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Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One: Test audience has an “insane” reaction, while the studio says it is too long

Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One, runtime, Tom Cruise

Can you limit the amount of awesome in a Mission: Impossible movie? Paramount Pictures thinks so, as the studio recently said the current version of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is too long. What is this madness, you ask? Indeed, Paramount woke up on the wrong side of the money pile and didn’t know what they were suggesting. Let’s dig into this story and find out more, shall we? During the Paramount panel at the 2023 Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, & Telecom Conference on March 8th, Bob Bakish, president of Paramount Global, revealed test screening for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One has begun, and the studio has thoughts about the film’s runtime.

While audience reactions to the film have been overwhelmingly positive, Paramount feels the movie still needs to be shorter. “I haven’t seen all of ‘MI:7,’ but I’ve seen a bunch of it,” Bakish said. “We actually just did the first test screening for an audience last week, and the audience lost their mind. And it’s still too long, they’ve got to cut it. But the movie is insane. It’s like a complete thrill ride. And Tom, he’s very good.”

In addition to Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One also features Ving Rhames as Luther Stickell, Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn, Rebecca Ferguson as Ila Faust, Hayley Atwell as Grace, Vanessa Kirby as Alanna Mitsopolis, Henry Czerny as Eugene Kittridge, Shea Whigham as Jasper Briggs, Frederick Schmidt as Zola Mitsopolis, and Esai Morales as the movie’s main villain. Pom Klementieff, Rob Delaney, Cary Elwes, Indira Varma, Mark Gatiss, Charles Parnell, Greg Davis, and Marcin Dorociński also appear.

The previous chapter of the Mission: Impossible saga, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, clocks in at 147 minutes, making it the longest film in the franchise. It makes you wonder how long Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is if executives are concerned about the sequel’s length. Mission: Impossible is one of the few franchises that could be as long as it pleases without fan complaints, but perhaps I’m mistaken. Is there a limit to how many Cruise-related shenanigans audiences can handle during one sitting?

How long do you think Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is in its current state? Do you think the studio will chop it down, or will Cruise interject and pull rank? Would you sit through a Mission: Impossible movie that lasts over 3 hours? Feel free to sound off in the comments section.