Man on a motorcycle on a cliff

Tom Cruise from Paramount Pictures and Skydance

Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise consistently show their passion for high-octane action-adventure movies. They are in the business of giving audiences a seat-gripping, thrilling experience every time they release a Mission Impossible movie.

The 7th installment in the acclaimed spy-action franchise delves into the imminent concerns surrounding AI –– a theme anticipated to be the next cinematic trend akin to multiversal movies. While the concept of AI as a threat is not new to cinema, MI7 presents it in an eerily realistic parallel, reflecting genuine fears driven by our forever-advancing technology. Everything that Elon Musk has warned us about AI is essentially the setup in this movie. The threat of AI serves as the most formidable challenge yet for Cruise's character, Ethan Hunt, setting a heightened atmosphere of paranoia, suspense, and tension.

The movie opens with a Russian submarine in the Bering Strait, followed by a series of thrilling action sequences in the desert and Amsterdam, all filled with tons of exposition, shootouts, explosions, and fake deaths –– everything you'd expect in an MI movie –– and this is before the title card shows.

Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt and the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) team face off against an artificial intelligence known as 'the Entity,' which is omnipresent and self-aware.

Somehow, this modern threat is presented by an old-fashioned cross-shaped key divided into two parts scattered worldwide. Whoever reunites both parts, the MacGuffin will unlock and control the powerful AI weapon that, in the wrong hands, could devastate the entire world. So it's up to Tom Cruise to find the mysterious two-part key before other dangerous players get a hold of it. Of course, the entire world wants to get its hands on it first.

MI7 has a plot I would fail a pop quiz on. It gets a bit convoluted with constant switches between who holds the key, where they're heading, and who knows the truth behind the AI. And while the story does have some convenient plot developments, they don't detract from the overall nail-biting anxiety created by the action sequences.

The action is dialed up past 11 to the breaking point on the knob. It includes a handcuffed car chase featuring a Fiat 500 staggering down Rome's Spanish Steps, with screwball comedy sprinkled in between newcomer Haley Atwell and Tom Cruise.

All building to a stunning finale on a train in which Tom Cruise actually drives a motorcycle off a mountaintop, and that's only a tidbit of what comes next. Truthfully, it might be the most intense action set piece I have ever seen. You think it's over, and then seven things happen simultaneously.

The film does not solely rely on action, as Christopher McQuarrie delivers well-developed characters juxtaposed to a compelling story. Tom Cruise once again proves his dedication to delivering cinematic entertainment and visually stunning action sequences that keep us on the edge of our seats.

Other returning cast members like Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, and Rebecca Ferguson continue to deliver strong performances as in previous installments.

The stand-out character is newcomer Hayley Atwell, who plays a pick-pocketing thief, Grace, but there's more to her character as the story progresses. She has electrifying chemistry in the scenes with Cruise.

Gabriel (Esai Morales) is a 'dark messiah,' 'the Entity's chosen messenger,' and he proves to be a compelling villain, especially given his history with Ethan Hunt. Alongside him is Paris (Pom Klementieff), whose actions communicate more than her sparse dialogue.

"Mission: Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One" is an exhilarating and energetic film that delivers heart-pounding action, thrilling stunts, and clever comedy. McQuarrie's ability to blend action, suspense, and character development sets these films apart from other action franchises. I can't wait for part two, and I hope the duo goes on to make seven more Mission Impossible movies.