” What ? It’s already over ! whispers my guest without irony following the screening of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One which we attended last week.

Yes, nearly three hours later, we were begging for more. Partly because the movie that re-stars Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt ends with one of the best third acts we’ve seen in an action movie. Also, since this is the first of two parts, the plot is far from resolved.

The seventh installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise has given us the highest satisfaction and compares favorably to previous installments. From a critical point of view, it is more difficult to evaluate it, because weaker elements of the scenario could be corrected in the sequel. We think, for example, of the villain played by Esai Morales (Ozark, NYPD Blue). We will come back to it. Let’s start by summarizing what a colossal challenge the IMF (Impossible Mission Force) faces this time.

Screenwriters Christopher McQuarrie – making his third consecutive M:I – and Erik Jendresen have found an ingenious way to end the tech escalation that each new chapter brought. They have created an enemy that prevents its use. The threat of Dead Reckoning is not a man or a group, but an artificial intelligence called the Entity. Thirsty for information, it infiltrates all the computer systems of the world.

There are those who wish to control it and those who wish to destroy it. Unsurprisingly, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise, still in great shape) is in the second camp and thus has to fight against some influential people in his own country. The quest for a key, divided into two parts, is at the heart of the story. Without it, the Entity will decide the fate of humanity. When assembled, the key looks like a religious symbol. Subtle.

There are also those who “work” for the insatiable artificial intelligence. Gabriel (Esai Morales) is the human face of the Entity. Without really explaining his motivations, he eliminates those who oppose his virtual master. He and Ethan also share a dark past. Gabriel can count on a few acolytes, in particular Paris, played by Pom Klementieff (Mantis from Guardians of the Galaxy). Flamboyant like the assassins we usually see in James Bond or John Wick, Paris is an irresistible composition of the actress born in Quebec.

Without saying that they steal the show from Tom Cruise, the female protagonists of Dead Reckoning Part One burst the screen. Although this is her third film, Rebecca Ferguson’s Ilsa Faust (Dune, Silo) remains mysterious and unpredictable.

Equally fascinating is Alanna Mitsopolis, aka the White Widow, played by Vanessa Kirby (The Crown, Pieces of a Woman). This second lap in the role allows the British actress to shine more.

Finally, Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter in the Marvel Universe) plays newcomer Grace, a high-level thief. By getting her hands on one of the key halves, however, she finds herself in a situation that is beyond her, which leads to good comic moments and self-mockery.

Her lot doesn’t improve much when she slips into the passenger seat handcuffed to Ethan’s left arm behind the wheel of a tiny Fiat 500. MFI and a female character. The chemistry between the two actors operates in a beautiful way.

Punctuated by Lorne Balfe’s excellent score, Christopher McQuarrie’s work does not slow down. A few scenes, especially the explainer ones, could even be quieter.

Tom Cruise and his team surpass themselves once again when it comes to stunts. Even though the promotional video of the motorcycle jump in the void has circulated a lot, seeing the final version on the big screen – ideally in IMAX – is a whole different experience. If that’s not enough, the final scene on the train should impress even the most phlegmatic moviegoers.

It’s not just the scale of the action or the danger of the maneuvers, but how the whole thing is filmed. Many close-ups allow you to feel the emotions of the characters and help to develop the relationship between them. It is without saying a word that Tom Cruise and Hayley Atwell elevate their performance. From our seats, we watch them, holding our breath until the credits roll. Amazed, but excited, we realize we have until June 28, 2024 to catch our breath.