With a trailer that’s been out in the world for almost a year now, expectations couldn’t be any higher for Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. Except they can go higher, now that Paramount’s screened 20 minutes of breathtaking footage at CinemaCon 2023.
It’s unclear where this scene happens in the movie, but it all starts with Hayley Atwell’s character. She’s been arrested in Rome, where she’s accused of multiple crimes in multiple countries with multiple identities. She claims it’s not her, despite all of the passports with her photo on them in her purse — and the man interrogating her doesn’t believe her. The phone rings and, apparently, her lawyer is there. She’s surprised by this but she goes with it, as we see multiple groups of people pull up to the building outside, including an ominions-looking group led by Pom Klementieff and another led by Shea Whigham.
A man, played by Esai Morales, comes in looking for Atwell. Apparently, she stole some kind of key and this man thinks the officer stole it for himself. He thinks this because Morales’ character knows everything about everyone and runs down a list of reasons and places this key could be. The officer is terrified, especially when Morales’ character stabs him through the hand.
Atwell’s character goes to meet her “lawyer” who is… Ethan Hunt, played by Tom Cruise. Ethan explains that he wants this key too and he knows where she hid it, in the pocket of a man she was flirting with on a plane, which we see in flashback. Ethan goes on to talk all about Atwell’s past and quickly she realises he’s not a man to be messed with.
Ethan says he’ll get her out of there if she tells him everything about who hired her to steal the key. She says she doesn’t know who it was because they always talked over text, except one time when a person gave her a plane ticket and a photo of Ethan. She had to follow him. This is new info for Ethan, as is the fact she tells him people who were also tailing him at the airport are here in the building. You could have told me sooner, Ethan says.
They begin to make a run for it but Atwell escapes and jumps into a cop car outside. Ethan gets on a motorcycle — and one of the wildest chase sequences you will ever see has just begun. Eventually, after crashing through a lot of Vespas parked all over, a car we saw briefly before smashes into the BMW. It’s Klementieff ’s character, driving a massive Hummer. The crash deploys Atwell’s airbag and knocks her out. As she starts to regain consciousness the movie goes into slow motion for a second as we’re in her POV. A motorcycle flies past her car and crashes into a bunch of men as Ethan beats up another to get to Atwell. At this moment, Whigham’s group catches up to them and begs Ethan to just give up and cuff himself.
A gunfight ensues, including a moment where Whigham’s character could shoot Ethan, but doesn’t. Atwell’s character tries to escape but realises that Ethan has used the handcuffs to cuff himself to her. The problem is, it’s her right hand and his left hand so she has to drive. So they jump into a BMW now and the chase continues, with Ethan doing all the shifting and emergency breaking while Atwell does her best to steer and use the pedals.
This doesn’t go well and they keep crash. Eventaully, she says that Ethan should drive, so they switch but now he’s driving crossed body which is obviously not very easy. The chase continues, now involving the Italian police, Whigham’s group, and Klementieff’s group. Ethan realises they need to get rid of this car, so when they get clear for a second, they stash it. He opens up an app and clicks “Safe Car” and it provides a map.
There’s a long line of awesome looking cars — and in the middle is a tiny, old yellow Fiat. This is the safe car. So they get in and there are all manner of James Bond-esque gadgets, only Ethan isn’t sure what each of them do. He fiddles around and, finally, starts to figure it out. Meanwhile, a traffic cam spots them and Klementieff is alerted to their location. Yup, you guessed it: the chase continues.
Klementieff catches up to them in her Hummer and smashes into them from the side. This puts them at the top of a very long, elaborate staircase filled with people. They have no choice. They start driving down the staircase with the Hummer in pursuit. People are running, jumping, and in the chaos the car flips on its side and tumbles sidesways down the last few flights of stairs as Ethan and Atwell fly around inside. When they finally land, somehow, Atwell finds herself in the drivers seat.
This, again, poses a problem because they have a small window of time to put some distance between them and Klementieff — but Atwell doesn’t know how to drive this car and she just keeps going in circles, which is oddly comical. By the time she figures it out, the Hummer is right on their arse again, and each time Ethan says to go one way, Atwell goes another. A few more twists and turns take the chase outside the Colosseum — and just when they think they’ve lost everyone, the police have them blocked in. Behind them? The Hummer. Ethan and Atwell look at each other, nod, and begin to go backwards at full speed. This makes Klementieff very happy as she speeds up to ram them and… the footage ended there.
It’s a breathtaking sequence, so filled with visceral effects and stunts that it’s incredible this is a scene from somewhere in the middle of the movie and not the big showstopper. In any other franchise, this is the showstopper. But not Mission: Impossible.
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