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Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    89
    from 6 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Dead Reckoning: Part One thrills with stellar AV, awaits full judgment with Part 2.

    Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    96
  • Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One dazzles on 4K UHD Blu-ray with its sharp, vibrant imagery and detailed, filmic visuals, offering a visually spectacular experience despite some grain and bitrate concerns.

  • Audio
    98
  • Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One's Dolby Atmos soundtrack impresses with immersive, dynamic audio, delivering exceptional LFE, clarity, and engaging surround sound across thrilling scenes.

  • Extra
    81
  • Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One offers a blend of informative commentary and featurettes across various editions, though its extras are criticized for being sparse and partly digital-exclusive.

  • Movie
    90
  • Despite high expectations for 'Dead Reckoning,' its performance was overshadowed by unexpected hits, amidst a backdrop of industry strikes and challenging marketing decisions.

    Video: 96

    Paramount's release of "Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One" on 4K UHD Blu-ray presents a visually spectacular image that is as close to technical perfection as home entertainment currently allows. This Ultra HD Blu-ray delivers a 2160p/Dolby Vision HDR image that showcases the film’s vibrant color palette and detailed environments with an impressive clarity and depth that far surpasses its Blu-ray counterpart. The native 4K resolution, captured digitally using an array of sophisticated camera systems including the Arri Alexa Mini LF, Sony CineAlta Venice, and Z CAM E2-F6, and finished with a 4K Digital Intermediate, ensures that every frame is a testament to the high standards of modern filmmaking. Whether it’s the rugged texture of desert sands or the intricate designs of Italian architecture, the level of detail is consistently remarkable. High dynamic range (HDR) brings out richer, deeper colors and enhances both highlights and shadow details, making dark scenes more discernible without compromising on the depth of blacks.

    However, not all is flawless in this digital presentation. The use of simulated grain, aiming to add a filmic quality to the visual texture, has had mixed results. In certain sequences, this added grain can become obtrusively thick, leading to a less-than-ideal viewing experience. These issues are somewhat balanced by the stunning Dolby Vision HDR grading that enriches colors and contrast, making for vivid and lifelike images that often pop off the screen. Comparatively, the Blu-ray version falls short, especially in rendering skin tones and the nuanced shades of the film’s dynamic lighting.

    Additionally, whilst there have been some concerns about the encoding and compression visible in parts of the presentation, particularly in scenes with intense action or complex visual effects, these do not detract significantly from the overall experience. The disc's encoding using HEVC/H.265 and being stored on a BD-100 layer ensures a high bitrate, maintaining image quality throughout most of the film. The aspect ratio of 2.39:1 remains faithful to the cinematic experience, complemented by the rich details and depth that give life to character close-ups and the expansive locales featured in the movie. Paramount's effort in this release demonstrates a predominantly successful endeavor to provide a home viewing experience that rivals the theatrical presentation, making "Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One" a visually arresting film on 4K UHD Blu-ray.

    Audio: 98

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One" delivers an audio experience that is both thunderous and meticulous, thanks to its Dolby Atmos soundtrack. Immersed in an ocean of superior sound quality, viewers are instantly thrust into the thick of action, from the deep-sea ambiance of a Russian submarine chase to the deafening roar of a sandstorm ripping through the Arabian Desert. This meticulously engineered soundscape utilizes the full spectrum of the Dolby Atmos system, bringing to life the intense LFE (Low-Frequency Effects) rumbles and the precise directional effects that sweep across every corner of the room. Dialogue cuts through the frenzy with remarkable clarity, ensuring every word is heard amidst the chaos. Lorne Balfe's score magnifies the tension and excitement, weaving seamlessly with the film's high-octane sequences to elevate the viewing experience.

    The Atmos track's excellence extends beyond its vibrant dynamics and into its nuanced layers of sound, offering a rich auditory depth that fills the room convincingly. Whether it's the subtlety of typewriter clicks or the unmistakable rumble of a train barreling down tracks, the audio mix plunges you into an expansive world that feels lived-in and tangible. The surround channels are deftly utilized, not only enhancing ambiance but also expertly tracking movement and providing impactful engagement from every angle. The overhead channels contribute elegantly to this audial tapestry, without overwhelming the listener with unnecessary elements, maintaining an elegant balance that supports the overall listening experience.

    Furthermore, this Dolby Atmos presentation doesn’t skimp on diversity, supporting multiple languages including French in both Parisian and Canadian variants, as well as Spanish, thereby catering to a broad audience. Subtitles are offered in an array of languages, ensuring accessibility across the board. The low frequency extension demands recognition, delivering punches that hit hard yet never overshadow finer sonic details or dialogue reproduction. Vocals remain crisp throughout, exemplifying the soundtrack's ability to handle quiet conversations and frenetic action scenes with equal finesse. This audio track doesn’t just accompany the visuals; it elevates them, ensuring that every scene, from intimate whispers to catastrophic collisions, is felt just as intensely as it is seen.

    Extra: 81

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One" delivers a solid if not groundbreaking, assortment of bonus features that appeal to fans eager for insights into the film’s production. The package includes a detailed audio commentary by director Christopher McQuarrie and editor Eddie Hamilton, who provide an engaging exploration of the filmmaking process, albeit with limited discussion on plot specifics to avoid spoilers for the sequel. Additionally, the isolated score track offers an intriguing auditory experience, highlighting the film’s dynamic score. While the collection of mini-featurettes on the bonus disc—spanning various stunts and scenic locations from Abu Dhabi to Norway—delivers concise behind-the-scenes looks, their brevity leaves viewers craving more. The exclusion of certain digital-only extras, such as the Deleted Scenes and another Featurette, from the physical disc may disappoint those seeking a comprehensive package. Overall, the extras provide a glimpse into the demanding stunt work and international settings that define this installment, though the depth of content might not fully satisfy the series' most ardent enthusiasts.

    Extras included in this disc:

    Audio Commentary: Director Christopher McQuarrie and editor Eddie Hamilton give an insightful commentary track available on both the 4K UHD and the Blu-ray releases.

    Isolated Score Track: This feature allows viewers to experience the film accompanied only by Lorne Balfe's score, presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 audio on both 4K UHD and Blu-ray formats.

    Abu Dhabi: A brief exploration of shooting in Abu Dhabi’s airport and desert areas, highlighting the logistical and aesthetic challenges encountered.

    Rome: Delve into creating an action-packed car chase through Rome's historic streets, emphasizing practical effects and location use.

    Venice: Showcases the intricate work of filming in Venice, including nocturnal shoots and action sequences amidst the city's iconic waterways.

    Freefall: Detailed examination of crafting a major motorcycle jump stunt in Norway, from conception to execution.

    Speed Flying: An overview of incorporating Tom Cruise's hobby of speed flying into the movie, blending personal passion with film spectacle.

    Train: Looks at assembling a key train sequence with practical effects and stunts in the scenic Norwegian landscape.

    Movie: 90

    "Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One," released in the summer of 2023, faced unforeseen competition that affected its box office performance, despite high anticipations built on the success of its predecessors and the Tom Cruise/Christopher McQuarrie collaboration. The film's narrative ambition and technical achievements, however, remain untarnished by its financial outcomes. With an expansive global narrative that follows Ethan Hunt’s latest perilous mission to prevent a powerful new weapon from devastating humanity, the film incorporates impressive stunts, a hallmark of the franchise, and introduces antagonistic forces that raise the stakes to unprecedented levels.

    The movie benefits from returning characters and introduces new players who add depth and complexity to the intricate world of espionage and moral dilemmas the franchise is known for. Cruise's dedication shines through once again in death-defying stunts that push the envelope further, signifying his commitment to delivering tangible action sequences over CGI alternatives. This decision retains the series’ hallmark authenticity, despite its longer runtime and a saturated market for blockbuster action films. Moreover, "Dead Reckoning Part One" expands the series' lore by intertwining timely themes with personal character arcs, adding layers to an already rich narrative.

    Despite marketing missteps that perhaps preemptively unveiled too much of its spectacle, leaving audiences with diminished astonishment in theaters, "Dead Reckoning Part One" continues to excel in character development and narrative engagement. The film intricately weaves sophisticated spycraft with character-driven intrigue, a testament to McQuarrie’s directorial vision and storytelling prowess. The incorporation of a next-gen AI antagonist reflects current technological anxieties, grounding the film’s larger-than-life action in palpable contemporary fears. As part of a two-film arc, it sets a promising premise for its sequel, challenging itself to surpass the high bar set by its predecessors while exploring uncharted thematic territories.

    Total: 89

    Paramount's 4K UHD presentation of "Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One" sets a new standard for home entertainment, offering an exemplary viewing experience that leverages the latest in audio-visual technology. Released on 6th November 2023, this edition comes with Native 4K Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio, promising unparalleled picture and sound quality. Fans of the franchise and cinephiles with an appreciation for technical excellence will find the release a must-have, despite some digital-exclusive content. With standard 4K releases and two different Steelbook exclusives, Paramount UK ensures there's a version for every collector.

    The movie itself, while not completing its narrative arc, offers enough thrills, action, and a narrative intensity to stand on its own, especially when complemented by the technical brilliance of its 4K UHD release. Tom Cruise's dedication to escalating stunts and a near-perfect action spectacle remains evident, maintaining the franchise's high standards. However, some may find the extras wanting, with a commentary track being the highlight amongst an otherwise sparse selection. Despite these minor shortcomings, the transfer's visual and audio presentation makes it a reference-quality material that pushes the boundaries of home cinema.

    In conclusion, while "Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One" may initially feel like an incomplete experience pending its sequel, its technical prowess on 4K UHD is undeniable. Paramount has crafted an offering that not only satisfies the longing for high-octane action but does so with an impeccable attention to audio-visual detail that will delight enthusiasts and fans alike. It stands as a testament to the potential of home entertainment technology, marrying cinematic ambition with technical execution. This release, despite any narrative reservations, is highly recommended for its demonstration of how far home cinema has evolved and what it can achieve in emulating a theatrical experience.