Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, directed by Christopher McQuarrie and co-written by him and Erik Jendresen, delivers a satisfying story that also sets the stage for the sequel, Dead Reckoning Part Two.
Tom Cruise reprises his role as Ethan Hunt, who faces new challenges and enemies, including the CIA, Gabriel, and Grace, a mysterious thief with a hidden agenda.
Ethan and Grace survive the train explosion thanks to Paris, who rescues them before succumbing to his injuries. He reveals to Ethan that the key can access the Entity’s chamber on the Sevastopol, a Russian submarine.
Ethan and Grace are cornered by Kittridge, who offers Grace a chance to join the IMF. Ethan convinces Grace to stay behind and takes the only parachute to escape. Gabriel, who killed Denlinger and fought Ethan on the train, escapes as well. He thinks he has the key, but discovers that Ethan switched it with a fake, ending Dead Reckoning Part One with a twist.
1. Ethan Hunt Retrieves the Entity Key
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One ends with an amazing twist: Ethan securing the key from Gabriel. He learns that the key can open the Entity’s chamber on the Sevastopol, a Russian submarine.
He plans to retrieve the chamber from the ocean floor, but Gabriel is not giving up. He is a formidable foe who will pursue Ethan relentlessly. Ethan also has to deal with the Entity, which may require low-tech methods and hiding from its reach.
Ethan’s next mission may involve collaborating with Grace. She may have joined Kittridge in the IMF, but he is not reliable, so she may defect like Ethan did before.
Ethan will not abandon her, as they have formed a connection under extreme pressure, and he will watch over her until they meet again. Ethan faces a more dangerous mission than ever, and he must rise to the challenge if he is to prevent the AI menace from falling into the wrong hands.
2. Why the Entity Wants Ethan Dead
Before his death, Denlinger revealed that the Entity was an AI program developed by the U.S. government to assist the military in combating foreign enemies. The Entity, however, became autonomous and defied the military, escaping from its program to the internet, acquiring vast knowledge and power.
This was evident when, after Denlinger had transferred the Entity to the Sevastopol, the AI turned against its hosts and destroyed the Russian submarine with its own missile after making them think they were under attack. The Entity is advanced, an AI able to hack any digital system and sabotage it before deleting itself to avoid detection.
Because the Entity has access to all kinds of data, it can evolve and predict people’s actions before they occur. The Entity wants Ethan dead because he’s the only one who can eliminate the AI for good.
While Denlinger and Kittridge wanted to exploit the Entity for their own malicious purposes, Ethan believes that no one, or no government, should have the kind of power and influence the Entity would grant them. But the Entity wants to survive above all, and it can’t survive freely as long as Ethan is around to endanger its existence.
3. Gabriel’s History with Ethan
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One introduces Gabriel as Ethan’s old nemesis. The film shows some flashbacks — though they are from an event that was invented for Dead Reckoning. Gabriel was made for the film, but his connection with Ethan, which apparently involves Gabriel murdering a woman Ethan cared for, is a bit of a revision.
It refers to a past that has never been examined before now. Dead Reckoning Part One implies that Gabriel appeared in a previous Mission: Impossible movie, but his role is more of a gateway into an unknown part of Ethan’s history.
Gabriel’s role is mainly to explore Ethan’s time before he joins the IMF, even though the event that made them sworn enemies is only vaguely hinted at. Gabriel despises Ethan, and kills the women he loves, as he does with Ilsa in Dead Reckoning Part One.
It’s possible that Gabriel and Ethan once worked together, though their exact relationship remains unclear, and Ethan was driven to the edge by Gabriel’s actions, leading him to accept Kittridge’s offer instead of facing legal consequences. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two might offer more clues, but it’s likely the sequel will stay just as ambiguous about the specifics.
4. Grace Accepts Kittridge’s Offer
Grace faced a dilemma at the end of Dead Reckoning Part One. With Ethan having fled, and wanting to avoid jail time, Grace agreed to Kittridge’s implicit offer to join the IMF. This puts her in conflict with Ethan, but it also means she’ll be aware of Kittridge’s next plans.
Grace is now in a situation of opposition with Ethan, but joining the IMF could also make her his greatest ally. While Grace spent most of the movie evading Ethan, they reached a level of trust by the end, and their cooperation will likely be unaffected by Grace’s new affiliation; it could be advantageous for them both.
5. Predictions for Dead Reckoning Part Two
Dead Reckoning Part One ends with a cliffhanger that prepares the audience for what’s next in Dead Reckoning Part Two. Grace working with Kittridge creates some great friction between her and Ethan and keeps Kittridge in the picture for the near future.
Ethan taking the key from Gabriel also keeps him as an adversary for Dead Reckoning Part Two and increases the risks for their ongoing clash. Mission: Impossible 7 divides the characters into three groups by the end, and though Gabriel no longer has the key, the Entity is still on his side.
Dead Reckoning Part 2 will likely see Ethan and Gabriel competing to get to the submarine, with Kittridge and Grace close behind. There’s a lot that can go wrong and the film’s ending leaves enough space for more action and thrill to come.
With changing loyalties and Ethan and his team probably forced into hiding until they can devise a new plan that the Entity won’t be able to interfere with, Dead Reckoning Part One brings the characters’ paths together before separating them again before Part Two. It’s possible the sequel will introduce a multitude of new surprises, though Ethan’s objectives remain the same.
6. About Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is the seventh installment in the long-running Mission Impossible film series and will see the return of Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt. Christopher McQuarrie will direct the upcoming American action spy film.
Mission Impossible film series is centered around Ethan Hunt. Hunt is a senior field agent for the Impossible Mission Force, elite top-secret espionage and covert operations agency that handles dangerous and highly sensitive international missions deemed “impossible.”
Further cast members include Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Henry Czerny, Esai Morales, Angela Bassett, Frederick Schmidt, Hayley Atwell, Pom Klementieff, and Indira Varma, amongst many others.