Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1.
When you think of the long-running action franchise Impossible MissionFunny moments probably won’t come to your mind. The franchise has plenty of great comedic moments, especially when Ethan’s (Tom Cruise) Sleight of hand comes into play. Honestly, they’re never boring to watch, they’ve been seen throughout the series and are particularly common in the new film Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. But that’s far from the funnest part of the movie. It’s also no fun with the masks and other gadgets, ridiculous as the situation may be. Dead reckoning part one has the funniest sequence of the series so far with the chase in Rome.
Why does the chase work in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1?
The reason Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part OneThe Rome chase sequence works so well because Tom Cruise and Hayley Atwells Chemistry. Hayley Atwell is the new leading lady in the franchise, probably best known as Peggy Carter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Her introduction caused some controversy at the film’s release due to its handling, but despite the rocky start, Atwell does spectacularly well on screen and delivers one of her best performances as pickpocket Grace in this film. She and Cruise work perfectly as scene partners, especially since Grace is constantly trying to escape from Ethan.
The scene begins after both are in a difficult position. Ethan has the clever idea of handcuffing them both so she can’t escape. Something she has proven in a few scenes before that she is extremely capable of. Of course, this immediately leads to conflict and comedy, as Grace is empowered to drive but doesn’t want to. When Ethan is forced to drive past her, his left hand gets in the way as she is tied to Grace’s right hand in the passenger seat.
What car do Ethan and Grace drive in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One?
Chased by the police, other agents, etc Pom Klementieff‘S In the fun and ruthless Paris, Ethan and Grace have to give up their original car during the car chase. With their car too recognizable, especially with the doors ripped off, Ethan searches for a “safe IMF car” that they might be able to use to escape. There’s a little bait and switch: the film teases a sleek sports car before only revealing the tiny bright yellow Fiat 500 that sits right next to it, completely hidden from view of the other car. This scene already has a great comedic opening and then sees them climbing into the small space of the car with their limbs crossed. Ethan even has a little funny and awkward moment when he struggles to start the car and accidentally turns on the wipers in the process. Atwell talks about the rest of the sequence and her role in a recent interview.
The Fiat 500 immediately proves its unpredictability as it lurches violently and accelerates through the streets as Ethan tries to gain control of it while steering with just one hand. director Christopher McQuarrie even going so far as to jokingly refer to it as “possessed” in a behind-the-scenes film for filming the chase. It’s an incredible sequence to watch. It retains the exciting aspect it needs, but also doesn’t shy away from the tiny car that hilariously whizzes through the streets of Rome. In one part the car has to drive down a large stone staircase. When this happens, Ethan and Grace can’t do anything but shake around, and the car even rolls over, throwing them upside down out of their seats, only to be thrown right back into the opposite seat. Grace, now behind the wheel, is afraid to drive but is forced to do so as Paris tirelessly tries to get to her. In what is probably the funniest part of the whole chase, Grace tries to pull the car away. Instead, the car starts burning rubber and spinning out of control. With the help of Ethan, they finally manage to escape the chase.
This Mission: Impossible sequence says it’s okay to be silly
If anything, this sequence proves that when used correctly, comedy has a place in these epic action films. It serves as a welcome change from the otherwise somber movie, but doesn’t detract from the movie. The humor here is situational rather than the characters teasing the audience. The car itself becomes its own chaotic and humorous character in the film, making the hilarity of the situation easier to understand and not forced. And of course the scene is enhanced by how well Tom Cruise and Hayley Atwell play off each other. They are the reason this scene works and why it got such a good response in theaters. Watch this one with a crowd.