Will Tom Cruise ever stop never stopping? We’re going on four decades of the actor being one of the most omnipresent leading men in Hollywood history, yet he appears to be in the midst of yet another Renaissance. It started out with Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018). That movie capitalized on the goodwill set forth by the 4th and 5th entries in the M:I series, producing franchise highs for critical acclaim and audience adulation. However, Cruise would follow that up with one of the defining movies of his career, one that was desperately held from release throughout the chaos of the pandemic. That being Top Gun: Maverick, one of the greatest blockbusters ever and a contender for best film in Tom Cruise’s filmography. The rapturous response to such a well-earned achievement seemed to re-coronate Cruise as the face of popular entertainment.

Top Gun’s unquestioned greatness almost makes you forget that – hey, there’s another marquee franchise in the actor’s back pocket. The next two M:I films, taking cues from the likes of The Matrix, Harry Potter, and The Avengers, will be one story split into two films. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One (at least we’re not in the “Age” of something, and nothing will “Rise”) will be our gateway into that story, one which could set up a concluding chapter for IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Cruise). So, let’s see how Ethan Hunt goes about tempting death this time around:


So much running, wow. Anyway, the trailer provides the bare bones of the plot of the movie. However, Mission: Impossible is a series where fans can typically drop in without being an expert on all previous installments. Just as long as you remember the franchise’s favorite plot device, which is that Ethan Hunt will be betrayed by his agency, by his government, by whatever organization of authority he puts his trust in. In response, Hunt typically finds refuge in a small group of skilled and good-hearted people, a found family of sorts that are worth Hunt’s trust. The franchise sends the message that you should always value personal relationships over entities. This has been a developing edict since the very first movie, which has seen the likes of Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, and Rebecca Ferguson establish themselves as the unsung heroes of the entire enterprise.

Even so, the draw of the film continues to be Cruise and his ongoing hot streak, as well as his propensity to put himself in harm’s way FOR THE SAKE OF ENTERTAINMENT; I never want to see the insurance costs for this film. That idea is driven home by a spectacular IMAX featurette that delves into the stunt of Ethan Hunt driving the motorcycle off the edge of a cliff. The clip takes the audience on the journey of the trial & error needed to perfect this death-defying leap:

What a crazy video. For starters, they have someone recording how many times Cruise skydives or hits a motorcycle jump. I want that job! It’s also nuts that Cruise’s takeaway from this entire ordeal is that he can hold on to the bike just a little bit longer. Sir, please call it a day while you’re still alive in one piece. No matter how awesome your TV setup is, it doesn’t quite beat the immersion of seeing this featurette on an IMAX screen. When the camera goes over the cliff, it’s like you’re in an actual helicopter. That’s ultimately what Tom Cruise wants – to maintain how uniquely engrossing the theater experience can be. Many directors continue to push towards that goal, but Cruise is the actor that is most instrumental in maintaining that overwhelming experience. In many ways, this movie isn’t just a sequel to the Mission: Impossible franchise, but also a spiritual sequel to Top Gun: Maverick. Another test to see if Tom Cruise can do it again. Can he stick the epic landing for the sake of entertainment?

Tom Cruise’s high-wire act continues when Mission: Impossible – Dea… I’m not saying the rest; it hits theaters on July 14th, 2023.