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Review of ‘Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One’ Limited Edition SteelBook 4K Ultra HD Movie

The actor who has been dedicated to the cinema for almost three decades continues with the latest sequel of the franchise, which goes from being a marginal blockbuster to ultra-high definition theaters. The movie is packed in a three-disc set, specially designed to impress fans of Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One, Limited Edition SteelBook (Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment, rated PG-13, 2.39:1 aspect ratio, 163 minutes, $44.99).

Once again, Tom Cruise returned as super-agent Ethan Hunt of the Impossible Mission Force (IMF) and performed many of the movie’s death-defying stunts. This time, the mission is to find the keys to stop a sentient computer program that has evolved into a self-aware entity threatening to control humanity.

Ethan joins forces with his team members and tech specialists Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) and Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), as well as the thief Grace (Hayley Atwell). Together, they battle against the entity’s chosen avatar, assassin Gabriel (Esai Morales), who used to be a nemesis of Ethan before joining the IMF.

As the conspiracy to steal the keys unfolds, Ethan travels to various locations around the world, delivering director Christopher McQuarrie’s patented action scenes such as a car chase on the streets of Rome (in a tiny yellow Fiat 500); a ride atop the Orient Express with close quarters combat in the Austrian Alps; a claustrophobic alleyway brawl; and a skydiving cliff jump from a motorcycle.

However, a major flaw of this usually nail-biting action film is its lack of resolution, as the title suggests. Audiences will have to wait until 2025 for answers.

Additionally, the longer run time required a few too many extended dialogue scenes that disrupted the roller coaster-style pacing that one usually expects in a “Mission Impossible” film.

4K in action: The stunning visual presentation in 2160p takes viewers around the world, with eye-popping colors and detail. However, there is a slight disappointment in the lack of IMAX-sized, screen-filling moments tied to the bigger action scenes, with the widescreen aspect ratio remaining throughout.

Most importantly, the 4K and Blu-ray disc offers an optional commentary track with Mr. McQuarrie and editor Eddie Hamilton, offering a detailed breakdown of the film. The second Blu-ray disc includes seven featurettes briefly covering various scenes and behind-the-scenes aspects of the movie.

The steel packaging is elegant and striking, featuring a glossy slightly orangish-red background both inside and out with black lettering and grey-and-black illustrations of the hero in action. The front features the movie title dangling in midair with a train car bursting from it and Ethan Hunt hanging on to its outer rail. The back features Ethan skydiving above a mountain range with his motorcycle falling to its doom.

Remove the discs inside to find a larger image of Ethan clutching the edges of a crumbling bridge on one side and a train car free-falling on the other.

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