movie for what it is while distancing yourself from Caviezel’s Q’Anon conspiracy views  about celebrates harvesting a chemical called  Adrenochrome that he says is caused by torturing kids.


MI7 has everything all the other blockbusters have. Car chases through Rome, finding 2 halves of a key, sentient A.I. and fights on trains. At film #7 Tom Cruise has delivered  another satisfying entry into a franchise that doesn’t seem to be wearing down like Indiana Jones and the Fast and the Furious. Like Spider-Man it continues to weave a web of creative energy and is fun like Guardians of the Galaxy. And Dead Reckoning Part 2 should be out next year, along with Across the Spider Verse Part 2, providing they both survive the writers strike.

Mission Impossible 7 in terms of delivering  good popcorn summer movie fun…

Mission Accomplished.

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