(Paris) Stunt fans will be thrilled with the seventh Mission: Impossible, in theaters Wednesday, in which Tom Cruise wets his shirt against an out-of-control artificial intelligence.

Some 27 years after the first film, Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning, filmed around the world, is the first of the saga to be released in two “chapters”: the first Wednesday, and the other, already filmed, the summer next.

The first part alone has a record duration of 2:43 hours, confirming a trend of inflation in major American productions, such as recently John Wick: Chapter 4 and its 2:50 hours or Avatar: the Way of the Water , which easily passed the 3 hour mark.

To the credit of M: I 7, the absence of dead time: from the canals of Venice to the summits of the mountains, via Rome and Abu Dhabi, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) connects chases (including one in a Fiat 500 electric) and waterfalls. And confronts, a sign of the times, an artificial intelligence that has become out of control to the point of threatening humanity.

A fan of stunts performed himself and if possible without special effects, the 61-year-old actor takes obvious pleasure with one of the riskiest sequences he has ever shot: a motorcycle jump from a 1200-meter high cliff , free fall then parachute opening 150 meters above the ground. Cruise will ask to do seven takes.

In the film, Ethan Hunt is surrounded by his usual team, hacker Luther (Ving Rhames) and his accomplice Benji (Simon Pegg), joined by a newcomer, Grace.

“I trained for five months before I even started filming,” the actress who plays him, Hayley Atwell, explained in an interview with AFP. “I remember a scene where we were on a train, upright.”

The climax of the film, the scene is shot in a steam train on a vertiginous viaduct, which has just partially collapsed. Ethan Hunt and Grace cling to the last wagon, suspended above the void.

“We had to go from a train car in a horizontal position to an upright position in six seconds. I think we must have done it five or six times. And it had to be done again,” she says, explaining that, exhausted, she could only get through the scene when Tom Cruise offered her…chocolate!

“I’ve known Tom for 17 years, and I don’t think I can do what he does. He trains so hard, he literally risks his life” for his films, Simon Pegg told AFP. Not to mention the COVID-19 pandemic, which greatly disrupted the production of Dead Reckoning.

Will it be worth it at the box office? The Mission: Impossible franchise is one of the most lucrative of the 7th art, which claims more than 3.5 billion dollars in revenue since the first installment, in 1996, directed by Brian de Palma.

In France, each episode attracts between two and four million spectators in theaters, and has experienced a resurgence in attendance since director Christopher McQuarrie, an accomplice of Tom Cruise with whom he also officiated last year, in the script, on Top Gun: Maverick, took over the controls.