It only took three tries, but the Mission: Impossible franchise finally found the golden direction all the way back in 2006 with its third installment, and that has led us directly to Dead Reckoning Part One, the seventh entry in the franchise that just dropped in theaters.
To say that the first half of Dead Reckoning is soaring is an understatement; with a 96 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a Metacritic score of 81 to boot, the series is in one of the best states it’s ever been in, and it owes a fair shake of that success to the presence of its core characters.
Indeed, it would be easy enough for most moviegoers to show up just for Tom Cruise, but franchise veterans Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg, who portray Ethan Hunt’s longtime friends and allies Luther and Benji, have garnered quite a bit of love in their own right; love that has no doubt kept audiences coming back.
Pegg in particular is something of a success story when it comes to the franchise; after first appearing as Benji in a relatively minor desk role in Mission: Impossible III, his character has since grown into a highly capable field agent and one of the most recognizable faces in the franchise, and per a recent interview with SlashFilm, the actor couldn’t be happier with how things have gone.
“I try and bring as much of myself to him as I can, but it’s a real privilege to be able to evolve a character over the years, and whenever we start a new film, it’s like, “Okay, what did Benji go through this time? What did he go through last time? And how can I build on that?” So yeah, I totally feel like I’m part of the creative process when it comes to Benji.”
It’s a good thing Benji has stuck around this long, too, because Ethan needs all the allies he can get as he goes toe-to-terabyte with the terrifying Entity; a confrontation that we’ll have to wait until next year to see conclude.
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One is now playing in theaters.