Imagine a world, where an artificial intelligence gains sentience and attempts to interfere in human life, possibly even bring us to the brink of global thermonuclear war. Sound familiar? Good because that’s the plot for the movie WarGames that was released in 1983 as a reaction to the rise of the home computer. So why, in the name of Turing, are we still using this as a plot device in 2023?

Yes, this is the key plot around which MI: Dead Reckoning Part 1 revolves. An artificial intelligence, which we will spend the rest of the movie referring to as The Entity, has gained enough sentience to be able to confuse military submarines, control live security feeds and even hijack communication networks. As is the way of these things, there is a MacGuffin… And only with this MacGuffin can one control The Entity. So, of course every government, agency and bad guy on the planet wants it for themselves so they can be ‘all-powerful’. The MacGuffin is predictably split into two pieces and can only be used together in order to unlock a larger MacGuffin (one which calls back to the days of JJ Abrams’ MacGuffins that all had to be large, red and spherical.)

So, with the stage set, Ethan Hunt and his merry crew embark upon their latest impossible mission to save the world. All the expected elements of an MI film are present and correct: Face Mask Reveals; Exploding Mission Briefings; Thrilling Chase Sequences; Jaw Dropping Stunts; Beautifully Choreographed Fight Sequences. All of which, unfortunately falls flat for several reasons. Firstly: As I’ve already outlined, the core premise is silly and outdated. I work with AI and it ‘s more likely to write you a poem about cheese in the style of Edgar Allen Poe or show you pictures of Harry Potter as a Hobbit than it is try to take over the world. Second: It’s waaaaay too long. I imagine that once part two is released and has been watched, my opinion will be justified that it really could have been achieved in one movie rather than two. Next, outside of the core characters established in the previous movies the cast of characters are mostly forgettable generic stereotypes. The exception being Hayley Atwell’s globe trotting thief, Grace, who is so irritating and gets them into so much trouble by constantly ‘outsmarting’ Ethan that he ends up having to offer a job just to stop her getting them into any more hot water.

If you like the kind of movie that you can switch off your brain and enjoy cheesy action sequences then this is for you. If you like your spy thrillers to have a bit more substance to them, then you could do worse than going back and watching Burn Notice, at least that’s witty and engaging.