By Jana Monji
French actress Pom Klementieff, 37, is best known as her Guardians of the Galaxy character, Mantis, but instead of the whimsically cheerful alien, she plays an assassin working against Ethan Hunt and his team in Mission: Impossible–Dead Reckoning.
Ethan Hunt and his team accept the mission to find two interlocking keys. Hunt’s old friend, former M16 agent, Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) holds one and Hunt must go into the Arabian Desert near the Yemen border to retrieve it.
On horseback, he’s pursued by riders with guns for a sand-blown shootout. Faust is listed as dead but now Hunt must exchange the key for money. He hopes that the buyer will lead him to the other key and reveal what and where the keys can be used.
The exchange at the Midfield Terminal of the Abu Dhabi International Airport doesn’t go well, and Hunt is forced to team up with a pickpocket who calls herself Grace (Hayley Atwell).
Hunt’s team guides and helps him avoid other teams also in pursuit of the key by feeding into the surveillance system false images of Hunt on unsuspecting innocent bystanders.
Another team turns that game against Hunt. There’s an invisible man, one hidden by the Entity behind one of the teams, but there’s also a nuclear bomb in the baggage that one team member must defuse by answering riddles. Hunt’s just distracted enough to let Grace escape.
Hunt follows Grace to Rome and it’s there that Pom’s assassin, the silent Paris, makes her appearance. She’s a no-nonsense girl driving a big black SUV.
Klementieff told Digital Spy “I wanted to be something eerie and strange and kind of like a monster, but that looked like a porcelain doll or a pantomime at first. It was inspired by the character Pierrot from the Commedia Dell’Arte. I wanted to bring something that was a bit melancholic but also a little wild that’s unleashed when I do the car chase.”
The audience soon learns that the ghost at the airport is a very real man, Gabriel (Esai Morales). Paris is also on his team.
While Cruise’s Hunt and Atwell’s Grace share driving duties during a crazy and often humorous car chase in Rome, Klementieff’s Paris seems to relish the chaos and destruction. While Hunt and Grace make it out of Rome they will be running to and from each other and ghosts in their computer systems in Venice.
Paris will face Hunt–the first time in the franchise that Hunt will be fighting a woman, according to Digital Spy. That may be the reason why Hunt shows mercy, but the question must always be: Will this act of kindness hurt or help the mission?
That will be answered when a disguised Grace ends up on a train and Hunt is delayed from joining her while Gabriel and Paris are already on board. The title tells us that this fast-moving film will end with a cliffhanger and director Christopher McQuarrie gets you there with intense action scenes that while remaining serious have visual humor.
McQuarrie co-wrote the screenplay with Erik Jendresen (HBO miniseries Band of Brothers), but McQuarrie has been credited with the Mission Impossible screenplays since Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol in 2011 (with Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec). He also directed the 2015 Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and the 2018 Mission: Impossible – Fallout.
Although, unlike the original series which seemed more of a team mission, the film series is a Tom Cruise-centric story, his character, Ethan Hunt has friends and enemies who return from previous films.
This film’s Mission: Impossible Force includes computer technician (and Hunt’s BFF) Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames and IMF technical field agent Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg). The black market arms dealer, Alanna Mitsopolis (Vanessa Kirby), AKA the “White Widow” is the daughter of a character from the first film and was last seen in the 2018 Fallout.
Klementieff’s Paris, like Kirby’s Alanna, has a certain fashion flare. Working for a man who knew Ethan before he was Ethan, Paris is part of a mysterious menacing adversarial group whose client isn’t initially revealed. Even when one knows more about that entity, there are so many questions still unanswered.
While Klementieff may not have any lines, she is an important player during some of the action scenes, particularly the car chase. Klementieff’s Paris will be back for Part Two when so many questions will be answered.
“Mission: Impossible –Dead Reckoning Part One” premiered on the Spanish Steps in Rome on 19 June 2023. Paramount released the film in theaters on 12 July 2022. “Part Two” is scheduled to be released on 28 June 2024.
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