Cinematic Considerations: Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One

Plot: “Ethan Hunt and his IMF team must track down a dangerous weapon before it falls into the wrong hands.” -IMDB 

We have talked about artificial intelligence for decades, but it seemed like a far-fetched idea that wouldn’t come true in my lifetime.. When news of Chat GPT first broke, I made every attempt to approach this new technology rationally and with curiosity. I suspended judgment until I could spend some time with it.  

I approached, hoping it could help me do my job better and make me a better writer. As a communications professional, I must admit it still makes me nervous. I am fearful of the change it will unleash. A new concept has emerged that could impact our economy, how we interact with information, and international relations.. With these thoughts, the latest iteration of the Mission: Impossible franchise gives us a terrifying glimpse into our future and yet one more AI challenge to consider.  

Dead Reckoning Part One raises the stakes to impossible heights. Ethan Hunt and his team must pursue a key that unlocks an AI system called “The Entity.” Possessing the power to attack truth, mislead governments, and give enormous power to whoever holds it, we quickly understand that no one person or nation should have this sort of power. Of course, any bad actor or state wielding such a device could hold a power not seen since the Manhattan Project. For Ethan (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team, this means an all-out pursuit for the key and The Entity.  

With a simple mission before us, a massive chase unfolds for a woman in possession of one half of the key. Through the streets of Venice and onboard a runaway train, Tom Cruise performs death-defying stunts coupled with some of the best cinematography I have ever witnessed in an action movie. The pace, speed, violence, and sheer bravery of these scenes only heighten the need to reach the key first.  

Beyond the stunts and cinematography, this film also excels as a genuine spy thriller. You will encounter misdirection, betrayal, and scenes that make you second-guess around every corner of this movie. As Ethan gets closer to bringing the two halves of the key together near the film’s end, this sort of work pays dividends (which, of course, is not something I will spoil).  

As the credits rolled on this film, I found myself in shock. After seven films, this franchise still delivers. The stunts feel bigger. The stakes feel loftier. The threat feels more aware of our worst fears. As I exited the theater, I felt in awe of the moment. None of us know where artificial intelligence will lead society. It is a tool, and like all tools, there are unintended consequences. This tool will improve lives. People will lose jobs and bad actors will pursue power blind to those they hurt. If this movie wants us to reflect on potential harm, then I think it successfully fulfills its purpose..  

Be good to each other,  


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