Why Was Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One the Biggest Disappointment of the Year?
The post-COVID-19 movie scene started with Tom Cruise singlehandedly saving the entire Hollywood from a perpetual slump through the reincarnation of his iconic 1986 Top Gun. With several movies becoming box office failures despite spellbinding performances and great storylines, it was bound to be someone’s superstardom bringing the audience back to the theatres.
This is precisely what Top Gun: Maverick achieved and in some style. However, it was not just the stardom or the franchise’s cult following that made it one of the biggest commercial, critical, and popular successes of 2022. Still, the movie had considerable substance across cinematic elements that made it a powerhouse entertainment thriller.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case with Cruise’s latest release, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. So much so, even Cruise’s and the franchise’s following could not save it from being a mere disappointment and apparent failure at the box office, famous circles, and critical forums.
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So, without further waiting, here are ten reasons why MI Dead Reckoning Part One was a massive failure:
Despite being the 7th highest-grossing film in Tom Cruise’s career, MI Dead Reckoning is a huge letdown due to an unsurmountable budget of $290M, and this does not include additional marketing spent by the studio. So, to break even, it has yet to make at least $800M at the global box office.
Poised to be the first movie to cross the billion-dollar marker, the movie failed to beat the very first Mission Impossible, which makes the movie an even bigger box office disappointment.
Wasted Marketing Expenditure
With 100M dollars’ worth of marketing spent focused solely on highlighting that this would be the last time Ethan Hunt hit the screen, it was bound to be a disaster.
Although both movies lacked substance and storytelling, the reason why Barbie’s marketing strategy was a glaring success and was not is simply that it utilized a multi-faceted strategy that focused on showcasing the diverse aspects of the movie across multiple channels that helped them connect with their primary audience.
Another reason this movie failed to make it big even with the superstardom of Tom Cruise is because Barbenheimer majorly dominated the summer of 2023. It is a cultural extravaganza that took the internet by storm upon releasing two of the most expected movies of 2023.
Heck, Tom Cruise, an avid moviegoer himself, during an interview, answered that he is going to watch both features on the same day. Talk about undermining your feature! If the latter could have been released a month before the release of these two powerhouses, things would have been unquestionably different than they are today.
Even if you get the release date, casting, and marketing wrong, one thing that can always push a movie through tough spots is good storytelling and performance. Not only did the movie lack the powerful performances of the past, but its narrative was worse than all the previous installments.
From AI-related loopholes to Gabriel murdering Dillinger, combined with the unimaginable baggage of information from the previous installments, made it a mind-numbing and baffling thriller at the same time.
Lack of Research
Have you ever heard of a sentient AI that can’t travel through a network and is trapped within a submarine? Well, say hello to the geniuses who wrote the script for MI Dead Reckoning.
To use “Key” and “Entity” to signify sentient artificial is itself a ludicrous proposition, and even to think that a key can control a sentient AI pushed the movie a million miles away from the truth.
Lack of Innovation
There is no hidden truth that producing the same plotlines and action sequences can make a franchise quite dull for the audience in the long term.
And this is precisely what happened with Dead Reckoning as Tom Cruise jumped off motorcycles from a hill is all great, but that’s not something that will compel the audience to come back to the franchise again and again.
Over-Dependence on Marquee Action Sequences
The plot only comprised action sequences, mindlessly jumping from one piece to another without building the story.
Moreover, some of the action sequences do stand out, but most of the film set pieces are run-of-the-mill at best and certainly don’t do justice to the franchise.
Diving the Movie into Two Parts
For most of the movie, the plot sequences were dragged unnecessarily so it could be produced as part of two sequel releases.
However, corporate or studio greed does not necessarily pay. We have seen this in the case of the latest installment of the Fast & Furious franchise, and the same here again.
Bad Cinema Experience & Unbearable Run Time
People went in numbers to watch the new Tom Cruise flick, and the movie did have a promising start, but as the movie progressed, the audience only squirmed in their seats, constantly waiting for the end.
This happens when you unnecessarily drag a movie in the modern age. It might have worked if the movie was released in some other decade, but not in 2023, as it simply doesn’t work for an attention-deficit audience.
When a movie is so flawed in terms of both cinematic elements and production and marketing planning, then even the fame of a star such as Cruise can’t save it from ruin.